- The Biden administration is asking online influencers to promote COVID-19 vaccines to young users.
- It’s part of efforts to stamp out vaccine misinformation and get teens vaccinated.
- It also shows how the White House recognizes digital platforms’ power and cultural impact.
The White House is recruiting dozens of online influencers to spread a message to young people: get vaccinated.
As The New York Times’ Taylor Lorenz reported Sunday, the Biden administration signed on 50
, YouTube, and TikTok users to reach their massive follower counts, which largely consist of young users under the age of 30.
The Times spoke with some of the influencers who received inquiries from the White House through a marketing organization, asking them to address “a massive need to grow awareness within the 12-18 age range.”
Many in that age group haven’t been fully or halfway vaccinated against COVID-19 yet, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Lorenz reported that state and local governments are also kicking off similar initiatives with more local online influencers, with some even providing $1,000-a-month incentives to encourage their thousands of followers to get vaccinated.
The report sheds light on how the US government is acknowledging the power of digital platforms, their most popular users, and the cultural impact of Generation Z. That drive has included 18-year-old musician Olivia Rodrigo, who last month visited the White House in part to chat with chief medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci about vaccinations.
Vaccine misinformation has been a hot-button topic since the pandemic began, with anti-vaxxers taking to social media platforms to spread their rhetoric. Tech companies, especially Facebook, Twitter, and Google, have faced pressure to police how such false information is exposed to their userbases.
The White House’s campaign also comes as the Delta variant continues to send infection rates upward. The CDC updated its guidelines last week to recommend that even people who are vaccinated should wear masks since they can still transmit the disease.
However, vaccines are still highly effective at preventing severe cases of the coronavirus disease. More than 45% of all Americans are fully vaccinated, per the CDC.