You can have a major impact to end the COVID-19 pandemic.

Yes, you.

Over the past fourteen months, we’ve witnessed the bravery and selflessness of our medical professionals and first responders. The brightest minds have been working on vaccines, treatments, and preventative measures. We’ve seen countless neighbors helping neighbors, and sacrifices large and small to keep one another safe. Now you need to step up and tell the world you’ve been vaccinated.

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Across the United States, everyone over 16 is now eligible for the vaccine. Amazingly, a quarter of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated, and we are on track to have around half of all adults in America fully vaccinated by this time next month. Here in New Jersey, we are among the top states in terms of doses administered daily and percentage of residents who have received at least a first dose or are fully vaccinated.

While it can still be difficult to secure a vaccine appointment, we are quickly approaching the pivot point where the constraint on our recovery will not be the supply of vaccine, but individual willingness to take it.

That is where you come in. Vaccine hesitancy and skepticism are pervasive forces. They feed on fear, misinformation, and ignorance. Scientific studies, public awareness campaigns, and government officials can only do so much to convince people.

You, however, touch many lives, more than you probably realize. Family, friends, neighbors, friends on Facebook you haven’t actually seen in years, and followers on Twitter and Instragram you will never meet. Sharing your vaccine story is powerful proof that taking the vaccine is important and safe. As more and more people share that they are vaccinated, it helps set the expectation that getting vaccinated is the right thing to do and everyone is doing it, subtly encouraging others to as well.

So, if you haven’t yet, get your shot. There are many tools to help (@C19VaxxUpdates on Twitter helped me land my appointment). Then, share that selfie and tell the world you’ve been vaccinated. It is hopefully the last thing we do alone, yet all together, to end this pandemic.

Brian Andrews

Deputy Mayor, Cranford, New Jersey