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You may have seen the videos of local celebrities and actors promoting Covid-19 vaccination and safe management measures on television and online platforms.
Our local politicians have stepped forward to join the campaign by appearing in these videos alongside local celebrities, speaking in the various languages and dialects.
The first video that was released starred health minister Ong Ye Kung and veteran actress Zoe Tay.
Ong shared the videos on his Facebook and Instagram pages on June 25.
Video content and reactions
As Ong described in his post caption, the two-minute video features the minister’s conversation with the Caldecott queen about her auntie who is hesitant to get the Covid-19 vaccine.
Ong addresses common vaccination-related concerns in the video, such as the risk of being infected with the virus even after being vaccinated, the process of booking an appointment, and whether the vaccines can cause heart attacks and strokes.
The video has received favourable comments from netizens thus far, with many praising Ong’s acting in the video.
Comment translates as “Minister, you’ve acted so well, very persuasive. All the best!”
Comment translates as “Minister can consider developing in the showbiz industry, that gaze and his expressions are so natural!”
A few people also commented about the lack of English subtitles on both social media platforms.
Here’s the full translation for the video:
Tay: “Auntie, have you not been vaccinated? You’re still thinking about it? Alright then.”
(Tay hangs up)
Ong: “Eh, you are Zoe Tay.”
Tay: “Eh, minister, hello.”
Ong: “Hello. Who were you talking to? It seems like you were talking about vaccination matters?”
(Tay sits down)
Tay: “It’s my auntie, she still not willing to be vaccinated.”
Ong: “How old is your auntie?”
Tay: “She’s over 70 years old.”
Ong: “Being over 70 years old, tell her to get vaccinated soon. If one is infected with the virus, the chance of them suffering from serious illnesses will be higher if they are an elderly person. What is she worried about?”
Tay: “My auntie said those who have been vaccinated were still infected with the virus so she has lost confidence in the efficacy of the vaccine.”
Ong: “Actually, it is impossible for all the vaccines to be 100 per cent effective, but after being vaccinated, the chance of being infected with the virus is greatly reduced. Even if you do get infected with the virus, the chance of suffering from serious illnesses will be reduced even further. So, what’s the purpose of getting vaccinated? It is to turn this terrifying virus into something like the common cold. Tell her not to hesitate anymore and to get vaccinated soon.”
Tay: “However, she finds it a hassle to make an appointment.”
Ong: “No hassle at all. Now, the elderly aged 60 and above can receive their vaccination by directly walking into the community centre, without the need to make an appointment. You need to remind your auntie that within her age group, 75 per cent of the people have been vaccinated. When she meets her friends for coffee, three out of four of them would have been vaccinated, and your auntie would be the only one who has not been vaccinated.”
Tay: “Would the vaccination cause the elderly to have heart attacks or strokes?”
Ong: “These are groundless [claims], because our experts have done research on it. There are a few thousand cases of heart attacks or strokes in Singapore every year. This number has not changed before and after vaccination.”
Tay: “Alright, I can let my auntie know that she can be just as assured as I was while receiving her vaccination.”
Ong: “While the vaccination is effective, it is necessary to see a doctor immediately if you feel unwell.”
Tay: “Indeed, it’s best to stay at home if there’s no reason to go out.”
Ong: “If you have to go out, you need to wear a mask.”
Tay: “Protect one’s self, protect one’s family.”
Ong: “Let’s co-operate and fight this pandemic.”
Later that day, a Hokkien version of the video was uploaded on to govsg’s YouTube channel.
The narrative mostly follows the same as the Mandarin version that centres around persuading a certain sceptical auntie to get vaccinated. However, the Hokkien version features local actor Cavin Soh as Ong’s co-star instead of Tay.
You can check out the Hokkien video below:
In addition, the Teochew, Cantonese, Tamil, and Malay versions were also rolled out featuring other politicians such as Koh Poh Koon, Josephine Teo, S. Iswaran, and Rahayu Mahzam paired with other local celebrities.
Top images via govsg’s YouTube page.