Rampage has a COVID message for you


If grandma or grandpa are a bit resistant about getting the coronavirus vaccine, maybe it’s time to introduce them to Rampage.

The city’s aging department introduced the animated character — a personified likeness of the SARS-CoV-2 virus itself — last week as part of a new campaign to convince older residents it’s time to protect themselves with a shot.

In one commercial, Rampage jumps inside someone’s body and quickly begins reproducing, making it clear how vulnerable people are without the vaccine. Rampage also shares his kryptonite: doctors. Because they know his weakness.

The public service announcements end with the hope viewers will “give the vaccine another thought,” and to “talk to a doctor.”

“The character may seem benign, but it’s a monster and deadly — just like COVID-19,” said Lorraine Cortés-Vázquez, the aging department’s commissioner, in a release. “This campaign will deliver a critical message: Speak with a doctor, ask your questions, raise your concerns, get all the facts you need so you can feel confident about getting vaccinated.”

The city estimates that 20 percent of older residents are not vaccinated, despite their increased vulnerability to the worst effects of the virus.

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