It might come as a surprise to some folks, but Big Bird isn’t the first celebrity vaccine advocate!
In fact, this isn’t even the first time that Big Bird has advocated for vaccines!
Big Bird Isn’t the First Celebrity Vaccine Advocate
Remember when Big Bird got his measles vaccine?
Wait, why was Big Bird advocating for measles vaccines in 1972?
You likely don’t remember, but this was just after the first measles vaccines were introduced and was at a time when we still had over 30,000 cases of measles in the United States and 24 deaths!
While this was down from the pre-vaccine era, when there were up to 500,000 cases of measles and 500 deaths each year, with a safe and effective vaccine available, advocates worked to continue to lower cases and get every child vaccinated and protected.
But again, Big Bird wasn’t the first celebrity vaccine advocate…
Before the campaign to end measles in the 1970s, there was the fight to stop polio! From Grace Kelly to Elvis and Marilyn Monroe, stars lined up to support the efforts of the March of Dimes to end polio, with celebrity comedian Eddie Cantor leading the way.
And before that?
Lewis Carroll (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson) who is best known for writing Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass, had an ongoing correspondence published in the Eastbourne Chronicle (1877) in which he refuted the claims of Mr W Hume-Rothery that the smallpox vaccine “was causing smallpox in large numbers of people” and discredited the value of vaccination in preventing smallpox.
There are also plenty of times that characters in TV shows and movies advocated for vaccines.
Remember when Gil and Rowdy (Rawhide) got exposed to smallpox and had to leave the herd to find smallpox vaccine?
Or when Dr. Janet Craig, with nurses Billie Jo, Bobbie Jo and Betty Jo, got everyone in the valley (Petticoat Junction) vaccinated against the flu to prevent an epidemic, including Jasper Tweedy and his whole clan.
Even Mister Rogers advocated for vaccines on his show!
These celebrities understand that they can use their celebrity status and influence to help save lives by advocating for vaccines and getting children and adults vaccinated and protected.
More on Celebrity Vaccine Advocates
- Vaccines on TV and in the Movies
- A History of Measles Outbreaks in United States
- Did the Measles Vaccine Have Only a Meager Effect on Deaths?
- How Misinformed and Irresponsible Parents Led to Outbreaks of Smallpox
- What Ronald Reagan Can Teach Us About Vaccine Policy
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- Star Wars and Vaccines
- Vaccine Schedules from the 1940s to 2019
- Where Are All of the Vaccine Advocates?
- How to Become a Vaccine Advocate
- What Did Benjamin Franklin Say About Vaccines?
- Big Bird talks to Dr. Gupta about Covid-19 vaccine fears
- Celebrities Have Influence on Vaccination
- NHS to enlist ‘sensible’ celebrities to persuade people to take coronavirus vaccine
- 18 Celebrities and Politicians Who Have Gotten the COVID-19 Vaccine
- When Celebrities Speak: A Nationwide Twitter Experiment Promoting Vaccination in Indonesia
- Celebrities’ impact on health-related knowledge, attitudes, behaviors, and status outcomes: protocol for a systematic review, meta-analysis, and meta-regression analysis