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Olivia Rodrigo Wants You to Be Happy and Healthy and Vaccinated

Olivia Rodrigo heading into the White House.

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Key Takeaways

  • The White House enlisted the help of teen pop star Olivia Rodrigo in an effort to encourage young people to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Verywell Health's vaccine sentiment survey finds that young people are more likely to say they won't get vaccinated.
  • Reaching young people where they get most of their information—like social media—can be an effective way of encouraging vaccination.

Olivia Rodrigo introduced an entire generation to the wonders of Billy Joel, and now she's teaching them about something else: COVID-19 vaccines. Today Olivia Rodrigo arrived at the White House in a partnership to encourage young people to get vaccinated.

Rodrigo, the 18-year-old pop star best known for her hits “Driver’s License” and “Good 4 U,” met with President Joe Biden and chief medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci. Rodrigo's visit revolved around recording videos for the president and her personal social media channels.

This is part of the Biden administration’s latest push to reach the remaining unvaccinated population, who won't budge. Verywell Health's vaccine sentiment survey found back in February that young people made up the largest chunk of people who say they wouldn't get the vaccine. And it seems not much has changed.

Adolescents aged 12 to 15 have the lowest rate of vaccination among eligible groups, with only a quarter fully vaccinated. And only 41.6% of Americans 18 to 25 are fully vaccinated—falling behind the national average of 48.1%.

"I am beyond honored and humbled to be here today to help spread the message about the importance of youth vaccination,” Rodrigo said at Wednesday afternoon's press briefing. "It’s important to have conversations with friends and family members, encouraging all communities to get vaccinated and actually get to a vaccination site, which you can do more easily than ever before given how many sites we have and how easy it is to find them at vaccines.gov."

The Biden administration may be on to something by getting influencers like Rodrigo to weigh in through social media. 

Our vaccine sentiment survey shows that 28% of vaccine rejectors see COVID-19 news on Instagram, and nearly 1 in 5 rejectors gets their pandemic news from TikTok. Rodrigo’s videos will be targeting them directly where they get their information and entertainment. 

Do You Get Déjà Vu?

We certainly did. This isn't the first time the U.S. has enlisted help from a celebrity to promote vaccination. By late 1956, the poliovirus had ravaged the states for years. But when a new vaccine was made public, Elvis Presley, who was just on his precipice to stardom, received his vaccine on national television. Turns out, it worked. Vaccination rates among American youth rose to 80% after just six months from his stunt.

In fact, some people on TikTok are already sharing Biden's post—which Rodrigo commented on alluding to her White House visit—imploring young people to get the jab. Videos of her encouraging people to get vaccinated are making the rounds, too.

Now we'll just have to wait and see if this social media push will be "Good 4" the nation and boost vaccine numbers in the weeks to come.

The information in this article is current as of the date listed, which means newer information may be available when you read this. For the most recent updates on COVID-19, visit our coronavirus news page.

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  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. COVID Data Tracker. Updated July 13, 2021.