Using influencers to spread the vaccine message

August 6, 2021 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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Israel’s Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has met with dozens of internet stars as part of the national vaccination effort.

PM Bennett addresses internet personalities
Photo: Haim Zach/GPO

The Prime Minister explained the current situation in dealing with the Delta strain, answered questions and called on the influencers to use their exposure and their influence to motivate young people to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

Prime Minister Bennett explained that it is within our power to avoid a lockdown and said that, “My request is two-fold: One, persuade as many young people as possible aged 12 and over to get vaccinated. Two, tell everyone to go around with masks on because this is what prevents infection.”

The meeting was held under the auspices of Israel Bidur (Hebrew link) and Facebook Israel at the latter’s offices in Tel Aviv.

Prime Minister Bennett said: “We are in a new pandemic. The Delta pandemic is much more dangerous. The Delta virus is a mutation of the original coronavirus and it is multiplying at a much faster pace and is filling up the body.

The Delta strain is different because it multiplies much quicker and when there is a verified case, their body has 1,000 times more viruses than with the original coronavirus.

There is a problem here for young people because in the long term, some of the young people absorb a disease called ‘Long Covid’, the effects of which can appear two-to-four months later.

From my point-of-view, this meeting is dramatic. It is a rare meeting in the sense that if we all leave here, after I have understood you and you have understood what you can do, your actions today, in the coming hours, will lead to the saving of lives. It is within the ability of each and every one of you to save 30-40 people. I did not have such an opportunity when I was 16, 17 or 19. I do not remember any such thing. I am now asking you, the Israeli public is asking you, to join in the effort.

I intend to give you the tools and the knowledge and you will know how to use this knowledge. You will save human lives. I do not know what your careers will be in the future. I am a believing man and you are reserving places in Heaven for having saved human lives.”

Facebook Israel GM Adi Soffer Teeni added: “We are moved to see the important connection being made between the content creators, who represent the voices of millions of Israeli youth on social media, and their public representatives – especially the prime minister. In a period of uncertainty, we are called upon to join in the effort and ensure that young people in Israel get vaccinated and not put themselves at risk. If one wants to understand the younger generation, we simply need to listen to you – and you, who speak their language and use virtual platforms with a direct power that is so authentic, can create genuine influence.

The term ‘opinion-makers’ has never been more relevant and precise, and the success of this national mission is what will enable us to continue embracing our families. We are relying on you and cannot do it without you.”

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