HSE launches new campaign urging people to keep up public health behaviours that protect people at risk from COVID-19 and other viruses

You Never Know ad campaign launches today 

Today, Thursday 19th May, the HSE launches a new advertising campaign encouraging people to keep up public health behaviours that slow the spread of viruses, like COVID-19, and help protect people more at risk from serious illness.

The campaign is informed by research on public attitudes and behaviours around COVID-19 and in-depth qualitative research.

The new TV ad shows three people who are at greater risk from COVID-19 going about their daily lives, on a train, in a café and at the supermarket. Those around them do not necessarily know that they are at risk. The ad uses everyday signs as the mechanism to reveal the information that these people are at risk and we still need to protect them.

The key message is that we don’t always know who is at risk of COVID-19 and other viruses, but we do know how to protect them.

  • Wear masks in crowded areas
  • Keep our hands clean
  • Keep rooms ventilated by opening windows or meeting outside
  • Get COVID-19 and other vaccines when it’s time
  • Stay at home if you are unwell

Dr Colm Henry, HSE Chief Clinical Officer (CCO), said: “We know that older people and people with some conditions are more at risk from COVID-19 and we’ve worked together to protect them since the start of the pandemic. About 15% of our population falls into this at risk category but the reality is we’re not always going to know when we’re out and about who these people are. What puts them at risk might not be visible to you.

“They could be early in their pregnancy, about to start cancer treatment, on dialysis or diabetic. That’s why it’s so important to keep doing what we know protects them, not just from COVID-19 but from other viruses that can put them at risk of serious illness.”

Dr Eimear Brannigan, HSE Clinical Lead in AMRIC encouraged everyone to “keep your hands clean and wear a mask in crowded areas, let fresh air in when you’re meeting indoors, and meet outdoors where it’s practical over the summer, get your COVID-19 vaccine when it’s due and very importantly, stay at home if you are unwell. You never know who you will come across that is more at risk than you.”

Jan Rynne, Leukaemia patient and co-founder of Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia Ireland (CLL Ireland) explained: "As an immune-compromised patient, COVID-19 might be devastating for my health. I remain restricted in how I live life right now.

“It would be really helpful if society would remember that COVID-19 is still a threat to some of us and it would help us to live our lives in a more normal way if others wore their masks in busy spaces and allowed for some personal space, for example, when queuing in shops or banks.”

The TV ad is supported by radio, digital audio, cinema, out of home and online advertising and is available here.  For more information, visit hse.ie.

Last updated on: 19 / 05 / 2022