The year 2021 certainly kicked off in fine Crisis PR style. One of the chaotic events of this week certainly includes the confusing rollout of the vaccines to combat COVID.
We’ve seen several states with long lines, and other states still waiting for an adequate number of vaccines. We’ve even seen the Crisis come back to nursing homes whose health care workers are reluctant to take the vaccine, simply because they’re not sure that they can trust anyone.
If you are directly involved in a government or healthcare level in the distribution of the vaccine, you need to step up your communications game. Now, I know that there are a lot of logistics still getting worked out, and there’s a lot of confusing parts that aren’t in place yet.
Here’s what you got to do. Treat the communications aspect of the vaccine distribution in the same fashion you did at the start of the pandemic when you discussed lockdown procedures. Talk about how many vaccines are in place within the municipality, how many are actually being distributed, how many people are currently getting inoculated, and what you expect for the next day. Do this on a regular basis and give people an understanding as to where the bottleneck is related to your local neighborhood and how you’re working with state and federal agencies to fix it.
If you don’t have all the answers, that’s okay for now. But not communicating clear, concise, information to the general public will cause an incredible amount of angst that when it comes time for them to get vaccinated, I’m not sure they’re going to be there in the lines that you need in order to achieve herd immunity in the next several months.
Here’s what the general public needs right now. They need assurances that the vaccines are coming, that they’re safe, and that those who are needed first are going to get it. And it starts with a good Crisis Communications plan.