"First I want to say I am beyond honored and humbled to be here today to help spread the message about the importance of youth vaccination," said Olivia Rodrigo.
If you don’t know her, chances are you know a young person who does. Actress and singer Olivia Rodrigo is asking America’s youth to get vaccinated against COVID-19 amid a spike in younger Americans being hospitalized due to complications from the virus.
“It's important to have conversations with friends and family members encouraging all communities to get vaccinated," Rodrigo said.
The multi-platinum recording artist reaches tens of millions of followers via her social media accounts – something the White House is hoping to tap into.
“We want to get trusted messengers that people can relate to as opposed to just federal officials," said Dr. Anthony Fauci.
The Biden administration has previously collaborated with young social media influencers and stars to get its message out, but this recent renewed focus comes after the nation missed the president’s vaccination goal for July 4th. Vaccination rates have been stagnant ever since. The recent vaccine push also takes place during a surge of the highly contagious Delta variant of the virus.
“First we’re going to take some mRNA, this will give your body instructions for your cells to make a spike protein. The spike protein will help produce COVID antibodies, but it is harmless," said Jordan Tralins
Generation-Zers like Jordan Tralins says the targeted outreach is welcome news. The 22- year- old Cornell University biology student has taken the initiative to educate and combat misinformation about the vaccine via social media.
"I noticed early on in the vaccine rollout that people my age were not being targeted properly," Tralins said.
Tralins is the creator of Covid Campus Coalition, a network of young volunteers on college campuses who send out information on the benefits of the vaccine. She says more young people like her should be involved in educating their peers on why it’s important to get vaccinated.
"I think in terms of not having access to information in the way that they can understand it, that's why we're working to do. And for me, it's no burden at all," Tralins added.
Doctors and experts have been urging young Americans over the age of 12 to get the shot. They say if more isn’t done, the country will lose ground in the fight against the pandemic.