COVID-19 vaccination programs are underway throughout Africa, but having the product on hand does not guarantee a public demand to get the shot. Communications specialists in the region face several challenges in convincing people to get vaccinated to protect themselves and those around them. They must find a way to convince those people who are vaccine hesitant, and in many cases actively resistant to getting vaccinated, in the face of widescale mis- and dis-information about the science and safety of COVID-19 inoculation. In this Media Dialog, Helena Ballester Bon, Communications for Development expert at the Eastern and Southern Africa office of UNICEF, will discuss the stages of creating vaccine demand, the short term and long-term strategies communications professionals use to create public demand, and she will address the role played by misinformation in limiting demand for the COVID-19 vaccines in the region. Helena will be joined by Kate Thomas, Internews’ Pandemic Media Mentor, who will provide advice to journalists and other content creators on how they can address the issues raised by vaccine demand creation in their daily media work.
We are pleased to announce that Diane Le Corvec joined the Collective Service as our new Global Coordinator, replacing Silvia Magnoni.