Do you know someone who is hesitating to take the Covid-19 vaccine? You are not alone. Many people, especially the elderly, are concerned about the efficiency of Covid-19 vaccines and the possible side effects. Governments, hospitals, and vaccination centers around the world are using creative campaigns to put fears to rest and to encourage everyone to get the shot.
In Mexico City, Mexico, it was a common sight to see the elderly scared at vaccination centers. They were worried about getting sick after the shot or of being scammed and injected with air. The officials at the vaccination centers felt the need to put the seniors’ minds at ease.
Cue the dancing! There are now wheelchair yoga classes, dance sessions, young men doing football tricks, and other performances intended to ‘inject’ (not at all sorry about the pun!) some fun into the proceedings. Wouldn’t you love to see Lucha Libre (professional Mexican freestyle) wrestlers dancing to celebrate your vaccination? Beatriz Esquivel, a vaccination site coordinator in Mexico City, told the New York Times that although it is not clear if the performances are encouraging more people to take the vaccine, they do comfort those who have already come to get their shots.
Over in Singapore, the government has decided to use the powerful combination of comedy and disco to get its message across. In a public health video, comedian Gurmit Singh, playing one of his famous characters Phua Chu Kang, raps about how it is safe to take the vaccine, and perhaps more importantly, how dangerous it could be to stay complacent. This last point is significant because Singapore was recently declared the best place to be during the pandemic. The number of cases is very low and experts are worried that Singaporeans will try to delay taking the shot. The song also dispels rumors about the vaccine being unsafe for senior citizens or people with certain medical conditions. “Get your shot, steady pom pi pi,” is the catchy refrain in Singlish, pom pi pi meaning “be calm”. The use of Singlish is an effective way to appeal to the nation’s sense of community.
Another country has followed this principle. This country has been declared the second-best place to be during the pandemic – New Zealand. New Zealand’s Ministry of Health released a video called ‘Ka Kite, Covid’, which essentially means ‘See you later, Covid’ in Maori. It features regular New Zealanders excited to get back to life and make plans after getting vaccinated. I personally loved the shot where a healthcare worker says he’s opening the door to the future, and then opens a door to a vaccination center.
Although getting vaccinated in no way means that things will magically go back to what they were pre-pandemic, it is a step forward. We’ve been isolated from each other for a long time, but it’s stories like these that remind me how important a sense of community is, and how it can go a long way in helping people feel safe and protected. As the last screen of ‘Ka Kite, Covid’ reads, “Do it for each other.”
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