Coronavirus (1065) Policymakers and health misinformation (35) Public health communication in USA

11 November, 2020

As the USA records its seventh straight day with more than 100,000 new cases, this news item draws attention to public health miscommunication.

Full text here: https://eu.usatoday.com/story/news/health/2020/11/10/covid-vaccine-messa...

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‘Like watching a train wreck’: Experts say America is behind on COVID-19 vaccine messaging, call for honest, straight talk

The U.S. government has spent more than $10 billion creating vaccines to protect against COVID-19 but so far little encouraging Americans to take them...

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been sidelined by the Trump administration when it comes to communicating with and educating the public about the importance of receiving a coronavirus vaccine...

Experts ticked off specific actions health officials should be taking now, well ahead of when an actual COVID-19 vaccine is authorized. Top among them: public briefings.

There has been confused, chaotic and intermittent communication to the public about the pandemic and what it will take to end it...

For a vaccine to succeed, officials need to be crystal-clear about the risks and the benefits, and what they know and don’t know...

“The public wants to hear an honest and transparent account, even if the message isn’t as delightful as we want it to be.”...

Decades of public health work has shown experts the right communication strategies are not marketing or sales pitches, Moore said.

"It's about getting people good information they can relate to so they can make up their own minds."

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Neil Pakenham-Walsh, HIFA Coordinator, neil@hifa.org www.hifa.org