Communications strategy needed to combat vaccine scepticism – McGahon

29th November 2020 - Senator John McGahon

A clear and concise communications strategy is paramount to overcome any potential vaccine scepticism, a Fine Gael senator has said.

Senator John McGahon, from Louth, was speaking in response to a poll today which found up to 14pc of respondents would not take a vaccine while a sizeable sum were also unsure about getting vaccinated.

“There has been a substantial growth in anti-science rhetoric that is being fuelled by online conspiracy theorists about the vaccine. This needs to be confronted for what it is and dealt with in a simple and explanatory manner that’s based on cold hard facts and qualitive data,” Senator McGahon said.

“People need to realise that Facebook and other social media platforms are a breeding ground for false information.

Today’s Ireland Thinks poll, published in the Mail on Sunday, shows that there is work to be done to inform people of what needs to be done to return to some form of normality.

“That’s why it’s so important to launch a dedicated communication strategy about the roll out of vaccines and why it is so important to be vaccinated.

“It will require a lot of planning and thorough implementation over a sustained period. This is something that all will have to be informed about.

“We have seen the growth of anti-mask and anti-vaccine protests. We have had these demonstrations in Dublin. We provide people with accurate information and debunk conspiracy theories.

“Everyone has made enormous sacrifices throughout 2020, 2021 will be the year of the vaccine, however it will only be effective if we have a mass uptake of the vaccine.

“We need to completely reassure anyone who is sceptical about a vaccine and we can do that through a communications strategy that is based on science, fact and reason,” Senator McGahon said.

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