Famous movie scenes, now starring Vaccine
Stephanie Hayes | Pop culture can help with complicated topics. Here are some casting adjustments.
We'll never let go.
We'll never let go. [ Photo illustration by LISA MERKLIN | Times, Paramount/Entertainment Pictures ]
Published Dec. 11, 2020

Did you see footage of that 90-year-old woman in England getting the country’s first Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine? She rode down the halls of the hospital, flanked by clapping staff! She was wearing a holiday sweater! What could be more dramatic?

Well, so much more. There’s a lot to figure out all over the world as we experience record cases and deaths. That includes these vaccines — distribution, timing, explaining it to the wary and more. Please direct your questions to this thorough Tampa Bay Times report.

Pop culture has an outsized influence on Americans, helping us make sense of life’s hurdles. To explain vaccination, I have taken the liberty of adjusting some iconic movies, with Vaccine in a leading role. I believe you will find this young performer a nuanced addition to the films.


Rose is floating on a door. Vaccine hangs on beside her, though there is enough space for both of them. It’s cold. In the distance, Congress rides safely in a boat and does not pass a new stimulus package or help any stranded passengers. “I’ll never let go, Vaccine,” Rose says. In this version, Rose actually holds on and gets vaccinated but not before first vaccinating the frontline workers on the dock.

When Harry Met Sally

Harry and Vaccine eat in a diner. Harry asks intimate questions, operating under the guise that Vaccine is “‘just a friend” and not a life-saving medicine developed in record time. Vaccine performs, uh, a thing, getting the attention of the customers. “I’ll have what she’s having,” someone says, which is a treatment that allows the immune system to recognize the protein that lets the virus into the cell.

Waiting to Exhale

Vaccine has learned her husband, Coronavirus, is leaving her. Screaming and incensed, she yanks his clothes out of the closet, filling a wagon with expensive suits and shoes. Vaccine pulls the car out of the garage and silently sprinkles it with lighter fluid. She sparks a cigarette and throws the match on the pile. Symbolically, Coronavirus bursts into flames.

The Wizard of Oz

Dorothy is traveling with her friends Tin Man, Cowardly Lion and Vaccine. After they reveal the great and powerful Wizard to be associated with conspiracy message boards, Dorothy tells Vaccine she always believed in him, even when he didn’t believe herd immunity was possible. She clicks her ruby slippers. “The side effects mean it’s working,” she says. “The side effects mean it’s working.”

Love Actually

Mark shows up at the home of his friend, Peter, and his new wife, Vaccine. Mark is in love with Vaccine but hasn’t been able to say it. He knows he’s been acting like an anti-masker. He plays Christmas carols and presents her with a series of posters containing a message. “To me, you are perfect,” Mark tells Vaccine, who had a 95 percent efficacy in clinical trials. They kiss in the alley, which vaccinates Mark.

Lethal Weapon

Murtaugh sees a rough-looking guy holding a gun in the precinct and tries to tackle him. It turns out to be Vaccine, his new partner. “I’m too old for this s--t,” he tells Vaccine, and Vaccine replies that Murtaugh is actually at the age where his risk of COVID-related complications increases. “So you’re not a lethal weapon?” Murtaugh asks, and Vaccine replies: quite the opposite.

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