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These COVID Vaccine Ads by the Baltimore City Health Department Are Absolutely Hilarious

Ginger ale can't cure COVID, Derrick!

Filling out vaccine card

As COVID cases continue to rise and new variants emerge to ruin our plans for fall, the push to get more people to see how important vaccination is has gotten more … creative. Because why leave all the humorous attempts to get people to realize the gravity situation to us nerds on the Internet?

So here’s the actual, factual, for realsies Baltimore City Health Department’s ad campaign to illustrate why folks should schedule an appointment at their local pharmacy or wherever is offering the vaccine (because we’re well past the point of there only being spaces in two locations in like five states).

I had to double-check to make sure I was looking at it right, but yep, not only is that their vaccination campaign:

But they’ve since done an entire thread breaking down the Delta variant with this aggressive looking triangle:

But back to that vaccine campaign that went viral because a city health department has spoken directly to our need to use humor to cope with the multiple layers of this pandemic.

Baltimore’s vaccine campaign speaks directly to our (or maybe just my) love for dramatic-looking stock photos. The first ad points out how we shouldn’t be out there hanging with our besties if we’re not vaccinated, so no mimosas for you, Debra.

Debra.exe is taking a minute to process the information.


Honestly, needing to be vaccinated to go outside feels like the direction we’re going in anyway. More workplaces are making it a requirement for their employees and some public events (even if I feel like we are nowhere near ready for extremely large gatherings) are requiring attendees to be vaccinated, too. That depends on the event, of course.

The rest of the ads decide to debunk any potential leaps of logic such as using green tea, salad (that’s just a giant leaf of lettuce Conner), and ginger ale which, admittedly, leads to my favorite bit in the whole campaign.

Baltimore. Why’d you have to come at ginger ale like this? Why attack the cure-all beverage passed down from generation to generation? But alas, according to the Baltimore City Health Department, our grandmamas were right about ginger ale settling an upset stomach, but it’s not a substitute for the vaccine.

Sorry, Derrick.

You know what?

I’m fine with this campaign.

I feel like we’ve tried everything else.

It’s kinda amazing to me that we’ve had to go from “get the vaccine to protect yourself and others” to “get the vaccine and get a gift card” to “all right, bet, you HAVE to have it in order to do x, y, and z.”

Mind you, I said amazing, and not surprising. 

I’m not at all surprised that we’ve reached this point. The response to COVID is the ultimate “disappointed but not surprised” gif react. I’ve said it before, but in a lot of ways it feels like we’re right back where we started, only now we have the Delta Cut of COVID while still trying to deal with COVID itself.

So yeah, thank you Baltimore for adding to the necessary conversation, because eventually we’re gonna be making memes about our winter plans.

(Image: ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)

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Briana (she/her - bisexual) is trying her best to cosplay as a responsible adult. Her writing tends to focus on the importance of representation, whether it’s through her multiple book series or the pieces she writes. After de-transforming from her magical girl state, she indulges in an ever-growing pile of manga, marathons too much anime, and dedicates an embarrassing amount of time to her Animal Crossing pumpkin patch (it's Halloween forever, deal with it Nook)