RTs from Mount Sinai show their support for Dr. Arsht’s “This Jab’s For You” campaign.
Since early last year, the COVID-19 pandemic has cost more than 500,000 lives and upended just about everything in our world. But with three vaccines now rolling out across the country, hope is on the horizon. The key to realizing that hope is to get as many shots in arms as possible.
That’s the end goal behind a new social media campaign called This Jab’s For You. The concept is simple: print out a campaign poster, write in who or what you’re getting vaccinated for, then snap a picture and share it on social media.
Orthopedic surgeon Steven Arsht, MD, started the campaign to honor the memory of his brother-in-law, Louis Sarrel. Sarrel lost his battle with the virus last April. The campaign is reaching out to health care professionals in particular, and Dr. Arsht is personally asking RTs to participate.
“Respiratory therapists focus on helping people breathe and were an instrumental part of the health care team treating coronavirus patients,” said the physician, who directed the prone team in the ICU at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City throughout the pandemic.
“Their expertise in assessing blood gases, assisting with intubations and bronchoscopies, and specializing in ventilator management was invaluable, and they were responsible for saving many lives.” He says he would not have been able to do his job as efficiently or as safely as he did without the help of RTs.
Dr. Arsht believes RTs can leverage the influence they’ve gained during the pandemic to get the word out about the importance of getting vaccinated through his This Jab’s For You Campaign on social media.
“The community understands the sacrifices made by the respiratory therapists during this pandemic and have great respect for their role in preserving life,” he said. “As trusted members of the medical community, their message will resonate with people.”
Who or what you decide to pay tribute to on your “This Jab’s For You” posts is totally up to you.
“This time means different things to different people,” Dr. Arsht said. “It may be a time to rejoice and celebrate life and a new beginning, a time to remember those we lost, or pay tribute to someone that did something special for you during the pandemic.”
The point is to share a positive message that will help shape the vaccine narrative in the community and show that getting vaccinated is something everyone should consider. You never know who will see your post and be inspired to go out and get vaccinated themselves.
When Steven Arsht got his first COVID vaccine, he wore this shirt in memory of his late brother-in-law, who died from the virus last April. As he reflected on the experience, he thought, “Louis, this jab’s for you,” and a new campaign to promote the COVID vaccinations was born.
Dr. Arsht believes posts made by health care professionals from diverse backgrounds may especially resonate in communities where vaccine hesitancy is largest.
“Our health care system and hospital staff is a diverse, multicultural community, and in many ways, a microcosm of America,” he noted. “By posting their experience and sharing their story and tribute with their friends and family and others in the community, the world will see respected health care professionals supporting the vaccine . . . and the world will see more people that ‘look like them’ participating and therefore have a greater enthusiasm for getting the jab themselves.”
Any time is a good time to post
What if you’ve already gotten your shots? While many people post on the day of their vaccine, Dr. Arsht says people are also posting after the fact. For RTs who already received their vaccination, that is the perfect option.
“They can still hold up the yellow heart with a written tribute and type out a message on the social media post,” he said. “Doing so lets the world know that they believe in the vaccine.”
So take a few moments to print out the yellow heart and write in the person, people, or thing you want to honor with your own personal jab. Snap a photo, then post it to all your social media accounts using the tags @thisjabsforyou and #thisjabsforyou. You can share your photos on the This Jab’s For You website too.
Dr. Arsht believes your posts will promote vaccination and add to the growing attention on the respiratory care profession throughout the pandemic.
“By increasing public awareness of the instrumental role the respiratory therapist fills on the health care team, perhaps this will inspire others to follow in their footsteps and choose a career in respiratory therapy,” he said.
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