I was delighted to see the LGA running a number of webinars recently on vaccine communications and tackling hesitancy and misinformation.
It has been great to hear of the impressive work being done by councils to tackle some of the concerns and misconceptions about the vaccine.
“As councillors, we need to be leading the fight against vaccine misinformation and signposting people to the NHS and councils for the best information”
There is so much we can showcase from our councils on how we are doing this locally. You may have seen that the Government has launched a new social media campaign to tackle false vaccine information, particularly that shared among minority ethnic communities – long overdue, in my view.
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has also developed a ‘Check before you share’ toolkit – with content designed to be shared via WhatsApp and Facebook community groups, as well as Twitter, YouTube and Instagram – to tackle false information spread through private channels.
Campaigns up and down the country are being fronted by trusted local community figures – such as imams, pastors, community leaders and clinicians – in short, shareable videos that include simple tips on how to spot misinformation and what to do to stop it spreading.
As councillors, we need to be leading in the fight against this misinformation, and signposting people to the NHS and their councils for the best sources of information.
This is what community leadership looks like. Join me in the battle, and challenge your councils on what they are doing to tackle misinformation.
We must all do our bit to keep people safe and defeat this terrible disease.