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Former Presidents Obama, Bush, And Clinton Offer To Get COVID-19 Vaccines On TV

Vaccine hesitancy has become an unlikely scourge in recent years thanks to the spread of online disinformation. However, vaccines are a public health necessity, saving countless lives every year, and protecting those for whom vaccines aren't effective or safe through herd immunity.

Much has been made during the global COVID-19 pandemic about vaccines and herd immunity, but to be clear, there is no such thing as herd immunity without a vaccine.

Look at what happened with measles, for example. Without a vaccine, it ran rampant and people died or were terribly sickened, often left with a lifelong condition as well, such as hearing loss. When a vaccine was developed, people stopped getting sick and dying. When people stopped getting vaccinated against measles, they started getting sick and dying again.

And so former presidents Obama, Bush, and Clinton have volunteered to get vaccinated in public, on TV, as soon as it's approved and available, to prove it's safe and foster public trust.

There has been far too much misinformation and disinformation and conspiracy theories floating around regarding potential COVID-19 vaccines, and the former presidents are once again stepping forward to do their duty to the American people.

"I promise you that when it’s been made for people who are less at risk, I will be taking it," Obama told SiriusXM's Joe Madison. "I may end up taking it on TV or having it filmed, just so that people know that I trust this science. What I don't trust is getting Covid."

Obama did acknowledge that vaccine hesitancy might be a particular issue for some communities with good reason, however.

"I understand you know historically -- everything dating back all the way to the Tuskegee experiments and so forth -- why the African American community, would have some skepticism," he said in the interview. "But the fact of the matter is, is that vaccines are why we don't have polio anymore, the reason why we don't have a whole bunch of kids dying from measles and smallpox and diseases that used to decimate entire populations and communities."

Former president Bush has been trying to find ways to show his support for the vaccines for some time.

As CNN reported, Bush's chief of staff, Freddy Ford, has been in contact with Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx about promoting vaccines and vaccination efforts.

"A few weeks ago President Bush asked me to let Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx know that, when the time is right, he wants to do what he can to help encourage his fellow citizens to get vaccinated," Ford told CNN. "First, the vaccines need to be deemed safe and administered to the priority populations. Then, President Bush will get in line for his, and will gladly do so on camera."

Former president Clinton's press secretary told CNN that he's on board as well.

"President Clinton will definitely take a vaccine as soon as available to him, based on the priorities determined by public health officials," Angel Urena told CNN. "And he will do it in a public setting if it will help urge all Americans to do the same."

As it stands, not enough people are currently intending to get vaccinated in the U.S. to ensure herd immunity.

Experts say at least 70% of the population will have to have immunity to COVID-19, either through vaccines or through surviving the disease, to achieve herd immunity. However, a poll from YouGov shows that just 50% of the population is willing to be vaccinated — a number that has at least been rising.

So, perhaps the efforts of high profile figures like the former presidents will help that number continue to rise.

h/t: CNN

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