A woman in British Columbia is turning heads with her clever T-shirts that are meant to encourage and support COVID-19 immunizations.
Coralynn Gehl says she came up with the idea several months ago when the province first began giving doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to residents in long-term care homes and assisted living. She would joke with her friends about how she wanted her neighbours to put signs in front of their homes once they had been vaccinated — that way she could drive around and (safely) give them a hug once she got her shot.
“From that conversation, I started thinking about the idea of sharing that you’ve been vaccinated,” Gehl tells Daily Hive in an interview. “I knew that eventually, we’d come to a point, where I think we are right now, where everybody who wants to be vaccinated has been or has an appointment to be.”
The West Vancouver resident realized, however, that many people were still on the fence about receiving an immunization.
“There are people on the fence. I really started to think about the subtle social proof — people who might be on the fence seeing people with T-shirts and thinking, ‘Hey, people really are being vaccinated.'”
She added that there’s a “big difference” between seeing statistics on the news and seeing how many people in a community have actually received an immunization. Another big factor was the sense of teamwork and community that was required during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I feel as if we’ve all been through so much together and now we get to share the fact that we went and got this shot.”
The vaccination T-shirts went on sale in late April and have been a hit, with witty sayings like “Vaccinated AF,” “#GenXZeneca,” “Pfizer Pfamily,” and “Older and Pfizer.”
“My son came up with ‘Vaccinated AF,'” she says, adding that her personal favourite is a T-shirt that says “Vaccinated (because I’m not an a**hole).”
Gehl tells Daily Hive that she doesn’t have a background in clothing production, so creating these T-shirts is something she had to learn from the ground up. Her hope is that even just a few people are encouraged to get immunized after seeing these shirts.
“I’m so happy that people are picking it up and sharing. If even a handful of people decide to get their shot because they see the T-shirts or their friends are talking about them, I’ll be so happy. That’s my ultimate goal.”