To combat vaccine hesitancy worldwide, PGP, (The Public Good Projects), UNICEF and Yale Institute for Global Health launched a Vaccination Demand Observatory on Thursday.
As countries begin rolling out COVID-19 vaccination, public health experts know that the last inch -- getting the vaccine from vial to arm -- can be the hardest, according to a UNICEF statement issued on Thursday.
Public uncertainty in the current pandemic has been exacerbated by an “infodemic,” a confusing epidemic of information and misinformation, the statement reads.
The Vaccination Demand Observatory (The Observatory) is developing tools, training, technical support and research to equip in-country teams to mitigate the impact of misinformation and mistrust on all vaccines.
This programme is organised in three pillars: social listening analytics and insight generation, a training and education programme to tackle challenges related to all vaccines, and a communications lab.
The Vaccine Acceptance Interventions Lab (VAIL) will draw upon behavioural and social research and insights from social listening to develop engaging, relevant content to fill information gaps.
VAIL also will develop “inoculation” messages to vaccinate people against vaccine misinformation. The content and programmes will be rapid field tested for tone, format and behaviour change impact before being implemented.
“In these times of heightened anxiety and uncertainty, people have many perfectly reasonable questions and concerns about vaccines. But their search for answers may be confounded by huge information gaps and a miasma of mis- and disinformation,” says Dr. Angus Thomson, PhD, Senior Social Scientist for UNICEF.
“We can’t address people’s concerns if we don’t first understand them. Then we must speak with - not at - people, where they are, about what matters to them. The Observatory will help empower countries to do this”, Dr. Angus.