With all of the talk lately about whether or not you should immunize your children, and by talk we mean people who don’t really understand the topic yelling loudly in public, its hard to tell who you should actually be listening to. One voice, however, cuts through all the rest—and it just so happens to be the one we here at GFR wholeheartedly endorse—and that is the lovable droids from Star Wars.
That’s right, C-3PO and his diminutive astromech sidekick R2-D2 want to remind all of you parents out there to get your children vaccinated. Or at least they did. Back in the mid-1980s, Lucasfilm granted the Centers for Disease Control permission to use the two as spokesbots of sorts to raise awareness of the necessity of vaccines. This vintage poster was distributed across the country to state and local health departments, and riding high on an outbreak of Star Wars fever, it was hugely popular.
According to an article in Public Health Reports:
The poster has proved to be so popular that it has entered its second printing. The posters have been used as a reward to individual children who complete the basic immunization series, as reminders to parents in doctors’ offices, hospitals, and pharmacies, and as attention grabbers in announcing mass immunization clinics at schools and shopping centers. The poster is also drawing increased attention to child health in conjunction with projects sponsored as part of the International Year of the Child celebration.
Given the recent controversy over vaccination, like the mythical claims that they are responsible for autism, perhaps Public Health departments should once again embark on a similar marketing campaign. With the impending tidal wave of Star Wars that’s already scheduled to last from now until at least 2020, there’s going to be plenty of interest. The novel Star Wars: A New Dawn, the first official addition to the canon since Disney purchased Lucasfilm, was released earlier this week, the animated series Star Wars Rebels drops in October, and with J.J. Abrams’ Star War: Episode VII looming in 2015, we’re about to be neck deep in that far, far away galaxy.
Then again, maybe they could get another celebrity spokesperson. Maybe they could see what the Guardians of the Galaxy crew is up to. What if Optimus Prime told you to get inoculated? Begrudgingly, you could even get the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on board, they’re not going away any time soon. It’s probably best to stay away from the cast of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, however, given that they were responsible for spreading a plague that decimated the human race. That’s a message you probably don’t want getting out there.