A local father and son are hoping their silicone bracelets start a movement that will encourage more people to get the COVID-19 vaccine when it's their turn.
Keith Willerman and his son Alec say they've sold thousands of their "Vaccinated and Proud" bracelets across the country in a little more than a month.
The idea is that vaccinated people wear the bracelets and signal to others that they're safe.
“We are concerned a great deal about the number of people where there’s pushback on getting vaccinated,” Alec Willerman said.
“I know lots of people who have had COVID. I’ve had friends who’ve had family members who have actually passed away,” Keith Willerman said.
A silicone wrist accessory is nothing new but this one has a different design and shape, and it's speaking volumes, the Willermans said.
“These people who are concerned with vaccine safety, they see around them, 'Wow, all these people got vaccinated and it was healthy for them. It was a safe decision to make. Maybe, you know what, I also want to do my part. And I want to get vaccinated as well,” Alec Willerman explained.
The family believes a non-verbal social cue like wearing a bracelet can ease anxiety for people and might encourage more people to get vaccinated.
“If that’s the difference between beating COVID-19 and not, I just feel like it’s an honor to be involved in something like that,” Alec Willerman said.
The Willermans are looking for corporate sponsors or any help to promote their product. The ultimate goal is to get local governments and healthcare providers to hand the bracelets out after administering vaccines.
So far the only negative feedback they’ve gotten:
“'I don’t like the color of the bracelet. You know what? This is not fancy enough, I want something fancier,” Keith Willerman said.
The Willermans feel they've found a new way to normalize the discussion about vaccines.
“We are really trying to get some unity in our country right now. I mean if everyone is wearing the same bracelet, that’s gonna show America we are strong, we are proud and we are going to be getting back to our normal lives,” Keith Willerman said.
If you are interested in a bracelet or volunteering, visit the Vax Proud Website.