Media briefing held for senior editors to promote COVID-19 fight in Lao PDR

The COVID-19 pandemic is causing unprecedented human and economic costs in all countries and societies across the world.

Based on the current and evolving situation in the Lao PDR, COVID-19 cases have been fluctuating on daily basis, despite the ongoing rollout of its vaccination drive.

It is the exact reason why there is a need to scale up the communication efforts by emphasizing on the importance to trust the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine, to get vaccinated and to continue practicing COVID appropriate behaviour irrespective of vaccination.

The Centre for Communication and Education for Health (CCEH) at the Ministry of Health (MOH) in collaboration with the National Immunization Programme (NIP), the Mass Media Department of the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism (MICT), UNICEF and WHO has developed an integrated approach to communication for COVID-19 vaccination, which includes strategic and risk communication and social mobilization activities.

A media briefing was held last Friday in Vientiane to brief the media on COVID-19 vaccination efforts, while continue building trust on vaccine safety and effectiveness. The media briefing also updated the senior editors about the revised vaccination target set by the government for 2021 and about the COVAX-supported vaccines.

The briefing also aimed to enrich the understanding of the senior editors on the COVID-19 vaccination efforts led by the Government, including vaccination targets, key messages, vaccination rollout and COVAX supported vaccines. This is expected to result in sharing updated, simple and concise information to the audience.

“Nevertheless, as you can see, the daily number of COVID-19 cases in the Lao PDR is still fluctuating despite the ongoing rollout of vaccinations throughout the country. Therefore, it is crucial that we continue to push our national vaccination drive and scale up our communication efforts by emphasizing the safety and effectiveness of vaccines so that more people will get their COVID-19 vaccination and continue to practice COVID-appropriate behaviour before and after vaccination,” said Ms. Beate Dastel, UNICEF Representative to the Lao PDR.

“The media can play a major role and have a strong influence in shaping public sentiment and understanding around COVID-19 vaccines. The media can also reach a wide range of audiences based on the existing platforms and their accessibility, with digital media becoming increasingly favored by the younger demographic,” she explained.

However, with the rise of digital media, where vast quantities of information and data is now easily accessible to almost everyone, the risk of misinformation and false news is greater than ever before. These obstacles can greatly impede the vaccination rollout against COVID-19 in the Lao PDR and subsequently our ability to bring a swift end to this pandemic.

Source: Lao News Agency