COVID Vaccine- State Extension of Vaccine Eligibility


Source: Google’s commercial “Get back to what you love”

Get back to what you love- Google’s Vaccine ad and State’s extension of vaccine eligibility

Taewan Park

We can all relate that once any commercial plays while you are watching your favorite youtube video, we can’t simply wait until the “Skip Ads” button pops up and skip it right away. However, Google’s recent minute-long commercial has left me watching the entire commercial without skipping it.

Google’s commercial “Get back to what you love.”

The commercial starts with the word “quarantine” written in google’s search bar with an emotional piano note, then erases the word letter by letter. As a few words that are familiar to us due to the pandemic like “social distancing” and “lockdown” get erased sequentially, the music becomes uplifting and hopeful. We can hear ambient noises of crowds and transportations as “Virtual happy hour” gets edited back to “Happy hour” and “Temporarily closed” to “Open.” Finally, the word “pandemic” gets erased and a short yet powerful sentence is written on the screen: “Get back to what you love.” The commercial ends with “covid vaccine near me” on google’s search bar.

Get back to what you love- we can all resonate with this sentence because we’ve all had to leave something behind due to the pandemic. And as we saw each word that restricted us such as “quarantine” and “social distancing” gets erased, Google built a strong end note of hope that allows us to look forward to “normal life” with COVID-19 vaccination. Locally, the state of North Carolina has pushed this hope further allowing us to expect the “normal life” more sooner. 

Starting on April 7th, Governor Roy Cooper and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services widened the range of eligibility of COVID-19 vaccination to anyone above the age of 16. Prior to this recent decision, only healthcare workers, adults at high risk, and frontline essential workers (Groups 1~3) were eligible for COVID-19 vaccination. The extension of eligibility now applies to many of us as a significant number of high school students are 16 and older. In this current climate, many citizens are getting vaccinated in hope of going back to “normal” life after more than a year of pandemic. In fact, as of today, more than 5.5 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine were administered in North Carolina, covering over 20% of the population as fully vaccinated (Information retrieved from Google’s statistical data).

While the vaccines are in high demand due to the extension of eligibility in North Carolina, finding and scheduling a vaccination appointment is made easy with just a few clicks with many sources and websites that provide information about vaccines and where to get them. NC Department of Health and Human Services provides tools for finding the availability of vaccines and local sites such as Walgreens and CVS Pharmacy. The official website of Wake County Public health also provides vaccine appointments with an online form and phone calls which I personally used to schedule my appointment. Above all, simply search “covid vaccine near me” on google to find general resources for vaccine location. 

Infographic of how the vaccination process works provided by Wake County Public Health

Here are resource/websites you can find availability and schedule COVID-19 Vaccine:

It is still hard to embrace the fact that the global pandemic has been hindering our daily lives for more than a year. Increased administration and the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines and thus the prevention of the spread of the COVID-19 are giving us a reason to look forward to “normal life.” Google writes: “While there’s still uncertainty ahead, the vaccine gives us reason for hope.”