The COVID-19 pandemic rages on and even with vaccines being rolled out for nearly a year now, there are still plenty of individuals and communities who haven’t taken up the option, either due to lack of availability, skepticism or poor understanding due to misinformation.
To emphasise the importance of getting vaccinated, and encourage those who have yet to be immunised to do so, social art and design lab Amplifier has made available to street papers a series of posters which highlight the collective benefits of receiving the vaccine.
Initially targeted at areas where vaccination rates are low by commissioning artists from those locations representing a diverse set of communities, the resulting art is universal in its message that receiving the vaccine is not only safe and not only good for the individual, but will protect those we love and care for too.
People from marginalised communities could have some well-placed misgivings about the vaccine rollout, most of which can be put down to a general mistrust of a social system that has left them behind. However, street papers have been reporting positively on those who have chosen to get the vaccine and why.
Larmarques ‘Myesha’ Smith, who sells Denver VOICE, echoed these sentiments: “Because I am immuno-compromised, it was important for me to get the vaccine to stay healthy. But also, I had misgivings about taking the vaccine. I wanted to see how others who got the vaccine reacted before I took it just because, typically, there has been mistrust with drugs like that. But if you think about it, the whole world is being vaccinated against this. That’s how polio was eradicated, so I had to take it….I had to take it.”
Earlier this year, Paul who sells The Contributor in Nashville said: “Nobody should go without the shot. Nobody. The more people get the shots, get vaccinated, the sooner [the world] can reopen [fully].”
More recently, The Big Issue Australia checked in with vaccination clinics protecting the country’s most vulnerable communities to hear their thoughts. Abdullah, a 58-year-old former rough sleeper now in secure housing, told the magazine: “I’m getting the vaccine because I figure half the population is almost done, so I might as well join in and do the right thing. If everybody did the right thing and lined up and got their jabs, pretty soon there’d be no COVID-19 to worry about in Australia. I’m doing the right thing for myself and my community.”
These posters are available for republication by INSP street papers here.
All posters courtesy of Amplifier via INSP North America.