Ozzie Smith, Gilbert Gottfried among the celebrities St. Clair County is using for vaccine reminders


ST. CLAIR COUNTY, Ill. – The St. Clair Emergency Management Agency is getting creative to remind everyone to get a COVID-19 vaccine. They have turned to Cameo to get celebrities to share their announcements. So far they have enlisted the help of comedian Gilbert Gottfried and Cardinals legend Ozzie Smith.

“We have to think outside of the box and it’s worked,” St. Clair County EMA Director Herb Simmons said. “It’s stirred some interest.” 

Simmons said the agency paid less than $500 total for both Cameos, which can be reimbursed by the federal government. 

“If we can do 100 shots more from Ozzie Smith getting on there and being recognized, then that’s money well spent,” Simmons said.

“Today, we were excited to see Cameos booked from Gilbert Gottfried and Ozzie Smith in an effort to promote vaccinations available at a free vaccination site in the St. Clair County community,” a Cameo spokesperson said. “We know this is just one example of the ways fans and talent are leveraging Cameo to share important information and spread awareness for worthy causes around the world.”

The use of Gottfried as a spokesman is remarkable because of his style. He is known for his shrill voice and crude humor. You won’t forget hearing this message:

“Hi, this is Gilbert Gottfried with an important message. St. Clair County is running a COVID-19 mass vaccination site at the Belle Clair Fairgrounds. You know you have to do it. You have to get vaccinated, no kidding. This one is a matter of life and death, so go there. It is at the Belle Clair Fairgrounds. It is going to be open every day except Wednesday. So, go there and get vaccinated,” Gottfried said.

Anyone can request a short message from a celebrity through the Cameo app. Videos on Cameo average about 25 seconds in length. Messages from Gottfried on Cameo cost $175 and $101 for Smith.

Simmons said this mass vaccination site used to vaccinate about 3,000 people a day, but it has dwindled to about 1,000 each day. Simmons hopes the Cameo videos, along with perks like free ice cream or coupons from nearby restaurants, will help entice people to get the vaccine. 

Illinois will begin vaccinating any resident 16 years old and up by April 12. St. Clair County is closing the mass vaccination center at the end of this month. Demand for the vaccine has recently waned. Click here to register on St. Clair County’s website.

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