S10: Communication Strategies to Boost COVID-19 Vaccine Compliance
Stephen V Drehobl
Temple University United States
This literature search evaluated strategies from pre-COVID vaccination campaigns to improve compliance in skeptical populations for COVID-19 vaccine distribution.
A literature analysis was performed using PubMed to evaluate adult vaccine compliance studies in the United States and Europe, which were published between 2010 and 2019. PubMed search terms included: “improve vaccine compliance,” “barriers to adult immunization,” “communication vaccine hesitancy.”
The literature search focused on communication-based strategies to increase adult vaccine compliance. This search yielded 24 published papers. Rising distrust of vaccines has led to a decrease in vaccine compliance. This distrust is driven mainly by widespread misinformation about vaccine safety. Vaccine compliance is lower among uneducated, poor, and minority groups. However, this same trend has been found among highly educated groups such as healthcare providers, and high-income majority, white communities. To improve vaccine compliance, information about vaccines must become more readily available to the public. Healthcare providers need to emphasize the importance of the vaccine to remain healthy and contextualize adverse events for skeptical patients through counseling. Tech-based solutions may also help, such as phone apps that track community vaccination data. This technology has been used effectively for contact tracing and tracking outbreaks; it can also combat misinformation.
Vaccine skeptics may seem irrational or uninformed, but their concerns should not be dismissed. Vaccine compliance can be increased through better communication strategies. Public service announcement campaigns can highlight stories of vaccine recipients who did not experience adverse events, as well as those who fully recovered. Public outreach through local pharmacies and community organizations have also proven effective. Data-driven solutions like vaccine trackers allow prospective vaccine seekers to monitor their place in line and improve public goodwill. If widely implemented, these strategies will increase the likelihood that vaccine skeptics will seek out the COVID-19 vaccine and improve global herd immunity.