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The pop sensation and actress Olivia Rodrigo took to the White House podium during Wednesday’s press briefing to encourage young people to get vaccinated.
“I am beyond honored and humbled to be here today to help spread the message about the importance of youth vaccination,” the 18-year-old singer said. “I’m in awe of the work President Biden and Dr. [Anthony] Fauci had done and was happy to lend my support to this important initiative.”
“It’s important to have conversations with friends and family members encouraging all communities to get vaccinated and actually get to a vaccination site,” Rodrigo added, “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.”
Rodrigo’s comments at the press briefing preceded her afternoon meeting with Biden and his chief medical adviser Fauci, with whom she will be filming videos as part of the administration’s effort to promote vaccinations to young Americans.
The videos will be featured on both Rodrigo’s and the White House’s social media channels. Rodrigo, who had a meteoric rise following the record-breaking success of her debut album, "Sour," has more than 28 million followers across her Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and TikTok channels.
After the press conference, Rodrigo appeared on the POTUS Instagram account in an introductory video.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re young and healthy, getting the vaccine is about protecting yourself, your friends and your family. Let’s get vaccinated!” she said.
Rodrigo’s visit comes at a time when the Biden administration is ramping up efforts to promote vaccination of younger people. As of Tuesday, roughly 25 percent of Americans ages 12 to 15, and about 37 percent of Americans ages 16 and 17, are fully vaccinated, per CDC data. These numbers lag behind the 41.6 percent of Americans ages 18 to 24 who have been fully vaccinated and the national average of 48.1 percent.
Rodrigo’s visit was announced on the president’s Instagram account on Tuesday, after it posted a picture of a younger Biden with the caption: “I know this young person would’ve gotten vaccinated, but we’ve got to get other young people protected as well. Who’s willing to help?”
“i’m in! see you tomorrow at the white house!” Rodrigo commented.
This effort is one of many initiatives that the Biden administration has put in place in an effort to promote the vaccination among young people. Last month, the Department of Education launched a COVID-19 College Challenge, which asks university presidents to take a pledge to get their college communities vaccinated. The department also announced a COVID-19 Student Corps, a program that would provide students with resources to build vaccine confidence in their communities.
Cover thumbnail photo: Susan Walsh/AP Photo
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