A new confronting government ad urging young people to get vaccinated seemingly forgets the fact that a majority of us still can’t get the bloody thing.

Earlier today, the Department of Health announced that a new COVID-19 TV advertisement would be airing in Sydney later tonight.

The ad, which has been shared on Twitter, features what seems to be a woman in her 20s or 30s hooked up to a ventilator in a hospital. The ad is shot with a close-up in a bleak grey-colour tone, as she struggles to breathe and starts to hyperventilate. It then cuts to a black screen with the words: “COVID-19 can affect anyone.”

Given that AstraZeneca is the only available vaccine to us right now, and not recommended by our Government for people under 40-years-old, this seems a bit fkd if you ask me.

You can take a look at it yourself below. Fair warning, it is pretty hard to watch and a heavy trigger warning for breathing and hyperventilating.

Speaking at a press conference today, the Department of Health’s Chief Medical Officer, Professor Paul Kelly, said that the ad is “meant to be graphic.

“It’s meant to push that message home.”

If this is supposed to encourage people to get vaccinated, why is it targeted at a demographic who still don’t have access to Pfizer and who haven’t been properly reassured by the government that they can get AstraZeneca? Make it make bloody sense.

Earlier today, the Federal Government also unveiled a national campaign to encourage people to get vaccinated. Called Arm Yourself, the campaign urges people to get the jab with a photo of someone rolling up their sleeve and showing the bandaid on their arm after their appointment. It’s simple, effective, and doesn’t make me overwhelmingly anxious.

arm yourself against covid-19
The Federal Government’s Arm Yourself campaign.

But, unlike that campaign, this ad is uncomfortable. And it’s particularly uncomfortable when you think about the mixed messaging us young people have received about vaccines in the last fortnight.

Last week, Prime Minister Scott Morrison caught literally everyone off-guard when he announced, against medical advice, that people under the age of 40 could get AstraZeneca. At the time, while a bit confused, young people felt excited that we could finally get the jab and get this vaccine nonsense over with.

But, then the Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and the state’s Chief Medical Officer Jeanette Young slammed Morrison and discouraged young Aussies from taking it.

Adding to all of that, we only ordered enough vaccines for 4% of the population and there’s been a confusing dialogue from Morrison around how much of the Pfizer vaccine we’re getting in the near future.

The shitty thing here is that it’s clear that young people want to get vaccinated. The day after we were eligible to get AstraZeneca, we came out in dozens. So, why is this ad making it seem like we need to be pressured into getting it? Especially when the vaccine it’s encouraging us to get isn’t even available right now.