A group of scientists recently called for the United States to create a National Vaccine Day amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

What’s going on?

The group of scientists called for a national federal holiday “to promote vaccine education, honor the health care workers and scientists who have toiled to help so many survive the pandemic and remember those who died from it,” they said in an article for STAT News.

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  • The federal holiday would be in the summer when it’s safe to happen.
  • The day “would serve as the light at the end of the tunnel, simultaneously creating a national benchmark to complete widespread vaccination campaigns and a day of opportunity for science education, social restoration and remembrance,” the group wrote.
  • Americans would be encouraged to get the COVID-19 vaccine ahead of the date so they could attend public events.
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Who is calling for this?

The group of scientists includes:

  • Stanley Plotkin, the emeritus professor of pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania.
  • Norman Baylor, former director of the Food and Drug Administration’s office of vaccines research and review.
  • Keona Wynne, a doctoral student at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
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These researchers are on the committee for National Vaccine Day. They are working with 1Day Sooner, a vaccine nonprofit, to make it happen.

  • The scientists said they also have the support of experts Dr. Richard Carmona, the 17th surgeon general of the United States, and Angela Rasmussen, a virologist at the Georgetown Center for Global Health Science & Security.

Doesn’t this already exist?

Sort of. There’s already National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM)  in August, which highlights the importance of vaccinations, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

  • “National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM) is (a) campaign held each August to highlight the importance of vaccination for people of all ages. Use NIAM to raise awareness in your practice, about why vaccines are important and how they prevent serious, sometimes deadly, diseases,” according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.