Cathay Pacific tries to give vaccination rates a shot in the arm

The airline encourages staff and Hong Kong people to get their jabs so they can get flying again

May 19, 2021 05:54:00 PM | Video | Ad Nut

Despite plenty of supply and an easy, well-run process for getting vaccinated, Hong Kong's vaccination rate remains pathetically low—the latest data show only 15% of the population has received at least one dose.

While many place the blame on mistrust of the government, Ad Nut believes the media have not helped. Various news outlets regularly report on people who die "after" getting one of the vaccines. In most cases these deaths take place days or even weeks after the vaccination, and the people in question were elderly and/or had many serious underlying health issues. These reports always end with something like "Doctors say it's unlikely the vaccine played any role", which leaves Ad Nut screaming at the TV or computer screen like a lunatic: "Then why are you reporting it!?" Millions of doses worldwide show that the vaccines are not just safe but among the safest, most effective health interventions ever created. Ad Nut bemoans the lack of basic scientific literacy in newsrooms. 

Sorry, this was not meant to be a diatribe.

Anyway, in an effort to help, Cathay-Pacific's in-house team put together a nice campaign to encourage people to get their shots. It shows Cathay staff sporting (temporary) tattoos that explain why they got their dose. One looks forward to hitting the slopes, another mentions taking photos under cherry blossoms, and another can't wait to indulge in street food. After launching it internally in April, the company put the 'Arm up, let's fly again' message out to the general public on its social channels last week.

The airline says 80% of pilots and 40% of cabin crew in Hong Kong have had at least their first jab. It adds that so far this year, its operating Hong Kong-based crews have logged zero positive tests following arrivial back in Hong Kong—out of about 28,000 tests.

Ad Nut likes the positive, 'we're all in this together' framing at play in the work. Ad Nut will never understand why anyone needs encouragement to get vaccinated beyond "Because you won't die gasping for breath or cause your loved ones to suffer that same fate", but this kind of approach is probably more effective than a guilt trip.