A public service ad that went on the air last weekend in Australia drew public reaction. In the 30-second ad, in which a young woman is connected to a ventilator, the message “Covid-19 can affect anyone. Stay home. Get tested. Get your vaccinations” is given.
The public service ad aims to show the risks that young people are exposed to due to the highly contagious Delta variant. However, the concentration of young people in the country who cannot access the vaccine caused criticism to be directed to the video in question.
THE GOVERNMENT DEFENDED THE PUBLIC SPOT
However, Paul Kelly, Australia’s chief medical officer, defended the PSA, saying, “It was supposed to be pretty striking and graphic. We are only doing this because of the Covid-19 situation,” he said.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said: “There will always be criticism. I know that. Just a few weeks ago, people were saying that PSA should be much stronger. There are two messages in the ad: one of them is to stay at home. We can’t be indifferent about it. Young people walking around the city, “It puts people in the whole society, including themselves, at risk.”
CASES RISE IN SIDNEY DUE TO DELTA VARIANT
However, while Australia is doing better than many other developed countries at keeping infections relatively low, Sydney has seen an increase in case numbers in recent weeks due to the Delta variant. In response to the outbreak, restrictions have been tightened in Australia’s largest city and strict rules have been introduced limiting outdoor gatherings, exercise and shopping.
However, the state of New South Wales, of which Sydney is the capital, reported 112 new locally transmitted cases yesterday despite quarantine measures.
CONTAINS INsensitive scare tactics and conflicting messages
On the other hand, the government’s new PSA was aired as part of a wider Covid-19 health campaign that highlighted the seriousness of the latest outbreak. However, many Australians have expressed concern over the ad’s “insensitive” scare tactics and contradictory messages.
Bill Bowtell, an assistant professor and strategic health policy consultant at the University of New South Wales, said the ad was “misunderstood in every possible way”.
MOST PEOPLE UNDER 40 CANNOT GET VACCINE
According to Bowtell, the young woman, who is having trouble breathing, is particularly worrying. He said most people under the age of 40 still don’t get the recommended Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, according to Australia’s current vaccination campaign.
Bowtell said, “Every piece of health communication must be with integrity and honesty. Advertising fails in that respect.”
On the other hand, earlier this month, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that people under the age of 40 can request the AstraZeneca vaccine from their general practitioner, even if it is not yet their turn to get the vaccine. However, health advisers in the country suggested that young people expect to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine because of rare blood clotting events. As a result, uptake of the AstraZeneca vaccine was low, while the lack of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine continued to hinder its nationwide release in Australia.
According to the Ministry of Health, more than 9 million doses of the vaccine were administered across the country on Sunday. In Australia, as of 10 July, 26 percent of the population had received at least one dose and 9.1 percent had been fully vaccinated.
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