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NBC will be hosting an hour-long vaccination special on Sunday titled “Roll Up Your Sleeves,” in a bid to raise awareness and encourage Americans to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
“Nearly 100 million people across the U.S. have already received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine — and now Michelle Obama and a few famous friends will do their part to encourage the rest of the country to get their shots,” reported NBC’s “Today” show.
Presented by Walgreens, the special will feature former first lady Michelle Obama, Oscar-winning actor Matthew McConaughey, and “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda.
“Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and Chief Medical Adviser to the President, will be interviewed by Matthew McConaughey. Viewers will hear from Dr. Fauci on separating fact from fiction about the vaccines and urging all Americans to do their part in getting the vaccine when eligible,” according to a press release from Walgreens.
“Audiences will be treated to comedy acts, informative packages, captivating real-life stories and heartwarming surprises,” the press release added.
According to Deadline, the vaccination special will be hosted by NFL star Russel Wilson and musician Ciara, who are married to one another. Jennifer Lopez, Shaquille O’Neal, Charles Barkley, and Billy Crystal will also be featured.
“The ability to get people back to work and kids back in school, getting us reunited with family and friends and attending concerts, sporting events and many other activities we hold dear is contingent upon people getting vaccinated,” said Matthew Segal, the Co-Founder of ATTN:, the organization that created this event. “At ATTN: we believe in the power of entertainment to inform audiences, and we’re thrilled to partner with NBC, Civic Nation, Walgreens and many great public figures and performers to get out this critical message.”
Roz Brewer, CEO of Walgreens Boots Alliance, said that “trusted voices” could help “dispel myths surrounding vaccinations.”
“Bringing together trusted voices, including celebrities, community leaders and our pharmacists, we can help answer questions and dispel myths surrounding vaccinations and ensure that the U.S. emerges from this very challenging time as quickly as possible,” said Brewer.
The hour-long special is executive produced by Tom Werner, Valerie Jarrett, Matthew Segal, Jarrett Moreno, Taye Shuayb, Jessie Surovell, Mike Vainisi, Audrey Morrissey, Ivan Dudynsky, and Chad Hines.
This is not the first time celebrities have been leveraged as a trusted resource regarding the COVID-19 vaccine.
“I’m not a doctor, but I trust science,” actor Morgan Freeman said in a public service announcement he cut for Creative Coalition, a nonprofit arts advocacy group, earlier in April. “And I’m told that, for some reason, people trust me.”
“So here I am to say, I trust science and I got the vaccine,” he continued. “If you trust me, you’ll get the vaccine. In math, it’s called the distributive property. In people, it’s called taking care of one another. Get the vaccine. Help make our world a safe place for us to enjoy ourselves again. Please?”
Freeman joined a long list of public figures who have advocated for their followers to receive one of the new COVID-19 vaccines, such as Sir Ian McKellen, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Steve Martin, Samuel L. Jackson, and Martha Stewart. Singer Dolly Parton changed the words of her hit song “Joline” to “vaccine” to promote them to her many fans. Singer Bette Midler told Jimmy Kimmel that she would be having “tons of anonymous sex” after her two-week wait for the vaccine.