Sydney (Tribune International, Labor Media Release, 27 July 2021); Labor is calling on the Berejiklian Government to urgently carry out a comprehensive public awareness campaign to promote and encourage people to get vaccinated after the recent change in health advice relating to AstraZeneca becoming available for all people in Greater Sydney.
The public awareness and information campaign to date has been severely lacking and this needs to be improved dramatically if we are to ensure the community has accurate information that they can rely on to make decisions about this important vaccination program.
Now more than ever we need people especially those across Greater Sydney to get out and get vaccinated. But to do that we need to make sure the message is getting out there.
Given the increased risk of COVID-19 circulating in the community, it is imperative that people get vaccinated as soon as possible. Thousands of doses of AstraZeneca, an incredibly effective vaccine, are available to administer right now to people across the community.
According to the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) in a recent survey they conducted of their members, 92% of respondents said improved ‘public awareness and education’ is needed for the rollout of vaccines to general practice.
Mr Park said: “These are the health professionals who are doing the bulk of the vaccinations at the moment and they are pleading for better public information and awareness so that the vaccination program can be delivered more effectively.
“If the Commonwealth is not going to improve this level of public awareness then the NSW Government as the largest provider of health services in the country, must step in otherwise our community will continue to be confused and vaccination levels will not increase as fast as we need because of the confusion and missed messages,” he said.
“The NSW Government spends plenty of money on advertising new transport projects when they are getting built it’s now time they prioritise the vaccination campaign so we can dramatically increase the level of vaccinated people throughout the community and in doing so protect lives and livelihoods,” Mr Park said.
The Shadow Minister for Health said NSW can’t afford any mixed messages.
“The research shows there are still large numbers of people who are reluctant to get vaccinated. Lives and livelihoods depend on clear and consistent messaging,” Mr Park said.
“A multi-media, multi-lingual public awareness campaign in NSW is long overdue. We need the Government to be communicating across multiple media outlets in different languages on how and where to get the vaccine.”