Veteran rockers Foreigner want to play for as many people as soon as possible, but first they want everyone to get vaccinated. The group dropped a video on Wednesday (Aug. 18) as part of the Ad Council’s vaccine education program, “It’s Up to You,” in which they help their fans get the answers they need to feel confident about getting the jab.
The 5:31 video coincides with the “Hot Blooded” band’s show at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium on Wednesday night, and it features singer Kelly Hansen asking the chair of the city’s COVID task force, Dr. Alex Jahangir, some very pertinent questions about what it’s going to take to get the country out of the once-again raging pandemic.
“Foreigner is proud to be part of the Ad Council & COVID Collaborative’s Vaccine Education Initiative, ‘It’s Up to You,’” Foreigner said in a statement. “As a band, we want to continue bringing our music live to all our friends and fans across the country, but we want to do it safely. We really care about our audiences, and everyone should do all they can to get the right information about all the available COVID-19 vaccines. Let’s all stay healthy! Hope to see you rockin’ down the road!”
In the clip, Hansen notes he understands that getting vaccinated against the highly transmissible virus is a personal choice, but hopes the information provided by Dr. Jahangir might help persuade the unvaxxed. Among the things Hansen asks the doctor to clear up is whether people should be concerned about the unprecedentedly rapid rollout of the vaccines that use the mRNA method to direct cells to produce copies of the “spike protein” on the outside of the coronavirus to spur the production of disease-fighting antibodies.
Normal vaccine trials enroll around 10,000 people, but Jahangir said that the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine trials each enrolled more than 30,00-40,000 people, while the Johnson & Johnson vaccine had more than 60,000 people around the world in clinical trials before approval was given. “Now take that and add the millions of people that received these vaccines since these vaccines went on the market, and we now have probably one of the most widely used vaccines that we’re collecting data on,” Jahangir said. “I actually think these vaccines have been studied very thoroughly, and the reason they came to market so quickly is because we had so many smart people focusing their energy on it and so much financial resources provided to make it happen.”
Hansen also asked the doctor to clear up the common misconceptions that there are heavy metals or fetal tissue in any of the vaccines — he said there are none — and weigh in on the increasing divide between the push to vaccinate as many Americans as possible to reach “herd immunity” versus the vaccine-hesitant population’s focus on personal freedom.
Jahangir emphasized that the vaccines are available for free to just about everyone in the country, but as a father of three children under age 12, he knows that their safety and health is dependent on the community he lives in. “And so, while freedom of choice is critical … freedom of also knowing that your neighbor will keep you safe and take care of you is equally as important to me and important to America,” he said.
As for the No. 1 thing Jahangir said he hears from doctors about unvaccinated COVID-19 patients who are hospitalized with serious illness, the doctor summed it up in one word: “regret.”
The Ad Council teamed with country stars Eric Church, Ashley McBryde and Darius Rucker in April for a similar vaccine spot.
Watch the discussion between Hansen and Jahangir below.