COVID-19 Public Advisor, David Ellis, speaking to the media at a press conference today. To the left is Co-Coordinator of the National COVID-19 Vaccination Campaign, Dr. Elizabeth Ferdinand. (A. Reid/BGIS)

Government will be ramping up its public education campaign in the battle against COVID-19.

Speaking during a press conference at Building No.2 Harbour Industrial Park today, COVID-19 Public Advisor, David Ellis explained that this strategy would include targeted messaging for specific demographics, addressing vaccine hesitancy and misinformation.

He said authorities were in the process of examining initiatives in this regard. “They’re different methods that have to be employed. A major one has to be community engagement. Another is the use of influencers and all sections of the media. All of that is under consideration.

“As of last weekend, we have been involved in an exercise with the radio stations where we have been getting their support in reminding people of where the pop-ups and other vaccination centres are, and also reinforcing a number of practices and protocols that need to be taken into consideration,” Mr. Ellis stated. He added that artistes and other prominent persons were being enlisted to help spread the message.

He also gave the assurance that the authorities were working to address the concerns raised by the public about the accuracy of the statistics presented on the COVID-19 dashboard.

Noting that gaining the public’s trust was critical, he revealed that a surveillance officer and an epidemiologist were working with personnel at Harrison’s Point in this regard.

In addition, the COVID-19 Public Advisor warned against spreading misinformation about the vaccines and the response of public health practitioners, noting that it was counterproductive.

According to him, such actions only served to induce fear within the populace and make it difficult for doctors to communicate with the families of their patients.

Mr. Ellis appealed to the public to acknowledge the seriousness of the situation, especially in light of the community spread of the highly contagious Delta variant stating: “We’ve got to be sensitive to the fact that it is all around us, and we are vulnerable.”

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