US Vice President Kamala Harris urged people to get vaccinated in order to save lives during VAX LIVE: The Concert to Reunite the World on Saturday.
Her message echoed similar words of encouragement from President Joe Biden, who spoke alongside First Lady Jill Biden earlier in the broadcast. The appearances reinforced the Biden administration’s “We Can Do This” campaign, which seeks to address vaccine hesitancy and ensure communities have the right public health resources to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Today, we have a vaccine,” Harris said. “And thanks to the ingenuity of scientists, the hard work of manufacturers, and the dedication of health care workers, people around the world are getting vaccinated, and in so doing, are saving lives.
“If you are already vaccinated, thank you for stepping up,” she added. “If you’re not, please, when it’s your turn, make the time, roll up your sleeves, and get your shot. We can do this. We must do this. It is our responsibility as Global Citizens.”
More than 45% of the US population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and the Biden administration wants to reach 70% by July 4, the point at which herd immunity would begin to take effect.
When enough people in a community are either vaccinated or have antibodies against a virus, the virus’ ability to spread diminishes, along with its threat level.
Because of the constantly evolving nature of COVID-19, ongoing outbreaks across the country, and widespread vaccine hesitancy, scientists fear that herd immunity will never be reached in the US.
In recent weeks, the pace of vaccinations has slowed across the US, even as vaccine supplies remain robust. The Biden administration’s “We Can Do This” campaign seeks to kickstart a fresh wave of vaccinations and communicate the benefits of herd immunity.
However, resistance to the vaccine remains strong. Roughly 1 in 5 Americans say they will not get vaccinated, according to a survey by Monmouth University.
During VAX LIVE, Harris called on people to recognize that getting vaccinated isn’t just about keeping yourself safe. It’s also about protecting your loved ones and the broader community.
“Throughout this terrible pandemic, we have seen so much loss, loss of life, loss of jobs, loss of normalcy,” she said. “If we have gained anything, it is a reminder of the responsibility we have as a global community. To see one another, to support one another. And to protect one another.”
As part of Global Citizen’s Recovery Plan for the World campaign, VAX LIVE: The Concert to Reunite the World brought together artists, entertainers, world leaders, and more to ensure equitable vaccine distribution around the world, tackle COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy, and celebrate a hopeful future.
You can still catch the concert on the Global Citizen YouTube channel and on various channels and platforms. Be sure to join us in taking action to end the pandemic and ensure that everyone, everywhere has access to COVID-19 vaccines. Then, head to our multimedia hub VAX BECAUSE to join candid conversations about the pandemic and find answers to your biggest questions about the vaccines.
Want to take home part of the show? Check out our VAX LIVE merch at the Global Citizen official store.