LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — They are showing up in our timelines and friend feeds -- photos of people with their selves rolled up after a COVID vaccine. And it turns out the selfies are providing a powerful safety message.
From Facebook to Twitter and Instagram, the shot selfies are out there with healthcare workers among the first with access to get the COVID vaccines.
"I got my second dose this past Wednesday and I have taken pictures," said Andrea Garcia, a registered nurse. "I insisted somebody else take the pictures, but there are a lot of selfies."
Garcia documented the powerful, monumental but sobering moment with the pictures and she plans to post them.
"I am seeing these kinds of things not only in the United States but in other countries as well, getting a vaccine is a big thing for people," said Dr. Johan Bester the director of bioethics at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Dr. Bester says the pictures pouring into friend feeds are key to helping spread awareness about safety and stomping out disinformation and conspiracy theories.
"One of the tools that we have to combat this, as everyday people take pictures of themselves," explained Dr. Bester. "It normalizes the idea that we get vaccines. I think it's a good thing."
The shot selfies have even given way to the hashtag #RUvaccinated.
"I actually had many colleagues, they had posted their own selfies and I had quite a bit of FOMO, or, fear of missing out," explained Dr. Christina Madison with Roseman University.
Dr. Madison snapped a few pics for the 'gram and even had an outfit picked out for the occasion, but when the opportunity for the shot came it was too fast.
"Unfortunately, I didn't get to wear my vaccine outfit," she said. "But [it was] overwhelmingly positive."
"Lots of people commenting saying they really appreciated my advocacy as a woman of color as well as a healthcare professional," said Dr. Madison.
"I thought it was really important for me to document my vaccine journey," she added.
The shot selfies come as promising news is emerging involving the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine under development.
The single-shot dose is seen as a real game-changer in turning the tide against the disease.
"A vaccine from Johnson and Johnson is being developed and we are watching the process closely as phase 3 clinical trial data is published," said Candice McDaniel, the health bureau chief for the Bureau of Child, Family and Community Wellness for the state of Nevada.
State health leaders say they will be ready to deliver the vaccine as soon as it is approved by federal regulators.
According to Johnson and Johnson, their vaccine has shown to be 72% effective in studies within the United States and up to 85% effective in preventing the most serious COVID-19 symptoms, hospitalizations and even death.
The vaccine does not need to be kept nearly as cold as other vaccines and Johnson and Johnson is confident the company can produce one billion doses by the end of 2021.
A note about the shot selfies, make sure you get permission before snapping them because not every clinic will allow them due to privacy reasons.