News / Own Your Life

Cheryl Kahla
Deputy Online News Editor
2 minute read
22 Oct 2021
1:40 pm

Vaccine hesitancy: PSAs coming to a TV near you

Cheryl Kahla

MultiChoice will be broadcasting public service announcements aimed at encouraging the public to register for the Covid-19 vaccine.

Picture: iStock

South Africa is in the midst of a wave of Covid-19 vaccine hesitancy, primarily brought on by inaccurate information and the lack of fact-checking.

In light of this, MultiChoice has partnered with the Department of Health in a bid to “get more South Africans, particularly men, vaccinated”.

Vaccine hesitancy in SA

Men less likely to get the jab

Recent studies showed vaccine acceptance declined particularly among white adults – a drop of 4% during August 2021 – while it increased by 6% for black African adults.

The most common reasons provided for vaccine hesitancy included side effects and concerns related to the effectiveness of the Covid-19 jabs.

In addition to the above, South African men over the age of 35 aren’t lining up either for their jabs either, with approximately 40% of the male population vaccinated.

MultiChoice partners with health department

Collen Dlamini, executive head of corporate affairs at MultiChoice, said Africa’s leading satellite TV company “wants to play its part in the fight against Covid-19”.

“We are committed to driving the right public health messaging while mitigating the myths associated with the vaccine,” said Dlamini.

Dlamini said MultiChoice “have access to the platforms to speak to South Africans in a way that they understand, […] by people they know and trust”.

This would especially be vital in light of the 12-to-17-year-old cohort now being eligible for the vaccine, and with parents urged to discuss the benefits of vaccine with their children.

ALSO READ: Four Covid-19 vaccine myths you shouldn’t believe

How to combat vaccine hesitancy

As part of the campaign, interns from the MultiChoice Talent Factory have developed three public service announcements (PSAs).  

  • Testimonial: Shows real people sharing their stories on having lost family members due to COVID-19, encouraging South Africans to get vaccinated.
  • The Good Life: Shows characters interacting with  projections of what South Africa could be like if we all get vaccinated.
  • Dlula Bhoza: A comedic storyline that takes South Africans through the vaccination journey, showcasing how quick and painless it is for those who are fearful.

These PSAs are being broadcast across MultiChoice’s channels, providing extensive reach to encourage the public to register for the vaccine.