The Vaccine is for Us project launch

May 11, 2021

Garfield County Public Health has launched a month-long campaign to humanize the COVID-19 illness, the process of getting vaccinated, and the protection the vaccine offers for being able to live and work safely again.

The Vaccine is for Us is a storytelling project consisting of 14 photo stories and a short two-minute video, available at online.

Funded through a National Geographic Rapid Response grant, the project was compiled for public health by longtime valley local Sylvia Johnson. Johnson, is a filmmaker and National Geographic Explorer, whose work takes her around the globe.

“I decided to take on this project because of my own observations working as a contact tracer with Garfield County Public Health during the COVID pandemic,” said Johnson. “I heard the stories and talked to the people most impacted by this disease. We hope that people can see themselves and hear their own concerns reflected in the images and words that have been shared. In the end, I hope that this project helps inspire people to get vaccinated to protect themselves and their community.”

Shot as portraits in the environment, the photo stories include families, restaurant workers, business owners, farm workers, law officers, housekeepers, medical interpreters, and students who each share what their experience with the COVID-19 pandemic has been like, and what motivated them to want to get vaccinated. The photo stories are available in Spanish and English.

“These messages and stories are for everyone,” said Johnson. “However, we especially want to build trust among our Latinx immigrant community for the vaccine’s effectiveness. The goal is to have widespread immunity through vaccination and stop this pandemic.”

Promotion of the storytelling project will run through the end of May and consists of a social media campaign and a traveling public art display showcasing the stories. A list of vaccine clinics and providers is on the Garfield County website.