Professor and infectious disease epidemiologist Dr. Tara C. Smith tweeted a 'Star Wars' poster encouraging vaccination.
Vaccines work, and the science behind them is not ambiguous. A study found that unvaccinated people were 20 times more likely to die from coronavirus than those vaccinated. Despite ample evidence confirming that vaccines work, Republicans and conservatives continue to fight against vaccines, politicizing the vaccination drive, and labeling the fight as an infringement on personal freedom. As the Biden administration works to vaccinate the population, many celebrities are joining in to urge others to get the shot. Conservatives are attacking celebrities that endorse vaccination, and even fictional character Big Bird, of 'Sesame Street', wasn't spared after the character announced on Twitter that she had got the shot. It's not the first time fictional characters have promoted vaccination, with 'Star Wars' previously encouraging parents to vaccinate their children, reported Comicsands.
A long time ago, before science was politicized. https://t.co/cwVGnJkI6A— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) November 7, 2021
Posters and a PSA video of R2-D2 and C-3PO encouraging parents to get their kids vaccinated resurfaced online recently. Professor and infectious disease epidemiologist Dr. Tara C. Smith tweeted a 'Star Wars' poster from the '70s encouraging vaccination. Aware of the politicization of the vaccination campaign, Smith tweeted, "Man, wait until anti-vax politicians find out about how R2-D2 and C-3PO tried to encourage vaccination... in 1978," before adding, "Almost like this isn't a new thing and programs that cater to kids want to keep them safe and healthy."
The poster read:
"Parents of Earth, are your children fully immunized?"
"Make sure - call your doctor or health department today."
"And may the force be with you."
'Star Wars' legend Mark Hamill quote tweeted the poster and wrote, "A long time ago, before science was politicized." The PSA commercial showed R2-D2 and C-3PO encouraging parents to vaccinate their kids for whooping cough, measles, and polio. Many people responded to Hamill's tweet by sharing personal posters of the vaccination campaign with one person pointing out that Dave Prowse, who played Darth Vader, Mark Hamill's fictional father from 'Star Wars', featured in a PSA to help kids cross the road. "Hell, it was your dad that taught me how to cross the road," they joked.
Hell, it was your dad that taught me how to cross the road 😂 https://t.co/Yq9qYKquxv— Chicago Tafia 🏴 🇪🇺 🇺🇸 (@ChicagoTafia) November 7, 2021
One person pointed out that there have always been counterclaims to science but the credibility of the system was being eroded by public figures questioning it. "Science has always been politicized to some extent sadly... there will always be those who want to deny the science or engage in pseudoscience to push ideas. It's literally why the scientific consensus system exists, to sift through that garbage," they commented.
I have a vintage copy of this poster and it’s one of my favorite possessions. pic.twitter.com/akpSHqUOYb— Nathan Boonstra, MD (@PedsGeekMD) November 8, 2021
Mark Hamill's tweet comes at a time when many people, including celebrities, are taking medical advice from the likes of Joe Rogan, a podcaster, instead of relying on science. Members of the public often trust celebrities when personally unsure, and that's also why it's even more dangerous for individuals like Joe Rogan to claim that he took Ivermectin against the CDC's advice. Last week, NFL player Aaron Rodgers revealed that he didn't get vaccinated after testing positive for coronavirus. Rodgers also stated that he had taken Ivermectin on the advice of Rogan, who he called his new friend. This damages the credibility of the CDC and puts people who reject the vaccine at risk. CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky stated that 97% of people who are hospitalized from coronavirus now are unvaccinated, reported NPR.
After heavy criticism from all quarters, Rodgers took responsibility for his earlier comments alluding that he was vaccinated, reported USA Today. "I made some comments that people might've felt were misleading. I take full responsibility for those comments," said Rodgers, before again stating that he stood by what he said and the decision to not get vaccinated. Rodgers could be seen wearing a 'Star Wars' sweatshirt and Hamill asked, "Of all the sweatshirts he could have worn, he had to take full responsibility in THAT one?"
Of all the sweatshirts he could have worn, he had to take full responsibility in THAT one? 😩 https://t.co/c4vntkHAHg— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) November 10, 2021
Irresponsible messaging from public figures have become a thorn in the Biden administration's effort to vaccinate people. After Big Bird announced she got vaccinated, many Republicans, including Senator Ted Cruz, branded Big Bird's tweet as 'government propaganda', while unaware that the bird had a long association of promoting vaccinations. Big Bird, who is technically six years old, made the announcement in the wake of the government administering children with shots. As we reported, Big Bird has historically championed vaccine PSAs and in 1972, the giant yellow canary vouched for the measles vaccine.
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