23rd July 2021 ✦ Laura (RGB)
These are the methods which the government are admitting to using to “[encourage] vaccine take-up among younger people”:
- “Highlight the pro-social benefits of vaccination”- this is an attempt to “[elicit] empathy towards others” and use this to guilt or inspire people into getting an injection despite not needing it or having concerns about the injection risks, i.e.: ‘You may not be in danger, but what about everyone else? Do it for everyone else. Do it for the vulnerable. Don’t be selfish. Be good. Make the sacrifice.’
- “Highlight social norms about vaccination”; or, peer pressure: by pretending most people are getting it or intending to get it, quote: “since young people tend to be more susceptible to peer influence”, they create the illusion that the ‘unvaccinated’ are in the minority and they will be the odd-one-out if they remain ‘unvaccinated’. ‘All your friends/all your family/the whole country is getting it, why would you not get it?’. This includes using social media pressure such as “I will get vaccinated” pledges.
- “Make vaccination as easy as possible” – bringing ‘vaccination’ centres into schools and universities so the option to get injected is perpetually in mind and available immediately should someone decide to take it. This is not encouraging young people to make a careful informed choice when they are ready to do so, it is encouraging young people to be injected on a whim and as soon as possible.
- “Highlight the long-term health consequences of COVID-19”: given that there’s no precedent to inject young people, who generally don’t die or fall seriously ill with COVID, with something that purportedly only lessens the symptoms of the disease and is not proven to stop transmission or infection, the government wants to ramp up fear of possible unknown long term illness effects of the disease. This is resorting to fear of the unknown rather than any scientific cause for concern. This may appear a worse threat in future, as side effects from the injections are being conflated with side effects from the virus.
- “Use trustworthy and relatable messengers” – social media influencers and celebrities are paid to market the injection. These are figures are chosen because they are “perceived as similar, relatable and trustworthy” to younger people, especially if they are “in their age group”. Essentially, the government wants young people to be manipulated into believing that celebrity figures they idolise and trust approve of the injection, while remaining unaware that they being paid to push the product. While this already happens with innocuous products such as cosmetic items, vitamins and clothes, this kind of marketing should not be used for potentially irreversible, potentially life-threatening experimental procedures which require valid informed consent to be administered legally.
- “Motivate vaccination through financial incentives” – bribe them with vouchers and cash. If all else fails, why not lure them in with free stuff – but be clever and subtle, not too eager, in case anyone suspects foul play. If you’re too generous, this “could be perceived as a confirmation that vaccination is risky or undesirable”.
Emotional manipulation is entirely the wrong way of convincing a population to take a medical treatment – if people are properly informed of the facts, and if the treatment is necessary, if it is effective, and if it’s safe, most people will not need further convincing. Instead, the government feels the need to guilt, peer pressure, frighten, advertise to and bribe young people, while they move ‘vaccination centres’ closer to them.
If you have or teach young people, especially teenagers, be alert and aware of the manipulation. A decision on the injection must be made by the young person themselves, after they understand what constitutes informed consent, is fully informed, and has had the chance to critically consider the risks and benefits of getting the injection, as well as being aware of the many influences they’re being subjected to. Do not try to force them to understand the seriousness of this situation – but talk to them, encourage critical thinking, provide information, use humour. The old phrase ‘if everybody jumped off a bridge, would you?’ has never been more important.
COVID has a 99.98% survival rate for people under 50. The injections are not proven to prevent transmission or infection.
Addendum, 19th July 2021:
Boris Johnson has announced that from the end of September, only people who have had two injections are allowed in nightclubs. Expect similar restrictions to apply to other social events and venues attended by almost exclusively by teenagers, students and people in their twenties.