Jon Chapman isn’t turning into a mutant.
The 38-year-old medical laboratory scientist from Iowa City got his firstthe Monday before Christmas, and aside from a sore arm, he felt fine. Since then, he hasn’t grown a tail, he doesn’t have scales and — so far — there’s no sign of wings. He wanted his friends and family to know this.
“I really felt the message should be out there that people you know, people you trust, your friends, your family members are getting the vaccine” Chapman said. “It is safe. It is effective. It’s a good thing for yourself, and it’s a good thing for society in general.”
Chapman is far from alone. Open Instagram, Twitter or Facebook these days and you’re likely to see photos of people, in masks with their sleeves rolled up, getting stuck in the arm, or holding up small rectangles of paper with their vaccine info.
Some post the photos in hopes of opening a dialogue with followers who question the vaccine. Others just want to share a moment that’s been long in coming, a symbol of hope that life could return to some semblance of normalcy one day.
The photos come from all over the world — from the US to England, Morocco to Jordan. Famous faces are even getting in on the trend, including Patrick Stewart, Anthony Hopkins, Martha Stewart, , Joan Collins, and Sean Penn, as well as political leaders like President Joe Biden and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Despite the fact that COVID-19 has killed more than 400,000 people in the US alone, according to Johns Hopkins, not everyone is clamoring to roll up their sleeves.
In a survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation, only 71% said they would definitely get the vaccine. Remaining respondents said they either probably wouldn’t or definitely wouldn’t get vaccinated, citing reasons like side effects, and concerns that the vaccine is too new and the government can’t ensure its safety. Getting folks vaccinated is important, though. According to the Cleveland Clinic, a 100-year-old medical center, responsible for breakthroughs like coronary artery bypass surgery, about 50% to 80% of the population needs to be vaccinated to reach the herd immunity threshold. Herd immunity is the idea that when a certain percentage of the population becomes immune, spreading the disease is less likely, even to those who haven’t been vaccinated.
Meanwhile, misinformation about vaccines has been running rampant for years. But while false information can feel like a can’t-get-the-toothpaste-back-in-the-tube situation, some people are hoping that doing something as…