Abstract: Vietnam is considered as one of the countries with the earliest and most effective responses to the outbreak of 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), a pandemic with acute respiratory syndrome caused by the new strain of coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). An important contribution to the overall success is the effectiveness of the governmental communication strategy in achieving the desired cognitive, affective, and behavioral outcomes. Analysis of the qualitative data collected from twelve focus group discussions with a total of 60 participants revealed that due to the government’s communication efforts, Vietnamese people have adequate information/knowledge about the COVID-19 pandemic, and majority of them experience low emotional levels of anxiety, fear, dread, stress, and panic. Moreover, the communication strategy has helped to form both health-promoting and safety-seeking behaviors among the community. Further, the characteristics of an effective communication strategy such as reliable sources of communication, usages of multiple social media channels, and transparent message contents in the form of infographic or video clips are identified.
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