Can a Covid-vaccine PSA even work? This one tries, but who's really listening?

Originally published at: Can a Covid-vaccine PSA even work? This one tries, but who's really listening? | Boing Boing

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Trying is better than just giving up.


It’s all we can do.
Once more, with feeling!

If you’re gonna die, die with your boots on
If you’re gonna try, well, stick around
Gonna cry, just move along
If you’re gonna die, you’re gonna die
If you’re gonna die, die with your boots on
If you’re gonna try, well, stick around


I think there is too much focus on the anti-vaxxers in the media. America is still doing a terrible job of reaching racialized communities, doubly so in states that basically have apartheid health systems

The real problem with anti-vaxxers is not that there are so many of them, but they are targeting these same communities to spread their message. Here is a great example:

The partisan line between democrat and republican is strong, but it is not a one-to-one relationship. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is one of the most prominent anti-vaxxers, and he has made successful inroads getting black leaders to support his cause. When you have scientists flat-out suggesting that racialized communities be used as guinea pigs, who can blame them? There is a lot of historical damage to be undone here.

So I don’t think this message is a waste, and I think it would be a mistake to paint the unvaccinated with a single brush. But I think there would be more success if well-meaning white folk tied their pro-vaccination message to better healthcare access for black and racialized communities.


We’ve tried and tried and tried unsuccessfully to get my hippy dippy commune living sister in law to get vaxed. Our own PSA messages fall on stubborn deaf ears. Doubtful a stranger could sway her either.



Even now, if Donald J. Trump, [who people are saying is the] 45th President of the United States of America, gave it a full-court press with pro-vaccine PSAs, he could save thousands (hundreds of thousands?) of lives.

But, what we get is deafening silence [on this subject]. Still. If he did just this, I’d call us “even” and not charge him for causing 300000+ covid deaths during his presidency.


Yeah, and it’s not like it’s remotely futile, either - there are still a surprising number of “vaccine hesitant” people out there who are reachable. We just need to convince them to get the vaccine before they get sick.


No running to the hills!


It wouldn’t hurt, but I doubt it would have any effect. People supported Turmp because he uncritically reflected them back at themselves, and told them whatever they wanted to think or do was wonderful. If he started telling them stuff, he wouldn’t be the thing they listened to.

He could have helped by staying away from politics in 2015, but he failed. And a video like this is a fail in the same way – to the extent that politicising vaccination is the problem, talking about it from any political platform can only make things worse.

Though, as @mallyboon says, it’s overstated how much this is a maga-vs-brunch issue anyway. It’s largely caused by the same crappy information ecosystem that enabled Turmp, but a different subset of people is affected this time.

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This. There are a surprisingly (to me and, I think, to many of us) large number of extremely underinformed and (often for good historical reasons) skeptical people out there who haven’t gotten vaccinated. People who don’t know what a vaccine is or does, people who don’t have an easy way to navigate getting the vaccine if they wanted it, people who aren’t following any news sources. These aren’t people we’re going to reach without targeted outreach efforts, and neither the right-left politics nor the scientific merits are really relevant for success or failure.

And yes, there’s also people like my sister’s in-laws who checked themselves out of the hospital despite still having way too low blood oxygen levels, took many weeks to recover, and still refuse to admit covid is real or serious. But we don’t need those people to reach herd immunity. Right now we’re at 60% of the US with at least 1 dose. Grant full approval, grant approval for kids, start making it mandatory for school and public service jobs (other than medical exceptions), and we’ll already be most of the way there, and definitely there in many some of the country.


I agree Trump often tells them to do what they’re already doing (to be fearful, racist, selfish). But at the same time Trump/GQP constantly tricks them to work against their own interests (give tax cuts to wealthy, eschew healthcare). How hard would it really be to trick them into working for their own interests (eg, avoid dying to a pandemic)? But, sure, now almost 2 years too late, out of office, deplatformed, Trump’s impact would be much attenuated due to all his previous anti-anti-covid statements.

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