The Solidarity Fund, in partnership with the National Department of Health, has launched a four-month-long vaccine demand creation campaign to support the vaccine drive aimed at achieving the 28 million target of first dose vaccination for adults by the end of 2021.
The campaign calls to #RollUpYourSleevesSA and get vaccinated so that we can get back to living. It's rich with insights that have been gathered from research studies since the beginning of the country’s vaccination roll-out to identify contributing factors to the slow uptake of vaccines. The research insights have revealed that despite two-thirds of the population saying they intend to vaccinate, taking action has been impacted by inertia, hesitancy and anti-vaccine attitudes and perceptions.
“The campaign elements that have been developed aim to address the concerns and issues around why many of the people who say they intend to get vaccinated, are not actually doing so”, says Wendy Tlou, executive head: Humanitarian Response & Behaviour Change Pillars at the Solidarity Fund.
“It was therefore crucial that this campaign is data-driven. We have looked at some of the attitudes, behaviours and perceptions around vaccines; talked to scientists and researchers who are experts in the fields of epidemiology and immunology, amongst others, and then developed a campaign around this information with a view to increasing the understanding of the science around vaccines and why there needs to be a greater and more urgent uptake if South Africa is to overcome the pandemic," says Tlou.
In light of the challenge to get as many adults vaccinated, the #RollUpYourSleevesSA campaign is modelled on-demand creation and community mobilisation approach. It encompasses a number of television commercials featuring ordinary South Africans heeding the call to get vaccinated today.
It also has a significant educational role that will be implemented on multiple platforms in all South African languages through the use of traditional, digital and community platforms, making use of solid, credible and easily digestible scientific information.
The campaign will be amplified through the use of PR, a range of corporate, government and civil society partnerships including community-and-faith based organisations, and over 1,000 community mobilisers who will be working in townships, urban and rural areas to engage meaningfully and honestly with the issues people may express.
“This is a South African campaign. The stakeholder relations and partnerships created to support it have been strategically identified so that we are able to leverage the voices of business and community leaders as well as traditional and religious institutions to encourage people to get vaccinated.
With the risk of a fourth wave of the pandemic still present, science tells us that more people need to be vaccinated to protect lives and livelihoods, reduce pressure on the healthcare system and to rebuild the economy and keep it open.
The National Department of Health has established a Demand Acceleration Task Team to bring together government, civil society, labour and business, led by Dr David Harrison, CEO of the DG Murray Trust. He said, “We are seeing rates of vaccination going up but not quickly enough for us save lives and livelihoods should the anticipated fourth wave of the pandemic occur. The launch of the Vooma weekend campaign at the beginning of October driver drove up the numbers of those vaccinating over that weekend but this has to be sustained, and even increased if vaccines are to have the positive impact they have shown they can have in bringing the pandemic under control.”
“Our country is a testament to our ability to do what is necessary to re-invent ourselves and recover. We can do this again if we roll up our sleeves and get vaccinated.”