Village Marketing, a marketing firm, approached social media influencers to promote awareness of COVID-19 vaccination on behalf of the White House.
As the COVID-19 pandemic is ravaging the world, the U.S. administration has been keenly focused on vaccinating its citizens at the earliest. Serval giveaways and programs encouraging Americans to get their vaccinations have been announced. To pull the younger generation and fight the misinformation against the vaccine, the involvement or voice of social media influencers was encouraged.
In August 2021, a New York Times report claimed that the White House has enlisted around fifty Twitch Streamers, Youtubers, TikTokers, and pop star Olivia Rodrigo to create awareness among youngsters against the COVID-19 vaccine misinformation. These influencers are tasked with promoting the pro-vaccination campaign. The report further states that some state and local governments were paying local micro-influencers with 5,000 to 100,000 followers up to $1000 per month to promote the vaccination drive.
The New York Times report also cited an email sent to Ellie Zeiler, a seventeen-year-old TikToker by Village Marketing, a marketing firm asking if the teenager was interested in joining the campaign to promote vaccination. According to this report, Village Marketing approached the TikToker on behalf of the White House. Interestingly, Village Marketing has listed U.S. President Joe Biden and The White House as its clients on the official website. While it is common practice for marketing firms to pay influencers, it is immediately unknown if Ellie Zeiler was being paid by Village Marketing.
In July 2021, the White House invited Olivia Rodrigo, a pop star, to raise her voice on vaccines. Rodrigo was seen with Anthony Fauci, chief medical advisor to the president in the U.S., speaking on few tweets about vaccines and explaining the importance of vaccines. Further, Rodrigo prompted people to get vaccinated and understand the vaccine on the vaccine site of the government. Further, U.S. President Joe Biden reportedly asked: "the states and local governments to use the funding they have received, including from the American Rescue Plan, to give $100 to anyone who gets fully vaccinated."
On August 3, the White House report presented that 165 million Americans were fully vaccinated — including 80 percent of senior citizens. According to the White House, this was an increase in vaccination rates compared to that of the previous weeks. The average number of 12- to 17-year-olds getting vaccinated each day also rose by 50 percent in the past two weeks.
Thus, it can be concluded that the Biden Administration is going all out against the vaccination misinformation campaign to create vaccine awareness among the general public, especially teenagers. Even though the White House did not approach social media influencers to promote the vaccination campaign, Village Marketing, which lists the White House as one of its clients, has approached social media influencers to promote the vaccination drive. However, Popstars like Olivia Rodrigo were seen with Dr. Anthony Fauci promoting awareness on COVID-19 vaccination.
The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to a lot of potentially dangerous misinformation. For reliable advice on COVID-19, including symptoms, prevention, and available treatment, please refer to the World Health Organization or your national healthcare authority.