Back in 1759, Benjamin Franklin wrote an introduction to a pamphlet aimed at encouraging people to get inoculated with smallpox in a controlled way in order to gain immunity and prevent epidemics. Before and after Benjamin Franklin’s time, social influencers have had great influence on whether or not people take action. Like Benjamin Franklin, Catherine The Great of Russia — then the ruler of the Russian Empire — also influenced her people to adopt variolation. Today, we have many more social influencers because of mass media, and public health agencies around the world who are looking to promote the COVID-19 vaccine have taken notice.
Of course, there are the usual influencers that you would expect to see getting the COVID-19 vaccine: Chief Executives of world governments. Here is then President-Elect Joe Biden (United States) getting the first dose of the vaccine along with his wife:
President Donald Trump did not get the vaccine while in office as he was still within 90 days from his illness by the time his term ended. However, then Vice President Mike Pence did receive the vaccine:
Then Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris also received the first dose of the COVID vaccine:
In Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu received the COVID vaccine on December 19, 2020:
The Prime Minister of Greece, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, also received two doses of the vaccine:
And the Prime Minister of Singapore also received it:
What about non-political social influencers?
In the United Kingdom, Elton John (singer) and Michael Caine (actor) filmed a television spot on getting the vaccine that was partly tongue-in-cheek:
Another British actor, Sir Ian McKellen also publicly received the COVID vaccine:
In the United States, actor Anthony Hopkins received his vaccine in Hollywood, California:
Arnold Schwarzenegger also received it:
Mexican television personality, Juan José Origel also got his vaccine:
In the coming months, there will be more and more celebrities and social influencers who will receive the vaccine, especially when Phase 2 makes it possible for younger people to receive it.
Correction (1MAR2021): A previous version of this blog post mentioned that President Trump did not get the COVID-19 vaccine while in office. A new report from CNN states that he and First Lady Melania Trump did get the vaccine in January.