TikTok user hopes Alabama contest encourages vaccine awareness

Published: Jul. 26, 2021 at 7:02 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Viral dances and prank wars are only a portion of the content posted to TikTok. The Alabama Department of Public Health launched the Vaccinate Alabama TikTok Contest in an effort to increase the number of youths vaccinated.

“I think certainly kids have grown up, especially in this age group with information from influencers,” said Dr. Karen Landers, assistant state health officer. “So it’s reasonable for us to have a way to provide this information in a format that they are accustomed to.”

Rotimi Kukoyi entered the contest with the goal of winning one of the $250 Visa gift cards. Kukoyi has 15,400 followers on the platform and said he decided to use his following for something he finds important.

“I think it’s pretty important to spread awareness in any way that I can,” Kukoyi said. “I have a small TikTok platform but it’s still something so I thought that I could use my voice to help boost vaccination efforts.”

According to the ADPH COVID-19 dashboard, in the 0-17 age group, only 5.3% are vaccinated and 24.8% of people ages 18-29 are vaccinated. Kukoyi thinks it’ll take more than incentives for more people to decide to get vaccinated.

“I think incentives are, I guess, they’re OK way to sort of motivate other people to get vaccinated but that’s not going to be the way that you’re going to reach people that really have their mind set that they’re not going to get vaccinated,” Kukoyi said.

Kukoyi said his solution would be presenting people with science and facts about the vaccines safety and effectiveness.

The contest is scheduled to end on Aug. 9.

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