Michael Stipe and Mike Mills of R.E.M. and Vanessa Briscoe Hay of Pylon are helping to encourage residents of Athens, Georgia to get vaccinated against COVID. All three have recorded PSAs for local public radio station WUGA, which you can listen to here.

Like his PSA from much earlier in the pandemic, Stipe plays off R.E.M.'s "It's the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)" in one of his messages, saying, "it may seem like the end of the world as we know it as coronavirus numbers continue to climb, but there is something we can do to keep our friends and loved ones healthy. The coronavirus vaccine is safe, it's easy to get and it protects against serious illness and death. I got my shots, and now that I've done what I can to protect those around me, well, I feel fine."

"I'm Michael Stipe, singer of REM, and I'm vaccinated," he says in his second message. "Athens has historically been a leader in the state of Georgia when it comes to education, great music and the arts. As a community we can lead the way once again by getting the coronavirus vaccine. It's safe, it's free, it's easy to get. Let's once again amplify our town's reputation as a state-wide leader and get the vaccine."

"We all know Athens is a special town," Mills says in his message. "It's nurtured generations of artists and other creative people, and now it's time for us to give back to the town that we love. The coronavirus vaccine is an easy way for you to protect yourself and your fellow citizens. I got my shots and I urge you to do the same."

In her message, Briscoe Hay says, "I love my friends, I love my family and I love Athens. That's why as soon as the coronavirus vaccine became available, I signed up to get mine. i don't want to go back to the days when our world-renowned music venues were shuttered. The best way to keep Athens and its residents vibrant and safe is to get the vaccine."

Meanwhile, R.E.M. are releasing a deluxe 25th anniversary edition of New Adventures in Hi-Fi, due out in October. Hear the alternate version of "Leave" from that below.

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