The Government Communications Service International (GCSI) delivered a virtual seminar to public officials in Latin America on 20 April.
The activity consisted of sharing the UK Government communication strategies and experiences around vaccines. The aim was to help improving government communications capability in building confidence about vaccines’ efficacy and fight misinformation.
The course highlighted the importance of knowing the country’s audiences, identifying the main communication challenges and work together amongst government agencies and opinion formers to fight misinformation. Based upon the UK experience, it was critical to give citizens ownership of responsibility on decision making while respecting their individual rights to choose and share reliable information.
According to the UK’s health authorities and scientific community, there is now increasing evidence that vaccines against COVID-19 help to reduce transmission, therefore it is likely that any vaccination programme will help to prevent an even higher number of deaths.
More than 50 participants from the Executive’s Branch communication offices, ministry of health, secretary of foreign affairs, social security and government’s advisors, joined the event. They also shared their experiences and engaged in a constructive dialogue with the GCSI to explore further opportunities of collaboration.
The event is part of the UK’s cooperation with Latin America related to the COVID-19 emergency, which also includes assistance to reduce poverty caused by the pandemic, provide training on COVID-19 related issues, and work through multilateral organizations to guarantee access to vaccines in poor countries.