Could Boston be getting a 'vaccine day' holiday?

·3-min read
Joe Biden got his covid-19 shot in January.

Health professionals are calling on the city's incoming interim mayor to establish a one-off "vaccine day," a day when, instead of going to work, the city's residents can go get their covid-19 shot and celebrate vaccination. It could prove a useful way for the medical world to convince the most hesitant individuals to get vaccinated and to help stamp out covid-19.

Could Boston be about to get a "vaccine holiday"? The US city could establish a public holiday to celebrate "humanity's great achievement in rapidly developing powerful vaccines to defeat the coronavirus."

In an open letter to the city's incoming acting mayor, Kim Janey, published March 17, health professionals call for the city to establish a one-off vaccine holiday. The aim is to educate participants about vaccination in an honest and transparent way, while "positively associating it with a much-needed day of entertainment and social restoration," the letter explains, suggesting that the celebration should be held "in the early summer."

The letter is signed by around 40 health professionals, including David Martin, CEO of the Massachusetts Health Council. And this isn't the only initiative of the kind, because in early March, four surgeons addressed a similar letter to US president Joe Biden, calling for a national vaccine day.

55% of Americans intend to get vaccinated

This action could promote vaccine uptake among skeptics. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, just 55% of Americans intend to get a covid-19 vaccine. In the US, there are fears that the virus could come back in a big way unless the country has "80-plus percent of the population vaccinated before next winter,” Dr Paul Offit, a member of the Food and Drug Administration's vaccine advisory committee, told NBC News.

Raising awareness about vaccination can help convince the most hesitant or skeptical people to take the plunge and join the collective effort. And that's something that many famous people have understood, with "vaccine selfies" multiplying on social media. Still, stars going public with vaccination isn't a new concept, since Elvis Presley got a polio shot on national TV all the way back in 1956 -- an act that helped drive vaccination among young people.

In 2021, Dolly Parton, Jeff Goldblum, Jane Fonda, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Joan Jett, are just some of the stars sharing their experiences of covid-19 vaccination on social media. Even the former US president, Donald Trump -- who had previously given scant attention to the question of vaccination -- broke his silence on the matter last week. "I would recommend it and I would recommend it to a lot of people that don't want to get it and a lot of those people voted for me, frankly," he told Fox News. "It is a great vaccine. It is a safe vaccine and it is something that works," he continued. At the same time, it transpired that Donald Trump had discreetly been vaccinated before leaving the Oval Office. Maybe that could help win over the 50% of Republican men who say they don't want the vaccine.

Louis Tardy