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Notes to broadcasters

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COVID-19 continues to be a serious global health threat. Now that vaccines are available, you have an opportunity to encourage your listeners to get vaccinated by:

  • Respectfully answering their questions and concerns about COVID-19 vaccines.
  • Providing accurate and reliable information about the vaccines.
  • Encouraging your listeners to get vaccinated by sharing the voices of vaccinated people in your community who are willing to act as vaccine champions by promoting COVID-19 vaccines.
  • Reassuring your listeners that COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective.

Information and messaging on COVID-19 information should not be limited to your station’s health program! You can easily and effectively promote COVID-19 vaccines by airing this series of 24 spots on many of your programs—including your news, music, business, sports, and religious programs—to reach as many listeners as possible.

Take some time to review these spots and adapt them to your station’s different types of programs. For example, some spots take place in a market, but could easily take place at a sports match or musical concert, in the office, in a farmer’s field, or at a place of worship.

You can also edit the spots to match your community’s context by:

  • Changing the names of the characters in the spots to local names,
  • Using the name of your radio station as appropriate (the text reads: Radio XXX),
  • Using familiar terms that are easily understood by your listeners (for example, your listeners may refer to COVID-19 by another name such as “COVID” or “Corona”), and
  • Ensuring that the information you share is consistent with advice from your local health authorities.

To create your own spots, ask listeners to share their own vaccination experiences and then ask their permission to record a vox pop, and run it as an ongoing spot. In the vox pop, ask for their name, age, why they got vaccinated, and how they feel now. Positive endorsements like these can go a long way towards convincing your listeners that the vaccines are safe and effective.

Spot #21 in this series is an example of a “vaccine endorsement.” You could ask a popular and trusted community member to record this spot, or another like it, and broadcast it on an ongoing basis.

To reach as many people as possible, translate these spots into languages spoken by your listeners. Over time, Farm Radio International will translate these spots into a number of African languages for your use. To access these translations when they become available, go to: https://scripts.farmradio.fm/radio-resource-packs/translations-available/

Script

Spot 1:
Wear a mask and wear it properly

 

NARRATOR:
The COVID-19 pandemic has been exhausting—and it’s not over yet. But don’t give up! We need to continue to be strong for each other, and to protect our friends, family, and community.

So even if you are fully vaccinated, continue to wear a mask that covers your nose AND mouth. For a mask to protect you, it must fit snugly against your cheeks and nose, and over your chin. When worn properly, your mask should feel comfortable.

Wear a well-fitting mask properly, and get vaccinated.

Together, we can overcome COVID-19.

 


 

Spot 2:
Medical masks are more effective than cloth masks—but any mask is better than no mask.

 

NARRATOR: Face masks are one of the best tools we have to prevent COVID-19 from spreading. Good quality, disposable medical masks are more effective at protecting you from infection and preventing the further spread of COVID-19 than reusable cloth masks.

But remember: Your mask must fit well to protect you from being infected and to prevent you from infecting others.

If you don’t have access to disposable medical masks, continue to wear well-fitting reusable cloth masks over your nose and mouth. Wearing a cloth mask is MUCH better than no mask at all.

Protect the people you love. Wear a mask.

 


 

Spot 3:
We still need to take precautions against COVID-19.

 

NARRATOR:
The COVID-19 pandemic has been long and hard. And unfortunately, it’s not over yet.

So we all need to keep practicing precautions.

Continue to wear a mask that covers your nose AND mouth. Keep a safe distance. Clean your hands frequently. Ensure good air circulation by opening windows. Cough and sneeze into your elbow.

And most importantly, get vaccinated!

Let’s continue to be strong for each other and protect our communities.

 


 

Spot 4:
COVID-19 can have long-lasting health impacts.

 

SFX:
SOUNDS OF lifting a heavy object. Then coughing.

WIFE:
Kofi, are you okay? What’s wrong?

HUSBAND:
(Breathing heavily) Yes, thanks dear, I’m okay. I just haven’t felt the same since I recovered from COVID-19 … I’m still short of breath a lot, and the physical activities that I once found easy are challenging.

WIFE:
But how could that be? You tested negative for COVID-19 last week and you’re a healthy, young man!

HUSBAND:
That’s true, but my doctor told me that COVID-19 can cause long-lasting damage to the lungs, heart, and kidney—and even loss of smell and taste. You know I haven’t tasted your cooking for weeks now. And I’m always feeling tired …

WIFE:
Oh, my dear, I’m sorry … I hope you feel better soon. Thank goodness we’re vaccinated now.

NARRATOR:
COVID-19 doesn’t discriminate. It is a risk to everyone and can have lasting impacts on your health and well-being. Vaccines are the safest and most effective way to prevent severe illness, hospitalization, and death due to COVID-19.

So don’t wait. Get vaccinated today.

 


 

Spot 5:
Hesitant about COVID-19 vaccines? Get the information you need.

 

MAN 1:
I can’t believe we’re being told to get vaccinated against COVID-19. This violates my rights and freedoms!

MAN 2:
My brother, I understand how you feel. I was hesitant about the COVID-19 vaccines too. I wanted to learn more about them and how they worked, so I listened to Radio XXX and asked all my questions. After that, I changed my mind. Now I feel that we must get vaccinated to protect others in our community, as well as ourselves.

MAN 1:
Hmmm … If you did all that research, maybe you’re right … I will have to think about it …

MAN 2:
Great! Now how about that football match! (FADE UNDER)

NARRATOR:
Many people are hesitant, angry, or scared about taking COVID-19 vaccines.

Be a vaccine champion by taking the time to learn about the vaccines and talking to your family and friends about them.

Get the facts. Get vaccinated.

 


 

Spot 6: Infection after vaccination

 

SFX:
PHONE RINGING

WOMAN:
Hello, this is Radio XXX. You’re live!

MAN:
Hello! I have a question about COVID-19 vaccines, please. Why should I get vaccinated? I hear that even people who are vaccinated can get sick with COVID-19.

WOMAN:
Yes, it’s possible to get sick with COVID-19 and even spread it to others after being vaccinated. But getting vaccinated reduces that risk a lot.

The vaccine protects you well from severe illness, hospitalization, and even death. That’s why it’s important to get vaccinated—it’s for your own health.

MAN:
Are you saying that if I do get COVID-19 after being vaccinated, I’ll be healthier than if I wasn’t vaccinated?

WOMAN:
Exactly!

NARRATOR:
The omicron variant is especially infectious and transmissible. That’s why more people are getting sick with COVID-19 after being vaccinated. But vaccines are very effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization, and death.

So don’t wait. Vaccinate.

 


 

Spot 7: Get vaccinated to protect those most at risk.

 

BINTOU:
Fatou! Why haven’t I seen you at the market lately?

FATOU:
Hello, Bintou. I’m afraid I don’t go out much anymore. I can’t get vaccinated against COVID-19, so I have to take extra precautions to stay healthy.

BINTOU:
Oh no! Why can’t you get vaccinated?

FATOU:
I wanted to, my friend. But because I am being treated for cancer, I can’t. The vaccines are safe and effective, I know, but my immune system is too weak for the vaccine because of my treatment.

BINTOU:
That’s terrible, Fatou, I’m sorry. Is there anything I can do?

FATOU:
Yes—encourage your friends and family to get vaccinated! Even if I can’t be vaccinated, it helps when everyone around me is. When everyone is vaccinated, then maybe I’ll feel safe to go back to the market.

NARRATOR:
People with compromised immune systems are more likely to get sick or die because of COVID-19. And because they can’t get vaccinated, the risk is even higher.

Protect your community, including those most at risk. Get vaccinated.

 


 

Spot 8: Yes, pregnant women can safely get vaccinated against COVID-19.

 

WOMAN 1:
Congratulations on your pregnancy, my sister! You must be excited to welcome another baby to your family.

WOMAN 2:
We are so excited! And I am feeling much safer now that I’m vaccinated against COVID-19!

WOMAN 1:
(SURPRISED) Vaccinated?? But how could you get the COVID-19 vaccine when you’re pregnant?

WOMAN 2:
Haven’t you heard? Scientists say that the vaccine is perfectly safe for pregnant women and the babies they’re carrying. But getting sick with COVID-19 would be a big risk for me and the baby. The vaccine will help protect us!

WOMAN 1:
That’s wonderful news, then! So … do you think the baby will look like you or your husband? (LAUGHTER AND FADE UNDER)

NARRATOR:
Women, you can safely get vaccinated against COVID-19 if you are pregnant. Scientists who continue to study the COVID-19 vaccines say that pregnant women can and should get vaccinated.

So don’t wait! Protect yourself and your baby. Get vaccinated.

 


 

Spot 9:
The COVID-19 vaccine does NOT cause infertility or impotence.

 

NARRATOR:
You may have heard rumours that the COVID-19 vaccines make you infertile or impotent! This is NOT true. There is NO evidence that the COVID-19 vaccines affect either fertility or impotence.

Don’t believe false rumours. Get vaccinated.

 


 

Spot 10:
COVID-19 vaccines do NOT cause male infertility.

 

MAN 1:
My friend, I heard that you aren’t vaccinated against COVID-19. Why not?

MAN 2:
I can’t get vaccinated—I may still want to father children!

MAN 1:
Oh, this is a nasty rumour. And it’s NOT true. COVID-19 vaccines don’t make you infertile! The vaccines are safe and effective. They protect you from getting severely ill, being hospitalized, or dying because of COVID-19.

MAN 2:
So you say. But how can you be so sure?

MAN 1:
I listened to Radio XXX. They interviewed public health officials, local doctors, and people who have been vaccinated. And they all said the same thing. COVID-19 vaccines do NOT make men or women infertile.

So please get vaccinated. It’s for your own health, and the good of everyone in the community.

MAN 2:
(THOUGHTFULLY) Well … it makes a difference to me that all those people said the same thing. And I’ve always trusted Radio XXX … but I still have a few questions. I’ll call the radio tonight.

NARRATOR:
The COVID-19 vaccines do NOT make you infertile.

Don’t believe false rumours. Get vaccinated.

 


 

Spot 11:
COVID-19 vaccines do NOT cause female infertility.

 

SFX:
MARKET SOUNDS. FADE UNDER.

MAN 1:
Ahmed, I heard that your wife got the COVID-19 vaccine. Why did she do that? I thought you wanted another baby.

MAN 2:
Yes, Abdoul, she was vaccinated and I’m glad. The COVID-19 vaccine will not make her infertile. It will protect her from severe illness and death.

MAN 1:
How do you know?

MAN 2:
Well, billions of people have been safely vaccinated against COVID-19, so I’m confident that she’ll be alright.

NARRATOR:
The COVID-19 vaccines do NOT make women or men infertile.

Don’t believe false rumours. Get vaccinated.

 


 

Spot 12:
Breastfeeding women can safely get vaccinated against COVID-19.

 

SFX:
Baby crying. Fade under.

ASSATA:
Oh, Mariama, what a beautiful baby girl! Congratulations.

MARIAMA:
Thank you, Assata, we have been so blessed. And just last week I got vaccinated against COVID-19 so I can stay healthy as my baby grows.

ASSATA:
(Surprised) Vaccinated?? How can that be? Surely you’re breastfeeding your baby?? You don’t want to pass along the vaccine with your breastmilk!

MARIAMA:
My friend, of course I’m breastfeeding my sweet girl. The COVID-19 vaccines are perfectly safe for breastfeeding mothers and their babies, and the vaccine might even pass on some protection against COVID-19.

ASSATA:
Well, that’s a relief! I’m glad you’re taking such good care of yourself and your baby.

MARIAMA:
I’m a mother now—I can’t take any risks with my health.

NARRATOR:
Women, you can safely get vaccinated against COVID-19 if you are breastfeeding. Scientists who study COVID-19 vaccines say that breastfeeding women can and should get vaccinated.

So don’t wait! Protect yourself AND your baby. Get vaccinated.

 


 

Spot 13:
Men! Support women during the COVID-19 pandemic.

NARRATOR:
Men! During the COVID-19 pandemic, many women have been working harder and longer than ever. Children have been out of school, family members have fallen sick, and women have had many more demands on their time—on top of all their other responsibilities on the farm, at work, and at home!

Don’t let the women in your life suffer.

Men, support your sisters, wives, daughters, and mothers in this time of need by offering your help with childcare and other domestic duties.

And there’s another important way you can step up and support women and keep them safe. Get vaccinated against COVID-19.

 


 

Spot 14:
There is support for women who are experiencing abuse and gender-based violence during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

NARRATOR:
COVID-19 has hurt everyone—but especially women.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many women have been unable to leave the home, and have been abused by their husbands. If you or someone you know needs emotional, medical, legal, or psychological help, call [INSERT PHONE NUMBER OR HOTLINE OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SUPPORT SERVICES IN YOUR REGION].

Remember: you are not alone.

 


 

Spot 15:
Prevent and report gender-based violence during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

NARRATOR:
Fathers, brothers, sisters, and mothers—we all have an important role to play in preventing and reporting violence against women. Including during the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you or someone you know is experiencing abuse and needs emotional, medical, legal, or psychological help, call [INSERT PHONE NUMBER OR HOTLINE OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SUPPORT SERVICES IN YOUR REGION].

Say no to violence against women.

 


 

Spot 16:
Parents! Talk with your children about the COVID-19 vaccines.

 

HUSBAND:
My dear, I think we should talk about the COVID-19 vaccines. Our older children can now get vaccinated, so we need to decide what to do.

WIFE:
Yes, you’re right … I’m feeling very good after my vaccine. And the doctor told us that the vaccines give good protection again severe illness, hospitalization, and death.

HUSBAND:
That’s true … Let’s sit down with the kids tonight and talk as a family. I think it’s time for our children to get vaccinated.

NARRATOR:
Parents! Work together to make decisions about your family’s health and well-being. Talk with your children about the COVID-19 vaccines, and make the right choice to protect your family and community.

Don’t wait. It’s time to get vaccinated.

 


 

Spot 17:
Vaccines are not just for the elderly!

 

WOMAN 1: Welcome to our co-operative meeting tonight, everyone. I am so happy to be back with you in person and I’m feeling so well after receiving my second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

WOMAN 2:
But why would you get vaccinated, madam? Those COVID-19 vaccines are just for the elderly, and you’re young and healthy.

WOMAN 1:
Well, thank you, but … these vaccines are for everyone—the old AND the young! Pregnant women too.

WOMAN 2:
Even pregnant women?

WOMAN 1:
Yes, it’s perfectly safe for pregnant women to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Public health officials say vaccination is the best way to protect yourself, your family, and your community.

Now, on to our meeting … (FADE UNDER)

NARRATOR: COVID-19 does not discriminate. It can affect anyone of any age.

The COVID-19 vaccines are a safe and effective way to protect people of all ages.

It’s time to get vaccinated.

 


 

Spot 18:
Don’t let COVID-19 take you away from friends, family, and work.

 

NARRATOR:
People with severe cases of COVID-19 can take six weeks or more to recover, and COVID-19 can have long-lasting impacts on their health. This means time away from friends, family, and work.

But people who are vaccinated against COVID-19 are much less likely to get severely ill, be hospitalized, or die. They can stay healthy and continue to provide for and enjoy their families.

So don’t wait. Get vaccinated.

 


 

Spot 19:
Don’t lose your life to COVID-19.

 

NARRATOR:
Nearly six million people worldwide have died because of COVID-19. This is a terrible tragedy.

But there’s an easy way to protect yourself. The COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. Getting vaccinated gives you good protection against severe illness, being hospitalized, or dying because of COVID-19.

Don’t lose your life. Get vaccinated.

 


 

Spot 20:
Hesitant about COVID-19 vaccines? Get the facts.

 

AMMA:
Good morning, Sita! I’m happy to see you in my shop. You’re looking well!

SITA:
Thank you, Amma. I’m feeling well! I’m fully vaccinated against COVID-19. What a relief!

AMMA:
Oh, Sita … I’m not sure I trust those vaccines.

SITA:
I understand your concern. But you might want to learn more about them. All of my family and close friends are vaccinated, and they’re all healthy, just like me.

AMMA:
Really?

SITA:
Yes. Billions of people have safely received the COVID-19 vaccines. They’re safe and effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization, and death.

AMMA:
Well, thank you for telling me. But I do have more questions. Can you tell me more about … (FADE UNDER)

NARRATOR:
Talking with your friends and family about their concerns can help reassure them that the COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective.

Get the facts, get vaccinated, and be a vaccine champion by talking to your friends and family about the COVID-19 vaccines.

 


 

Spot 21:
Personal vaccine endorsement

 

NARRATOR:
Life is a blessing. We each have a responsibility to protect our families and communities against COVID-19.

This is (name, title) here to tell you that the COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. I encourage you all to get vaccinated as soon as you can—so you can keep on receiving life’s blessings.

 


 

Spot 22:
The normal, mild side effects of the COVID-19 vaccines

 

SFX:
PHONE RINGING

SON:
Hello, it’s Benjamin.

FATHER:
Ben! Hello, my son!

SON:
How are you, Dad?

FATHER:
I’m good, but I heard you got one of those COVID-19 vaccines. Don’t you know those things will make you sick?

SON:
Oh, that’s just a nasty rumour, dad. I had some normal, mild side effects after getting the vaccine. My arm was sore, and I was a bit tired, but that went away after a day or two. Just like any other vaccine.

And now I feel healthy and well. The vaccines don’t make people sick—they keep people safe. I hope you and mom get vaccinated soon.

FATHER:
I’m glad you’re feeling well! As for your mother and I, we’ll think about the vaccines, I promise. Goodbye, son, I’ll call you again soon … (FADE UNDER)

NARRATOR:
Mild side effects such as soreness, tiredness, achiness, headaches, and mild fever are common in the first few days after getting the COVID-19 vaccine. These are normal, and they mean that the vaccine is working.

The COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective.

Get the facts. Get vaccinated.

 


 

Spot 23:
Support your children to get vaccinated.

 

SFX:
Knocking on door. Sound of door opening.

WIFE:
Andrade, I’m home!

HUSBAND:
Hello, my dear.

WIFE:
Why do you look so worried, my love?

HUSBAND:
I just heard from Aziz … he said he’s going to get vaccinated against COVID-19. I know people say those vaccines are safe, but I’m worried …

WIFE:
It’s only natural to worry about your son, dear. But I know a lot of people who have gotten the vaccine, and they’re all healthy and fine. My doctor told me it will protect me from COVID-19. Maybe we should learn more about it?

HUSBAND:
Perhaps you’re right … And he is our son. We raised him well and I trust him.

NARRATOR:
The COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. Support your children by discussing the vaccines with them.

It’s time to get vaccinated.

 


 

Spot 24:
The vaccines are safe and effective.

 

NARRATOR:
Some people are worried that the COVID-19 vaccines were developed too quickly and are not safe. But the COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective.

Here are three reasons why they became available so quickly:

First, researchers have been studying coronaviruses for decades. COVID-19 is similar in many ways to other coronaviruses, and so scientists were quickly able to figure out what type of vaccine would work against COVID-19.

Second, because COVID-19 is a global crisis, many organizations, companies, and governments invested a lot of money in creating a vaccine to keep people safe. These funds allowed vaccine producers to work more quickly and effectively than they have for other vaccines.

Third, COVID-19 vaccines have been rigorously tested for safety, and this testing continues, even now. Because the impacts of COVID-19 can be so severe, scientists studied the testing data as soon as it became available. This helped companies develop the vaccines more quickly.

COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective.

So don’t wait. Get vaccinated.

 


 

Acknowledgements

Contributed by: Vijay Cuddeford, Managing Editor, Farm Radio International and Hannah Tellier, Resources Coordinator, Farm Radio International

This resource is funded by the Government of Canada through Global Affairs Canada as part of the Life -saving Public Health and Vaccine Communication at Scale in sub-Saharan Africa (or VACS) project.