Celebrities can convince skeptics by vaccinating themselves openly

Celebrities can convince skeptics by vaccinating themselves openly

Three former presidents from the United States are reluctant to openly vaccinate them. Corona Minister Hugo de Jong also indicates that he is taking the Corona vaccine publicly. Would more people be vaccinated if someone famous did so as well?

Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton are ready to set a “good example” by taking the Corona vaccine in public. In this way, skeptics can be persuaded to get vaccinated as well.

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This is not the first time that presidents have “set a good example” in matters of doubt. For example, George W. Bush’s parents took a commercial flight after the 9/11 attacks. They tried to show that the trips were safe.

But also in Nigeria, for example, where President Buhari vaccinated his grandchildren against polio in 2015. Partly because of the massive vaccination campaign by the Nigerian government, the entire continent could be liberated from polio.

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Trust and credibility

Does this also work with corona, can a known person dispel doubts about the Corona vaccine? “I think it can definitely work out,” says Bas van den Botti, professor of health economics at UvA, of past presidents: “Because these ex-presidents are seen as very wise and rational people.” They have their hands. So people trust past presidents. If they say the vaccine is safe and that I have received the vaccine, that definitely helps with the reliability of the vaccine.

But this doesn’t just apply to presidents, according to Van den Botti: “When celebrities talk about something, you see that people generally start to think positively about it. Above all, look for more information on the topic and they discover more. About it. To talk. “

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Contact a specific target group

According to health communication professor Julia Van Weir, it is still important to determine which model is chosen: “It is very important that the model matches the target group you want to reach. Imagine that you are going to use Trump as a role model here in the Netherlands. From the Dutch. This is not a model. So you have to think carefully about who you want to inform. You really need to test beforehand if this person really matches the target group. “

So, investigation can help, because it sometimes produces role models, says Van Weir. In addition, the role model does not have to be a famous Dutch person: “He could just be a very normal role model. Someone like you or me. But he has to be an attractive person.”


Celebrity experience also plays a role, according to Van den Botti: “If celebrities say something, it is more credible if they also understand the topic in question.” According to him, it does not work if you are completely against the vaccine: “These people are saying, ‘What exactly do the presidents know about the vaccine.” But it does affect the group that doubts.

Van den Botti thinks the three former presidents are taking a clever approach, as they do so with Anthony Fauci, the prominent coronavirus adviser in the United States. “They endorse Fauci’s expertise. This, along with their credibility, could enhance.” As a result, more people are likely to gain confidence.

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Provide more information

But it’s not just the celebs who pollinate themselves that matter, according to Van Weir. There should also be broader information if there is more confidence in the vaccine: “What I understand from the studies that I have read now is that a lot of people have doubts because they need additional information. You also have to try to find out. What information are people waiting for. Make sure they have that information at their disposal. “

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When they have this information, people want to know the experiences others are going through, and a role model emerges again: “The best thing is to not only show that twitch, but also observe the experiences. This is what the role model shows. What you notice. You should be. Able to follow his lead for a while, the vlogger would be a good example, “says Van Weir.

Listen to fact or fiction here.

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