School of Chemistry scientist Dr Joel Rindelaub and rap artist Randa have released a debut music video Vax the Nation to encourage everyone to get the jab.

Vax the nation

Dr. J (Dr Joel Rindelaub) and Randa (Mainard Larkin) have taken nerdcore rap to a new level - academia - with the creation of Vax the Nation, a science-themed music video that encourages New Zealanders to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

The video features scientists Dr Siouxsie Wiles, Chief Science Adviser Dame Professor Juliet Gerrard and Dr Jin Russell from the Faculty of Medical Health Sciences and has cameos from politicians Chlöe Swarbrick and David Seymour. The video is directed by Matt Cooke with music production by Floyd Cribb.

The project was produced by Dr Rindelaub, an aerosol chemist, who says he wants to bring science further into the public realm.

“With so much misinformation floating around about vaccine safety, we need to find new ways to share science,” he says.

“Currently there aren’t a lot of hip-hop lyrics dedicated to scientific advancement.”

Rindelaub’s lyrics address common misconceptions about the COVID-19 vaccines, including how they were developed so fast and why young people shouldn’t hesitate to get them.

Kiwi artist Randa gives the video a dynamic boost with their authentic flow, delivering lines such as: I know what you're thinking, I'm young I'm healthy / The virus won't affect me, how can Pfizer help me?

Together, the two performers use their light-hearted comedic style to break down a serious issue in an engaging fashion, with help from some funky dance moves belonging to the nation’s leading scientists.

Making her debut as a featured rap artist, Dr Siouxsie Wiles, also from the Faculty of Medical Health Sciences, was ready to lay down some lines for the cause.

“I’m not a huge hip-hop head but I was happy to contribute to this message,” she says.

Dr Rindelaub says he was impressed by Wiles’ fearless delivery on the mic.

“Rap videos are not an area of comfort for academics. Seeing these scientists give it their all on camera just shows how strongly they feel about the importance of vaccines."

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