Is there some benefit to people publicly trumpeting it once they’ve been vaccinated, say, by donning stickers, buttons, bumper stickers, etc.?


A: Yes, tasteful trumpeting could improve COVID-19 vaccination uptake by activating behavioral pathways.

Images and stories are powerful tools in motivating social behavior. Stickers and other public displays of individual behavior can promote collective action (Think “I Voted” stickers). When trumpeting your vaccine, remain respectful of others with different perspectives and those who continue to wait for their dose.

Visuals of people from all walks of life receiving the COVID-19 vaccination can normalize the activity and motivate others. While this strategy is hard to test in clinical trials, we do know that photos in particular convey messages sometimes lost in words alone. Images portray action and emotion quickly and vividly, complementing existing knowledge and attitudes for a given behavior. Vaccination images can covey additional power when the person is someone we love, trust, or respect. Consider sharing a photo AND the reasons why you got vaccinated.

Vaccination works best at a population level with high levels of participation which requires individual action. Stickers, bumper stickers, buttons, and related swag (additional ideas welcome in the comments) can signal collective action around a common purpose. A great example – “I Voted” stickers. To get the sticker you must actually vote. Rocking your “sticker” portrays to the outside world that you have contributed to a common cause. When others see your sticker, they are reminded of their need to act and may seek their badge of belonging. Stickers and swag are effective for people “on the fence” about participation in a desired behavior. Stickers will not correct access barriers, inequitable distribution, or mistrust of COVID-19 vaccines and need targeted, behaviorally informed strategies of their own to reach high levels of vaccination in all communities.

When trumpeting about your vaccine, a few things to remember.

– Keep your vaccination card to yourself. No need to share a photo of your personal information.

– Needles freak some people out. Refrain from posting the “action shot”. (pun 100% intended)

– Focus on you. Expressing why something is meaningful to you is far more powerful than telling others what they should do.

– Wait your turn. Vaccines remain in short supply. Follow regional guidelines on priority vaccination groups.

– Patience! Vaccines take 2 weeks from the final dose to fully activate the immune system. Wait the whole *14 DAYS* before participating in permitted activities for vaccinated individuals.

With Love,
Those Nerdy Girls

Additional Reading:

Social Science and the COVID-19 Vaccines – American Psychological Association

Why ‘I Voted’ Stickers matter – The Atlantic

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