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Government Invites Mass Media To Join In Raising Awareness On The COVID-19 Vaccine

The Covid-19 Handling and National Economic Recovery Committee
2020-11-24 15:50 1001
  • Mass media is encouraged to prevent disinformation by providing accurate facts regarding the COVID-19 vaccine and its preparation.
  • The ability for mass media to build the wider public's awareness can be seen through previous successes such as the MR vaccine in 2017 for East Java.

JAKARTA, Indonesia, Nov. 24, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- In their mission to handle the COVID-19 crises and provide economic relief, the government through the COVID-19 Handling and National Economic Recovery Committee (KPCPEN) has focused their efforts on educating the public on the importance of a vaccination program to combat COVID-19. To reinforce their efforts, the government has identified the co-operation of the mass media to play a crucial role, hence inviting them to carry out their role as the fourth pillar of democracy by publishing accurate and factual news on the COVID-19 vaccination program.

The Government Encourages Mass Media To Together Raise Public Awareness of the COVID-19 Vaccine
The Government Encourages Mass Media To Together Raise Public Awareness of the COVID-19 Vaccine

The accurate broadcasting to all members of the public on the facts surrounding the preparation of the COVID-19 vaccine is seen as vital. Therefore, mass media are encouraged to take a positive perception towards any news published about COVID-19 vaccine in an effort to overcome the pandemic.

Mass Media To Spearhead Positive Socialisation

It is evident that mass media has a large potential in educating the wider public on critical issues. This has been evident through past successes, such as the education of the Measles-Rubella (MR) vaccination program in East Java in 2017. Due to media's positive reinforcement, accurate and timely information, the implementation of the MR vaccine was a success.

"The media was very helpful during the rolling out of the MR vaccine in the year 2017 by establishing positive education and socialisation. These efforts raised awareness in public accepting the need for a vaccination," said Dr. dr. Kohar Hari Santoso, the Director of Dr. Syaiful Anwar Malang Hospital (RSSA) and the Head of East Java COVID-19 Tracing Team during the Productive Dialogue with the theme "Learning from the success of the MR Vaccine in East Java and the Role of Media in Vaccination" at the KPCPEN Media Center, Tuesday (17/11/2020).

Dr. Kohar, who is also The Chief of the Health Department in East Java, has admitted that many of the wider member of the public initially refused the immunisation due to the lack of information provided by health officers. The number of incorrect and misleading information that was circulating at the time proved to be a major challenge to be overcome.

"When the MR vaccine was released, one of the most important things to understand about the vaccine was the post-immunisation fever. At the time, there was a case of child fatality thought to be caused by the MR vaccination. Due to this, clinical experts quickly investigated the cause of death, only to conclude that the unfortunate death was not caused by the immunisation, but rather due to Dengue Fever. This was crucial in correcting misleading assumptions," he stated.

To add to the message, Wahyoe Boediwardhana, an esteemed journalist from the "Jurnalis Sahabat Anak" community has shared his principles and strategies in battling hoax news regarding vaccinations that has the potential to influence the wider public.

"As journalists, it is a choice for us to provide audiences with positive information that are accurate and verified. This differentiates us from hoax news sources that emphasises the negative perspectives that have no clear source of information. As journalists, we have a duty to deliver accurate reports. Therefore, before we journalists release news to the wider public, it is our responsibility to first educate ourselves on the matter from clear sources so that we can provide information that is accurate and trustworthy," said Wahyoe.

During the event, both Dr. Kohar as well as Wahyoe both recommend that it is in the public's interest that they learn to differentiate fake news for themselves. This can simply be done by learning to verify any information that they deem suspicious, which makes for good practice.

"If you are in doubt, always ask the experts, such as doctors and official figures regarding the facts on the vaccines that you would like further information on," Dr. Kohar added.

About KPCPEN

Based on the consideration that the handling of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and the national economy recovery must be aligned in one integrated and inseparable strategic policy, President Joko Widodo issued Presidential Regulation (Perpres) No. 82 of 2020 on the COVID-19 Handling and National Economic Recovery Committee (KPCPEN) signed on July 20 2020.

The KPCPEN priorities respectively are INDONESIA SEHAT (Priority for people to be safe from COVID-19 and reforming health services), INDONESIA BEKERJA (Priority for empowerment and acceleration of employment), INDONESIA TUMBUH (Priority for national economy recovery and transformation).

Media Contact:

Communication Team of the COVID-19 Handling and National Economic Recovery Committee (KPCPEN)
Lalu Hamdani  081284519595 / 081212865928
Email: media-kpcpen@covid19.go.id

Source: The Covid-19 Handling and National Economic Recovery Committee
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