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France expanding its sexy advertising campaign for Covid vaccines

A French vaccination advertising campaign that caused an international stir with its sexy message is to be expanded in an effort to persuade younger French people to get the Covid vaccine.

France expanding its sexy advertising campaign for Covid vaccines
Image: ARS PACA

The advertising campaign was dreamed up by regional health authorities in the southern Provence-Alpes-Côtes d’Azur region and focuses on ‘desirable side effects’ of the vaccine.

In an attempt to address fears of vaccine side-effects, the series of four adverts uses the tagline ‘Yes, the vaccine can have desirable effects’ with images of people going on holiday, attending festivals and travelling.

READ ALSO IN PICTURES 7 of the French government’s sexiest public health adverts

But it was the fourth image in the series that really caught international attention, showing a couple who appear to be enjoying a hook-up.

Playing to French stereotypes as the land of lovers, it was widely shared on social media and several English-language news sources ran articles on it, including British newspaper The Independent, who titled their article ‘A very, very French vaccine advert’.

On social media, many others pointed out that in the US there are financial inducements to get the vaccine – such as lotteries – while British adverts focus on going to the pub again, in contrast to France’s saucier message.

“We have not stopped broadcasting messages explaining why we must protect ourselves and others with barrier gestures but also the vaccine,” explains Philippe de Mester, Director General of the PACA health authority which devised the campaign.

“But we realised that this rather institutional discourse, which is sometimes a bit guilt-inducing, had little impact.

“So we thought about another approach, asking ourselves how we could reach people differently.”

The campaign, which is intended to target younger people who might be hesitant to get the vaccine, will now be expanded from social media, with posters going up across the southern region.

“It looks like an advert for condoms,” one passer-by told French radio station FranceInfo as the billboards were erected on Thursday.

Member comments

  1. These adverts are a f##king disgrace. The choice of whether you’re going to have a covid injection or not, shouldn’t be glamorised like this.

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COVID-19 VACCINES

Are people who’ve had the single J&J jab no longer fully vaccinated in Germany?

Germany's federal vaccine agency says that people who've had one dose of the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine should no longer be classed as being fully vaccinated.

People queue for a vaccination in Quedlinburg, Saxony-Anhalt.
People queue for a vaccination in Quedlinburg, Saxony-Anhalt. Photo: picture alliance/dpa/dpa-Zentralbild | Matthias Bein

People who’ve had J&J, sometimes known as Janssen, used to have full vaccination status after a single dose of the vaccine. 

Since January 15th, however, a single dose of J&J should no longer count as full vaccination, according to the Paul Ehrlich Institute (PEI), the country’s vaccine authority. 

In autumn last year the German government began recommending a second mRNA jab for people who’d had J&J – which many people thought was the booster vaccination. 

However, according to the PEI’s update on proof of vaccination within the Covid Protective Measures Exemption Ordinance and the Coronavirus Entry Ordinance, the second shot is needed to complete ‘basic immunisation’.

It is unclear at this stage if it means that people returning or coming to Germany from abroad with only one shot of J&J will be counted as partially vaccinated and therefore need to present tests or face other forms of barriers to entry. 

We are also looking into what this means for the various health pass rules in states, such as the 3G rules for transport. 

The Deutsches Ärzteblatt, a German-language medical magazine, said: “Special rules according to which one dose was recognised as a complete vaccination with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine are no longer applicable.”

The Local has contacted the German Health Ministry for clarification on what this means for those affected. 

According to the latest government figures, 5.3 million doses of Johnson & Johnson have been given out in Germany so far in the vaccination campaign. 

The news will come as a shock to those who don’t know that they need another jab, or haven’t got round to getting their second vaccine yet. 

All other jabs – such as BioNTech/Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca – already require two jabs. 

People in Germany are seen as fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose. 

What about boosters?

As The Local Germany has been reporting, the German government said in December that people who’ve had J&J need a third shot three months after their second dose to be considered boosted.

A German Health Ministry spokesman told us last week that due to more vaccination breakthrough infections affecting people who’ve had the J&J vaccine, extra protection was needed.

“Therefore, after completion of the basic immunisation as recommended by STIKO, i.e. after administration of two vaccine doses (preferably 1x J&J + 1x mRNA), following the current recommendation of the STIKO, a further booster vaccination can subsequently be administered with a minimum interval of a further three months, as with the other approved Covid-19 vaccines,” the Health Ministry spokesman said. 

However, there has been much confusion on this front because some states have been accepting J&J and another shot as being boosted, while others haven’t.

READ ALSO:

It is unclear if the new regulation will mean that states will all have to only accept J&J and two shots as being boosted. 

North Rhine-Westphalia, for instance, updated its regulations on January 16th and now requires that people who’ve had J&J and one shot have another jab to be boosted. 

Having a booster shot in Germany means that you do not have to take a Covid-19 test if you’re entering a venue, such as a restaurant or cafe, under the 2G-plus rules.

The Paul Ehrlich Institute said that proof of complete vaccination protection against Covid takes into account “the current state of medical science”. 

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