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The Margin: Olivia Rodrigo is helping President Biden and Dr. Fauci convince young adults to give COVID-19 vaccines a shot

July 13
21:52 2021

Pop star Olivia Rodrigo knows what’s “Good 4 U” — getting vaccinated against the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19. 

The singer-songwriter is heading to the White House on Wednesday to meet with President Joe Biden and Dr. Anthony Fauci to record videos about the importance of young people getting vaccinated, including answering important questions young people have about getting vaccinated, a White House official said. 

What’s more, Biden shared a picture of his younger self on Instagram on Tuesday with the caption, “I know this young person would’ve gotten vaccinated, but we’ve got to get other young people protected as well. Who’s willing to help?”

And Rodrigo responded, “I’m in! See you tomorrow at the White House!” 

Biden replied, “You bet!’

For the readers who may be scratching their heads and asking, “Who?” — Rodrigo, 18, is one of the youngest artists to ever top the Billboard Hot 100 chart with her 2021 hit single “Driver’s License.” The multi-platinum recording artist with more than 28 million social media followers also plays the lead role in the Disney+ “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series.” 

So she could be influential in getting young adults to roll up their sleeves for a COVID shot. Indeed, younger Americans have lagged behind other age groups in getting vaccinated against COVID-19, and they’re a big reason why the country missed the Biden administration’s goal of getting 70% of American adults at least one dose of one of the shots by the Fourth of July. 

Rodrigo’s pending PSAs are a part of the government’s efforts to encourage 18- to 29-year-olds to get one of the vaccines. This has included rolling out campaigns on social media apps like Facebook FB, +0.19%, Instagram and Twitter TWTR, +0.95%, as well as on gaming services such as Riot Games and Twitch, The Wall Street Journal reported. The White House also revealed on Tuesday that it is working with schools, pediatricians, summer camps, and leveraging social media and celebrity influencers. Biden recently participated in a YouTube Town Hall, and Dr. Fauci has also done several TikTok Q&As with influencers. 

While younger adults are at less risk of developing severe COVID, they can all spread the virus — especially if they are asymptomatic and don’t realize that they are infected. The CDC recently reported that 18- to 39-year-olds were reluctant to get vaccinated over fears about side effects, or they said that they were waiting to see if the vaccine in safe. Others didn’t believe getting vaccinated was necessary. 

The global tally for coronavirus-borne illnesses passed 187.4 million on Tuesday, with 4.03 million dead, according to Johns Hopkins University. And the U.S. leads the world with 33.88 million cases and more than 607,000 deaths. More than 99% of U.S. COVID-19 deaths in June were among unvaccinated people, Fauci said last week.

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