CHF makes its points at vaccination wargame 

The Consumers Health Forum CEO, Leanne Wells, has advised a national ‘wargame’ roundtable of key points CHF believes must be considered in an effective National COVID-19 Vaccination Plan.

Leanne had the opportunity to speak directly to the National Taskforce Co-ordinator-General, Lieutenant General John Frewan at the meeting on Monday attended by the heads of 14 other national health peak bodies. General Frewan led the session which was also attended by the Chief Medical Officer, Professor Paul Kelly and many other senior officials.

General Frewan’s role is to lead the vaccination program planning and rollout; strategic communications including the public information campaign; and stakeholder engagement.

The priority focus of the National Vaccination Plan is on supply, distribution and public motivation.

In summary, CHF’s key points made by Leanne were:

  • there is information fatigue among many in the community and many of our members are concerned that the important information is getting lost in the noise. This is a risk to maximising public engagement and achieving good vaccination rates
  • we need to make vaccination access as easy as possible and we need harmonisation of both access and eligibility across the country
  • planning needs to keep focused on priority groups, starting with completing category 1a people
  • we need to give consideration to young people who have a strong appetite for vaccination and whose lives and future outlooks have been so gravely affected. They are confused by the mixed messages and often don’t have the same relationship with GPs as others do. We need better ways of getting both information and the vaccine safely to them.
  • here needs to be much more transparency and more open data about the plan and our progress. Sharing the plan and the data that decisions makers are working with the community will engender trust, not erode it
  • we strongly endorse the public motivation workstream as a priority. We said that effective, well-researched, creative national advertising should spearhead this but should not be relied upon as the only strategy. We said people trust and listen to family, friends and leaders in their communities.  To harness this we advocated for a peer education program led locally by consumers and community leaders delivered in communities, for communities
  • we urged the Taskforce to continue to engage with CHF and our members as the planning and, importantly, rollout unfolds

Several issues were put on the table by the peak bodies including additional ways to mobilise a surge workforce; additional ways to get the message to the community among other issues.

Leanne says the session “was engaging and informative and an opportunity for the Taskforce to hear firsthand feedback from peak bodies."

“There will be ongoing dialogue with the Taskforce and this health peaks group. CHF welcomes any insights and issues from our members and supporters that you would like us to reflect in our contribution on your behalf  – please email them to info@chf.org.au." 

“An invitation has been made to General Frewan and his team to offer CHF members an update on the rollout plan via webinar,” Leanne said.

Share

About the author

Leanne Wells

Leanne Wells

Chief Executive of the Consumers Health Forum of Australia