Several weeks ago, NFL star Travis Kelce was featured in a Pfizer commercial for the updated COVID-19 vaccine. Media personalities claimed Kelce was “leading people to their slaughter” by promoting the vaccine. Another NFL star, Aaron Rodgers, mocked Kelce on a popular football show, advocating against the COVID-19 vaccine and calling Kelce “Mr. Pfizer.” Kelce addressed the comments, stating that he stands by promoting the vaccine. Rodgers has publicly called for Kelce to debate him about the safety of the COVID-19 vaccine on television. Social media users are sharing widespread criticism of each player.
Risk level: HighRecommendation: Rodgers’ statements and some social media posts surrounding this controversy promote the false narrative that the COVID-19 vaccine is unsafe. While conversations about this controversy may not arise in a clinical setting, it is recommended doctors be prepared to answer questions about vaccine safety and efficacy. Talking points may emphasize that the benefits of vaccination outweigh the risks for all age groups and that staying up to date on COVID-19 vaccines prevents severe illness and death.