“Roll Up Our Sleeves” Viral Video Aims to Allay Fears and Galvanize Doubtful Citizens

LONG BEACH, Calf., Feb. 25, 2021 — With 30 percent of the U.S. population still admitting they won’t or may not get the vaccine, physicians across the country are joining forces in a viral video initiative inciting Americans to “roll up our sleeves together” and help stop the spread of COVID-19.

Feeling a duty to their patients — and fellow Americans in general — physicians representing more than 50 communities from Syracuse, New York, to Honolulu, Hawaii, created the “Roll up Our Sleeves” website and video campaign to educate those who are expressing doubt or opposition and urge everyone that “it’s time” to get vaccinated and help stop the spread of COVID-19.

Already, COVID-19 has taken the lives of 500,000 Americans and over two million people worldwide.  Despite this staggering and growing number, a recent poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Research shows about one in three Americans definitely or probably will not get a vaccine.

“As physicians, we are deeply concerned about continued vaccine hesitancy across the country,” says Ben Kornitzer, M.D., Chief Medical and Quality Officer for agilon health, an organization that champions the roles of independent physician practices.  “While we encourage all patients to get vaccinated, we feel compelled to do something on a larger scale to urge patients to create herd immunity, which ultimately will stop the infection and help save lives.”

‘Herd immunity,’ or ‘population immunity,’ happens when a population is immune either through vaccination or immunity developed through the previous infection.  The World Health Organization recommends creating herd immunity by vaccination.  Anthony D. Fauci, M.D., Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and Advisor to the Biden Administration, reports that 70 to 85 percent of the U.S. population would have to be vaccinated in order to obtain herd immunity.

The “Roll Up Our Sleeves” campaign is a combined effort of primary care physicians representing more than 50 independent physician practices across the country and agilon health. Their goal is to combat the doubt felt by an alarming percentage of Americans who say they have no plans to get vaccinated.

Reasons for the opposition are varied, ranging from concerns about safety and effectiveness to the belief that the vaccine has not been thoroughly tested.  For people of color, who have made up nearly 60 percent of COVID-19 hospitalizations in the U.S., the message is especially urgent. According to research released by the Kaiser Family Foundation, 35 percent of black Americans have expressed hesitancy towards getting vaccinated.

The ““Roll Up Our Sleeves” video highlights the effectiveness of vaccinations over the past century, such as polio, mumps, and measle vaccines, which have wiped out infections and drastically reduced mortality rates.  The website contains information about the effectiveness of the vaccine, side effects, phases of eligibility, tips about how to sign up for vaccines, and resources for healthcare professionals.