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What doctors say is needed to combat confusion and misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines

Dee Dee Dunleavy
Article image for What doctors say is needed to combat confusion and misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines

With multiple changes made to Australia’s COVID-19 rollout since it began, doctors have warned that people are struggling to keep up with changing information.

Last night’s announcement allowing under-40s to get the AstraZeneca vaccine was the latest of several “confusing elements” to the rollout.

Victorian Chair of The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, Dr Anita Muñoz, says it’s understandable that people are confused, and a national vaccine communication strategy is needed urgently to correct misinformation.

“The best way to battle confusion is give solid, clear, simple, straightforward information in ways that’s meaningful to the people who have to interpret it,” she told Elise Elliott, filling in for Dee Dee.

“That would mean a national campaign for the majority of Australians but also really targeted and careful information that’s made in collaboration with leaders from vulnerable groups so that we can make sure we’re not leaving vulnerable populations behind.”

The federal government has set aside $41 million for vaccine education.

But Dr Munoz says she suspects concerns about fast-changing vaccination information is leading to delays in launching a major campaign.

“Pouring a lot of resources into information that then has to be changed may be one of the concerns,” she said.

Press PLAY below to hear Dr Munoz on the vaccine rollout and the type of advertising needed

Dee Dee Dunleavy
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