Our President, Olivia Rodrigo, wants everyone to be as happy and healthy as he who must not be named. On Wednesday, Rodrigo took a special trip to the White House to meet with President Joe Biden and Dr. Anthony Fauci to film videos promoting youth vaccination. "It doesn't matter if you're young and healthy," Rodrigo says in one video, shared to the White House's Twitter account. "Getting the vaccine is about protecting yourself, your friends, and your family. Let's get vaccinated!"
Rodrigo and Biden first teased the meet-up on Instagram. The President's account shared a picture of a young Biden, captioned, "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!" Rodrigo responded. "see you tomorrow at the white house!" It's hard to think of an interaction that screams "2021" more than this one, right?
In fact, the initiative was Rodrigo's idea, said White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki. "I will say, not every 18-year-old uses their time to come do this, so we appreciate her willingness to," Psaki told reporters on Wednesday, according to CNN. Psaki added that it could be "important" for young people to hear, directly from Rodrigo herself, that "getting vaccinated is a way to keep yourself safe, a way to ensure you can see your friends, a way to ensure you can go to concerts."
It's been two months since the FDA announced that adolescents as young as 12 years old are safely able to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. "Today's action allows for a younger population to be protected from COVID-19, bringing us closer to returning to a sense of normalcy and to ending the pandemic," Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock, M.D., announced at the time. “Parents and guardians can rest assured that the agency undertook a rigorous and thorough review of all available data, as we have with all of our COVID-19 vaccine emergency use authorizations.”
According to data from the CDC, just 24.9% of Americans aged 12 to 15 have received the vaccine. The Biden Administration has said that it will prioritize outreach to teenagers, many of whom still remain skeptical: As NBC News reported, there's still a lot of misinformation spreading across social media, and some teenagers believe the vaccine is "unimportant." Others are struggling to secretly get jabbed without their anti-vaxxer parents' knowledge.
It really is, in fact, brutal out here.