George Takei Joins the L.A. Care-Nimoy Family Vaccination Campaign

George Takei - Nimoy Vaccination Campaign LeVar Burton - Nimoy Vaccination Campaign

The Public Education Campaign, Which Also Includes LeVar Burton, Encourages Flu and COVID-19 Vaccines

LOS ANGELES – The COVID-19 public health emergency ended more than nine months ago, but hundreds of Americans are still dying every week from the coronavirus. There have also been thousands of deaths from influenza since the start of the season. With the respiratory virus season stretching into May, L.A. Care Health Plan is again collaborating with the family of the late Leonard Nimoy, the legendary actor of Star Trek™ fame, on a new billboard and social media campaign that encourages vaccination against the coronavirus and the flu. This continuation of the Live Long and Prosper campaign will now include actor George Takei, a beloved member of the original Star Trek cast.

“Leonard Nimoy was a brilliant actor and a wonderful man, who I proudly called a good friend,” said Takei. “I am honored to lend my support to this important and potentially life-saving campaign that takes on respiratory illnesses, something that Leonard felt very strongly about at the end of his life.”

Nimoy was diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in 2013, and he dedicated the last two years of his life to raising awareness about the progressive lung disease. His family sees this campaign as an extension of that effort.

“When the COVID-19 pandemic spread across the world, I was certain that my father would have been outspoken in the need to take preventive measures to keep our communities healthy,” said Julie Nimoy, Leonard’s daughter who runs The Nimoy-Knight Foundation, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit, with her husband David Knight. “We are proud to work with L.A. Care on this campaign in hopes we can help keep Angelenos safe from the severe respiratory illness.”

In May of 2021, in the middle of the pandemic, L.A. Care and The Nimoy-Knight Foundation launched their first campaign, which encouraged masking and vaccination against the coronavirus. Last year, LeVar Burton joined the campaign encouraging vaccines and boosters. He will also be featured in the new billboards.

“I am thrilled to be part of an effort that focuses on educating people about keeping yourself and your loved ones healthy,” said Burton. “While we have come out of the pandemic, we can’t become complacent about vaccines. This campaign reminds us of that.”

L.A. Care has been promoting COVID-19 vaccinations since they first became available. Collaborating on this billboard and social media campaign, with the generous permission of ViacomCBS, help to amplify the health plan’s message.

“We are targeting communities that have lower rates of vaccinations, as we continue our efforts to combat the health inequities that came under a spotlight during the pandemic,” said John Baackes, L.A. Care CEO. “L.A. Care is excited to have members of the beloved Star Trek series help to spread the word about the importance of vaccines.”

Live Long and Prosper, a favorite catchphrase of Spock, Nimoy’s character on Star Trek, is featured on the billboards and will be part of the social media campaign. We are inviting people to join us in promoting vaccinations with the use of the hashtag #livelongandprosper.

The new campaign launched February 25 and will run through May, with billboards placed strategically in communities with low vaccination rates. L.A. Care views the campaign as being in line with its commitment to advancing health equity, which is the fair and just opportunity for everyone to be as healthy as possible.