The Permian Strategic Partnership (psp), a collaboration of energy producers in the Permian Basin, is launching a campaign to combat vaccine hesitancy head-on by highlighting the widespread impact the virus has and rallying residents together to protect their community.

“COVID still poses a threat to the Permian Basin and the incredible energy transformation that is taking place here,” psp Chairman and former U.S. Secretary of Commerce Don Evans said in a statement. “I care deeply about this community and the positive, upbeat spirit we all share. The future is bright. We must do everything in our power to achieve the full potential of the Permian Promise. The Permian Basin is essential beyond just our region; we power the state, the country and even the world. The best thing to do for our country right now is getting the vaccine.”

More than 2,200 Permian Basin residents have passed away from COVID. Still, the region has a low vaccination rate compared to the rest of the country, and many remain vaccine-hesitant, according to the psp news release.

The Department of State Health Services reported Monday that the percentage of people age 5 and older inside Midland County that were fully vaccinated was 42.99 percent, which trailed the state average 58.62 percent. The percentage of those 65 and older who were vaccinated in Midland County was 71.92 percent, which trailed neighboring Ector County (77.07 percent) and the state average (82.36 percent).

“Getting vaccinated is the best thing to do to keep the Permian Basin strong. We are committed to the health and safety of our community. Safe, healthy residents allow us to continue providing energy to the world. It’s time for us to come together and roll up our sleeves for the vaccine,” said Tracee Bentley, president and CEO of the psp.

The psp has a vested interest in the health and wellbeing of those in the Permian Basin, according to the news release. Vaccine and public health literacy are critical components of a healthy, thriving community. Encouraging vaccines can keep hospital capacity open and support the healthcare professionals who have taken care of us through this tumultuous time.

The campaign will roll out in two phases and will run through mid-2022. The first phase will feature print and billboard ads around West Texas and Southeast New Mexico.

Texans wishing to receive their COVID vaccine can visit https://dshs.texas.gov/covidvaccine/ or call 1-833-832-7067. New Mexicans wishing to receive their COVID vaccine can visit https://goodtimes.vaccinenm.org/stay-ahead-nm/ or call 1-855-600-3453.

Vaccine percentages around the Midland-Odessa area

(for ages 5+)

Counties

Midland 42.99 percent

Ector 42.31 percent

Andrews 43.68 percent

Martin 32.09 percent

Howard 34.32 percent

Glasscock 42.82 percent

Source: Department of State Health Services.

partnership with local leaders and communities. Learn more at www.permianpartnership.org.