It seems like everybody who’s anybody is getting their COVID-19 vaccine these days. I mean, did you really get vaccinated if you didn’t post your card on your Instagram story as proof? And while it’s becoming much easier to snag an appointment as time goes by, there are still tons of people lurking on social media wondering, “How did that person manage to get their vaccine before me?”
These types of questions came to a head when select celebrities became among the first to receive their shots in the early days of the vaccine. Folks like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Martha Stewart, and Tony Bennett boasted their vaccinations on their social channels and received mixed reactions. Many wondered if these big names were receiving special treatment considering there are so many essential workers who may need the vaccine more than someone who has enough money to stay at home all day.
Today was a good day. I have never been happier to wait in a line. If you’re eligible, join me and sign up to get your vaccine. Come with me if you want to live! pic.twitter.com/xJi86qQNcm
— Arnold (@Schwarzenegger) January 20, 2021
Some of these stars were quick to defend themselves, pointing out that their age or other health reasons made them eligible just like others during that phase. And while it is completely fair that some people felt like they were being pushed to the back of the line when they may need the vaccine more than someone else, most quickly realized celebrities weren’t the problem.
Since most areas of the country have opened vaccine eligibility beyond essential workers and those who are immunocompromised, other celebrities like Britney Spears, Mariah Carey, and Ryan Reynolds have chosen to receive their shots and record it on social media. And most have received overwhelmingly positive responses for their efforts to normalize the vaccine and encourage others to receive their own once available.
But these big-name endorsements have brought out equally as many anti-vaxxers. A quick glance at many of these celebrity accounts will show disgust, outrage, and distrust throughout the comments. Some have wondered if these types of comments are part of the reason so much misinformation is circulating on the platform. Could it be as simple as certain stars bringing out more trolls than others due to their diverse audiences?
Given that millions of people are now fully vaccinated, it’s probably safe to say that this celebrity marketing isn’t hurting efforts, despite bouts of criticism—and it’s quite possible that it could be helping. And while that makes it sound like they’ve been hired by “big pharma” to trick us common folk, the odds are that they’re just empathetic people who are trying to protect themselves and their communities.
Regardless of what your favorite celebrity does or what their comment sections say, experts have been advising everyone who is able and eligible to receive a vaccine to do so. For Philadelphians who are still stuck wondering how everyone is getting vaccinated before them: All residents over 16 years old are officially eligible to register for their vaccine as of April 19.