Mainstream media admitted to paid shills in July in Colorado

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Colorado pays 126 influencers to advocate for COVID vaccinations

A state health department contract is giving them monthly payments between $400 and $1,000

In an effort to increase vaccination rates in Colorado, the state is paying social media influencers anywhere from $400 to $1,000 per month.

The 126 influencers, their pay dependent on their reach, include musicians, doctors, religious leaders, community members and caregivers who post on platforms like Instagram, TikTok and Facebook. The details on the vaccine outreach strategy were first reported by Axios.

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Of 4.9 million Coloradans eligible for the vaccines (12 and older), more than 1.3 million have not been vaccinated. About 62% of all eligible people in the state are fully vaccinated, and the state has a stockpile of more than 350,000 doses of the vaccine that are set to expire in two months.

Using influencers is part of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s “Power the Comeback” Campaign of TV ads, radio ads, mailers and online media on the COVID-19 vaccine. The state contracted with Idea Marketing beginning Feb. 9 through Sept. 30, to pay for ad costs, including influencer posts, production costs and agency fees, according to CDPHE. The state has agreed to pay a maximum of more than $16.4 million for the entire campaign, according to the contract, from a combination of state emergency reserve funding — which the state expects federal reimbursement for — and federal dollars from COVID funding sources.

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