Australia

‘Arm yourself’: Government launches new ad campaign to boost coronavirus vaccinations

The federal government has unveiled a new advertising initiative aimed at encouraging Australians to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

The ‘arm yourself’ campaign shows a series of bare arms with band-aids stuck on to signify they have had the jab.

The ads are set to be rolled out across a range of channels, including television, radio, print, digital and social media.

Lieutenant General John Frewen said the campaign was about encouraging “community spirit”.

“The Arm Yourself campaign seeks to rally Australians to both arm themselves and their friends, loved ones and communities against COVID-19,” he told reporters on Sunday afternoon.

“The materials will be adapted for culturally-diverse groups and for Indigenous communities, and they will be translated into many languages.”

Lieutenant General Frewen said the information rollout would continue to be “adapted” as more COVID-19 vaccines arrive in the country.

“It is very tailorable to specific regions and specific language and cultural groups,” he said.

There have been calls for a refreshed awareness campaign to give Australia’s struggling vaccine rollout a shot in the arm, amid confusion over eligibility and access, and concerns around hesitancy.

But federal opposition leader Anthony Albanese says the new project doesn’t cut it.

“We have been saying for some time that there needed to be a public information campaign but I’m not sure that this cuts it, frankly,” Mr Albanese told the ABC on Sunday morning.

“We were the best in the world in the campaign against AIDS, we’ve done drink-driving very well but after 18 months if this is the best they can do, they need to go back to the drawing board.”

He said the government has spent a lot of money advertising how well the recovery is doing but hasn’t spent anything on advertising the vaccine rollout.

The government says the campaign material will be adapted for culturally and linguistically diverse and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander audiences. SBS is providing COVID-19 news and information in 63 languages, which can be viewed here.

Defence Minister Peter Dutton says Australia will soon be getting a million doses of the Pfizer shot a week and believes that is the “game-changer”.

“There will be a phase hopefully by the end of this year when the vaccine’s rolled out, where we need to rebuild our country,” Mr Dutton told Sky News on Sunday.

Federal Labor leader Anthony Albanese

AAP

But he says there has been complacency and hesitancy in getting vaccinated and is urging people to get advice from their GP.

“This Delta strain is a very different scenario we are now dealing with as we are seeing now in south western Sydney right now,” he said.

New South Wales recorded 77 new local COVID-19 cases and one death on Sunday, with Premier Gladys Berejiklian warning caseloads in the coming days will likely get “much worse”.

Mr Albanese continues to argue the federal government should be pressing for additional doses of mRNA vaccines like Pfizer and Moderna and advancing Australia’s capability to produce this type of vaccine.

“The government has been complacent and that complacency has led to incompetence when it comes to the dealing with the challenge which is there,” Mr Albanese said.

With AAP.

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