This presentation presents the issues we confront in deciding how to communicate to the public that COVID-19 vaccine recommendations reflect the state of scientific knowledge.
With more than 90% of countries reporting vaccine hesitancy, the World Health Organization declared in January 2019 that it was one of the top ten threats to global health.
According to WHO, vaccine hesitancy is a “delay in acceptance or refusal of vaccines despite availability of vaccination services” WHO states that addressing vaccine hesitancy requires not just an understanding of the magnitude of this problem but also a diagnosis of the root causes, tailored evidence-based approaches to addressing hesitancy, and monitoring and evaluating the interventions.
In addition, with technology and social media booming over the last decade, online platforms have become a go-to outlet for vaccine-hesitant individuals to share misinformation about vaccines. One study found a significant relationship between organized anti-vaccine messaging on social media and public doubts of vaccine safety. In a second study, the authors conclude that as social media platforms gain increasing popularity globally, public health professionals are increasingly concerned regarding the impact of anti-vaccination content on downstream vaccine denial. This further threatens the uptake of emerging vaccines such as COVID-19.
Factors affecting vaccine hesitancy
Social and behavior change (SBC) professionals have often been tasked to find ways to influence knowledge, attitudes, and practices, about vaccines. Now that the COVID-19 vaccines are becoming available worldwide, renewed emphasis and urgency for SBC efforts arise.
To that end, WHO has offered three factors that play a role in vaccine hesitancy, the first two of which can be addressed by SBC:
- Complacency: Low perceived risk of vaccine-preventable diseases, and vaccination not deemed necessary. Other life/health issues are a greater priority.
- Confidence: Low levels of trust in vaccines, in the delivery system, and in health authorities
- Convenience: Barriers related to geographic accessibility, availability, affordability, and acceptability of services
To respond to each of these factors, SBC programs can disseminate correct information in a way that is clear and straightforward.
This Trending Topic
In this Trending Topic we provide a selection of SBC research, tools, and examples that aid in understanding this issue, especially in light of the recent availability of COVID-19 vaccines and the urgency for immunization worldwide.
Do you have materials to contribute?
This website, ipc.unicef.org, is part of a global package of tools and resources designed to support FLWs in their immunization work, with a focus on improving their capacity to effectively use IPC to address barriers to immunization uptake and completion.
This article deals with potential issues surrounding the COVID-19 vaccine in low and middle income countries.
Now that the COVID-19 vaccine is becoming available, somewhere between 60 and 90 percent of adults and children must be vaccinated or have antibodies resulting from infection in order to arrive at the safe harbor known as herd immunity, where the whole community is protected.
Vaccine hesitancy refers to delay in acceptance or refusal of vaccines despite availability of vaccination services. Vaccine hesitancy is complex and context specific varying across time, place and vaccines. It includes factors such as complacency, convenience and confidence.
This is a report from a meeting held in October 2020 to discuss behavioral considerations relating to vaccine acceptance and uptake.
A recent report by researchers from Northeastern University and elsewhere found that the number of Americans heeding most recommendations has dropped steadily since April. (Mask-wearing, which has increased, was an exception)
This catalog provides tools and information resources to support EU/EEA countries in addressing the challenging issue of vaccine hesitancy.
This guide provides practical evidence-based and peer-reviewed advice for public health program managers and communicators involved with immunization services. It identifies ways to enhance people’s confidence in vaccination and addresses common issues which underlie vaccination hesitancy.
Measuring vaccine hesitancy and its determinants worldwide is important in order to understand the scope of the problem and for the development of evidence-based targeted strategies to reduce hesitancy.
This is part 2 of a 3-part vaccine series covering the potential of vaccines for infectious diseases, the impact of the antivaccination movement, and the promise of vaccines for cancer treatment.
In January 2019, vaccine hesitancy was named 1 of the top 10 threats to global health by the World Health Organization (WHO). According to WHO, addressing vaccine hesitancy requires not just an understanding of the magnitude of the problem, but also a diagnosis of the root causes, tailored evidence-based approaches to addressing hesitancy, and monitoring and evaluating the interventions.
This training module is intended to teach health workers how to encourage clients to have trust in vaccination.
These best practices of vaccination campaigns for an entire population have been developed from experiences of polio vaccination campaigns conducted in the Congo, Namibia and Tajikistan.
Research has shown that it is not enough to provide information on vaccines to encourage their uptake. The WHO Technical Advisory Group (TAG) on Behavioural Insights and Sciences for Health has published a report outlining the factors that drive people’s behaviour when it comes to vaccines: an enabling environment, social influences, and motivation.
Even before the COVID-19 crisis, the WHO declared vaccination hesitancy one of the Top 10 threats to global health in 2019.
This site serves as a collection of resources from around the world that can be used to gain further information about vaccines and their recommended usage.
This study reports that there is growing evidence of vaccine delays or refusals due to a lack of trust in the importance, safety, or effectiveness of vaccines, alongside persisting access issues. Although immunization coverage is reported administratively across the world, no similarly robust monitoring system exists for vaccine confidence. In this study, vaccine confidence was mapped across 149 countries between 2015 and 2019.
This study compares Australian government vaccination campaigns from two very different time periods, the early nineteenth century (1803–24) and the early twenty-first (2016).
The SAGE Working Group on Vaccine Hesitancy developed a vaccine hesitancy measure, the Vaccine Hesitancy Scale (VHS). This scale has the potential to aid in the advancement of research and immunization policy but has not yet been psychometrically evaluated.
In efforts to reduce infections by COVID-19, effective vaccines will only contribute to herd immunity if people accept them and follow the correct vaccination course. The take-up rate is a crucial variable to consider in the quest to achieve herd immunity.
This toolkit provides long-term care facility (LTCF) administrators and clinical leadership with information and resources to help build vaccine confidence among healthcare personnel (HCP) and residents.
This report, which was developed in consultation with leading experts in social and behavioral sciences and public health, outlines evidence-informed communication strategies in support of national COVID-19 vaccine distribution efforts across federal agencies and their state and local partners.
Vaccine hesitancy has increased worldwide with a subsequent decreasing of vaccination rates and outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases (i.e. measles, poliomyelitis and pertussis) in several developed countries, including Italy.
This is a description of a public campaign to encourage Americans to maintain protective practices and, eventually, to be vaccinated for COVID-19.
Journalists play a vital role in informing the public on science, specifically vaccine, developments, in an unprecedented period of scientific publishing.
Trust is fundamental to the effectiveness of public health programs, including immunization, as it is associated with program adherence. Adherence, in turn, is essential for improving critical public health outcomes.
This communication strategy supports the COVID-19 vaccines rollout in India and seeks to disseminate timely, accurate and transparent information about the vaccine(s) to alleviate apprehensions about the vaccine, ensure its acceptance and encourage uptake.