MultiChoice partners with the DoH to encourage COVID-19 vaccinations

News: South Africa

Inaccurate information and reporting on social media, and a lack of fact-checking has played a huge role in driving recent COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy. In light of this, MultiChoice has partnered with the Department of Health (DoH) on its Combatting Vaccine Hesitancy campaign, in a bid to get more South Africans, particularly men, vaccinated against COVID-19.

MultiChoice partners with the DoH to encourage COVID-19 vaccinations

“As a responsible corporate citizen, MultiChoice 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 Collen Dlamini, Executive Head of Corporate Affairs at MultiChoice. “We have access to the platforms to speak to South Africans in a way that they understand, and to ensure these messages are delivered by people they know and trust.”

Over 20 million vaccines have been administered nationwide, but the health minister has called on more people to register.

“It is our collective responsibility as all sectors of the society to join hands in the fight against this deadly pandemic, we have enough vaccines and capacity to vaccinate all eligible population to ensure that we gradually return the country to normalcy, all we need is arms.

“Now that our vaccination programme is open to children and young people from the age of 12 to 17 years old, we call upon parents and caregivers to discuss the benefits of vaccine with their children, help them with registration and possibly accompany them to their nearest vaccination sites,” said Health Minister Dr Joe Phaahla.

MultiChoice is assisting the DoH with a multi-pronged communication approach that includes public service announcements (PSAs) and social media amplification.

As part of the campaign interns from the MultiChoice Talent Factory have developed three PSAs.  

Testimonial – Shows real people sharing their stories on having lost family members due to COVID, 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.

The final PSA, Dlula Bhoza, has 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 – encouraging the public to register for the vaccine. Further to this, the PSAs will also be shared on MultiChoice’s social media platforms and will form part of a broader education campaign.

Research by the Centre for Social Change at the University of Johannesburg and the Human Sciences Research Council shows that fear of vaccine side-effects is the most common reason people are hesitant to get inoculated.

Said Dlamini: “In these times of uncertainty, the media has a responsibility to provide relevant, accurate information. As one of the biggest broadcast players on the continent, MultiChoice believes in the power of transformative media, so it made sense  to be at the forefront of COVID-19 campaigns to help propel responsible, factually correct messaging.”

MultiChoice recently partnered with the Solidarity Fund and the United Nations on COVID-19 prevention campaigns.

On 4 October MultiChoice broadcast the documentary Zero to Zero, on M-Net (DStv Channel 101). Filmed over 15 months, the gripping one-hour doc offers an unfiltered look at what it’s like to be a healthcare worker in the grips of the Covid-19 pandemic. It follows the staff of Zuid-Afrikaans Hospital (ZAH), a 100-year-old, private, non-profit hospital in Muckleneuk, Pretoria, from the moment they admit their first Covid-19 patient in June 2020. 

MultiChoice is entrenched in the communities in which it operates and thinks differently about how to overcome existing challenges and how to empower communities to change their lives for the better.

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