The purpose of this paper is to analyze how media plays a role in the issue of counterfeit vaccines. Specifically, to describe how the government communicators manage issues of counterfeit vaccines in Indonesia. Even though a public health emergency situation is very hard to predict, monitoring issues in media is crucial before communicating with the public. This will help improve public trust on the importance of vaccines.
The study collected data from June until December 2016. The research method employed quantitative content analysis of data obtained from media monitoring and interviews.
The results show that the issue of fake vaccines received great attention from the media with a total of 1,724 news headlines on the topic. The government communicators were responsive in handling this issue by providing sources of information for key influencers when it arose. Since the majority of media sentiment was positive, the research also proposes a model for the future managing of issues on counterfeit vaccines.
Limited to managing issues on media about counterfeit vaccines and how government communicators and stakeholders communicated during the crisis. It is suggested that future research should focus on the emotional perspective of parents whose children were affected by counterfeit vaccines.
This research is worthwhile for Public Relations Practitioners in government health institutions, such as the Ministry of Health, the National Agency for Food and Drugs Control and PR practitioners in Hospitals and Pharmacies to overcome another communication crisis in a public health emergency.
To increase awareness in Indonesia about the importance of vaccines and to educate the public about using government vaccines without fear.
This research is new as the topic about counterfeit vaccines has not been brought up before. This has the potential to have a considerable impact to local communities, as well as a wider impact on global health systems.
The first author works for the vaccine manufacturer of Bio Farma, however, there is no conflict of interest. This research is a part of a doctoral project in Faculty of Communication Science, Universitas Padjadjaran-Indonesia, Health Communication Studies. The case study is a part of dissertation titled “Complexity of Health Communication, Vaccine Education in Indonesia.” This research did not receive any specific grants from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or non-profit sectors. The researchers would like to express their gratitude to the reviewers.
Nurlaela Arief, N., Karlinah, S., Setianti, Y. and Susilawati, S. (2018), "Counterfeit vaccines in Indonesia: managing the issue through media", Journal of Communication Management, Vol. 22 No. 4, pp. 510-520. https://doi.org/10.1108/JCOM-09-2018-0081Download as .RIS
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