Until vaccines are widely accessible and equitably distributed, messaging will only go so far in increasing vaccination rates.
Below, JSI’s Health Communication team shares their tips for how public health practitioners can communicate effectively about vaccines in their communities.
1) Focus on vaccine acceptance instead of vaccine hesitancy.
It is important to acknowledge concerns and questions that people may have about vaccination. Often these concerns stem from a mistrust of the medical establishment rooted in structural racism.
2) Dispel misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines.
Another recent study showed that a small number of people were responsible for the majority of misinformation shared on social media about COVID-19 vaccines.
3) Use testimonials and personal stories to compel others to get vaccinated.
If someone is unsure about whether to get vaccinated, a compelling testimonial from a trusted voice could go a long way towards building their confidence.
4) Put potential side effects in context.
It is normal for people to have concerns about vaccines and their side effects, just like they would for any other treatment. It’s important to validate their concerns and lead with the science.
5) Talk with your friends and family about getting vaccinated.
And last but not least, don’t underestimate the importance your voice plays among your local community. If you’re planning on getting vaccinated (or are vaccinated already), let your friends and family know!
Read the full article on JSI’s website here!