“Getting a COVID-19 vaccination can protect you, your family and community and help end the pandemic.” To promote vaccination in Alabama, a TikTok contest for persons between the ages of 13 and 29 sponsored by the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) in July encouraged students to submit videos urging fellow students to get vaccinated before returning to school.

Allie Loehr, a third semester nursing student, has a penchant for creating “goofy” TikTok videos. “I got interested in TikTok when I downloaded it a couple years ago just for fun and laughs and realized that the goofier the TikTok, the better it goes over.” When her professor, Dr. Ann Lambert, suggested that Loehr submit a video for the contest, she jumped on it!

The Columbia-Missouri native said she probably spent 30 minutes to an hour making it! “The idea just came to me, and I made it one afternoon this summer.”

“On a college campus, I think it's easy to forget that there is a whole community outside of the student body that is affected by on-campus events and students' actions. Students make up such a large and active part of the community, and it's important to get vaccinated to protect themselves and others. We all want to keep up with in-person events and getting vaccinated is a great way to ensure we can do that safely!”

To participate, contestants were required to submit a TikTok video showing themselves getting vaccinated or include a creative message explaining, "This is why I got vaccinated." Winners were determined based on creativity, originality and popularity (likes and shares). A panel of judges composed of advertising professionals and ADPH personnel selected four winners who were each awarded a $250 Visa gift card. Winners were announced August 13 via the @alcovidvaccine TikTok account and promoted on ADPH social media.

Congratulations to Loehr for winning the statewide contest!

Click here to view the video.