Photo: Jonathan Blanc / NYPL

The New York Public Library’s beloved lions Patience and Fortitude have been shot . . . with the COVID-19 vaccine.

In a PSA to encourage New Yorkers to get vaccinated and protect themselves and their communities, the Library placed red “bandages” on their 110-year-old marble lions, who stand guard in front of the Library’s iconic Stephen A. Schwarzman Building on Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street. The bandages—which are 14 inches by 4.6 inches in size and made of vinyl, a non-eroding material to ensure that they cannot damage the marble—will be displayed on the lions periodically to support City vaccination efforts.

This isn’t the first time that Patience and Fortitude—symbols of resilience, calm, knowledge, and truth—supported public safety efforts during this pandemic: beginning last year into this year, they periodically wore lion-sized, three-foot-by-two-foot masks.

“Considering their age, our lions were eligible for the COVID vaccine early on, so they’re now likely getting their boosters,” said NYPL Chief Operating Officer Iris Weinshall. “Still, we thought now was a good time to roar about vaccines from the steps of Fifth Avenue, especially to help highlight the CDC’s recent approval of the vaccine for kids aged 5 to 11. We support the City’s efforts to get all New Yorkers vaccinated, as it’s the best and mane way to keep each other safe.”

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