"Dead meme" videos used to encourage vaccination among young people

"Dead meme" videos used to encourage vaccination among young people

A new COVID vaccination campaign for 13 to 20-year-olds in Switzerland has come under fire after using “fail videos” to convince young people to get the jab.

Old memes used to convince Swiss youth to vaccinate

The first video involves a young man placing a volcano-style firework in his trousers before lighting it. Grinning at the camera, he then proudly displays the lit firework as it gets stronger and brighter. Soon, realising his mistake, he quickly panics, desperately trying to remove the flaming object from his nether regions, with an end screen saying that getting the jab was far less courageous than sticking a lit firework down your trousers. 


Other videos from the programme include two teens taking the cinnamon challenge, with the caption stating that getting vaccinated against COVID was far cleverer than eating pure cinnamon. The videos have been posted online by the Federal Office of Public Health across their social media accounts, in an attempt to convince more young people to get vaccinated before students return to school or university.


The social media posts have been criticised online for being "insensitive to unvaccinated people," with many commenters accusing the Federal Office of Public Health and government of portraying unvaccinated people as stupid. Other comments say that the message was unsuccessful and not very funny.

Videos seek to portray vaccination against COVID-19 as cool

Adrian Kammer from the Federal Office of Public Health said the aim of the campaign was to encourage young people in a humorous way. He hoped it would convince people to get vaccinated by allaying fears and giving people an “emotional nudge.”

Katja Rost, Professor of Sociology at the University of Zurich, agreed, saying that "the videos are appealing to young people," and attached a sense of being “cool” if you are vaccinated. She said that the videos, whether you love or hate them, would start a conversation amongst young people and help bring the topic of vaccination back into people's minds.

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Jan studied in York and Sheffield in the UK, obtaining a master's in broadcast journalism and a bachelor's in history. He has worked as a radio DJ, TV presenter, and...

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