covid 19 vaccination radio campaign developed with help from shenandoah university students
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COVID-19 vaccination radio campaign developed with help from Shenandoah University students

shenandoah universityThe radio hit “Double Shot (Of My Baby’s Love)” recorded by The Swingin’ Medallions has been repurposed for a COVID-19 vaccination campaign with help from Shenandoah University students.

Valley Health, a nonprofit health care system, enlisted the help of SU to develop the radio campaign, which launched in early July on area radio stations with the parody song meant to reach fence-sitters related to the vaccination. The lyrics are: “If you’re on the fence, let me give you a shove, go get a double shot of the country’s love.”

The radio campaign was set in motion last year when Valley Health began brainstorming with community leaders about ways to address hesitancy toward the vaccine.

Shenandoah University senior vice president Mitch Moore tapped members of SU’s media and communication program to help Valley Health develop the campaign.

Led by adjunct professor of media and communication Drew Babb, and a team of SU students including Demitri Matenopoulos, Rebecca Sims, Brynna Strader, Aaron Torres, Andy Espinoza and Langston McCatty, the group opted for the music-based theme for the campaign.

“We rely on collaboration within the community, with everyone bringing their talents and passion to the problems we face,” said Valley Health’s community and population health officer Jeffrey Feit. “We were thrilled that Drew Babb’s team engaged with this work. We hope it leads more people to protect themselves and their families.”

Babb enlisted the help of Bari Biern, a longtime performer with the Capitol Steps political-satire group, for help with the song’s lyrics, and the Bill Baker Band and Mary Ann Redmond played and vocalized the tracks. Cy Vetter, who co-wrote the original “Double Shot (Of My Baby’s Love)” approved the parody lyrics, and the “Double Shot” radio spots were recorded in Shenandoah University’s recording studios.

The project received grant funding through the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration, which helped pay for production and radio costs.

Shenandoah University has played a major role in COVID-19 vaccination efforts. In 2021, Shenandoah hosted a mass vaccine clinic at its James R. Wilkins, Jr. Athletics and Events Center and administered 70,589 shots over a five-month span.

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.