Vaccine hesitancy can be thought of as a continuum. It can range from indecision, uncertainty, delay, and then, at most severe, reluctance. Each of these forms of hesitancies can be influenced by several factors.
WHO's continuum of vaccine hesitancy between full acceptance and outright refusal of all vaccines
These are referred to as the 5 A’s: Access, Affordability, Awareness, Acceptance, Activation or the 3 C's of vaccine hesitancy: convenience, confidence, and complacency. When applying the health equity framework principles, the 5A taxonomy can help guide your vaccine campaigns’ communication and collateral strategy.
The 3 C's of vaccine hesitancy
We recommend the following tactics to overcome vaccine hesitancy.
Communication tactics to bolster vaccine confidence
1.Moderate your organization's social media and marketing platforms by assigning a community manager to engage with residents apply the SWIFT Method to respond to vaccine misinformation:
- Stop when you encounter potential misinformation. Even deciding not to share the content is a success metric.
- Investigate the source. Who is sharing the information? Is this from a reputable source (sometimes there's no source, or there is imposter content)? Use Google to look up news sources.
- Find better coverage. Look up what other coverage is on the same topic/ event. Focus on trusted sources by fact-checking sites. Do reverse image searches for false context of connection.
- Trace claims, quotes, and media to the original context. Click through links to find the original source.
2. Provide and advertise digital testimonials from within your community networks. When authentic testimonials are not available, use personas to create a compelling and relatable story. Public figures that are closer to the community (non-governmental figures) can also be a great voice to include around acceptance.
3. Create collateral that includes the call-to-action to share the content within their networks. This can include, but is not limited to: social media # campaigns, text campaigns, free giveaways that have common-day objects that spread awareness on how (and where) to get a vaccine (e.g., refrigerator magnets). The key here is widening the number of touchpoints with positive messaging around vaccine uptake.
4. Avoid myth-busting. Don’t give misinformation a platform. Lead with the fact above the fold on your digital platforms.
5. Consider who is communicating health information in a family. In many multilingual families, there may be mono-lingual and bilingual household members. As such, tailoring vaccine messaging towards relationships can be useful. Messaging could come directly from those most impacted by a person’s place on the vaccine hesitancy continuum and transition them to vaccine acceptance.
For example, consider Isabella. In her case, health information was tailored to emphasize the benefit of getting vaccinated to protect her family members (children, parents who might live with her) may be an effective way to motivate healthy behavior.
6. Highlight convenience and experience-based information about vaccine services. Appeal to beliefs that might delay vaccination due to perception of inconvenient provider locations or time spent.
7. Identify key concerns constituents in your area have about affordability. Clarify those questions up-front in content.
8. Clearly state the role services play in vaccine cost. State whether insurance status will affect their situation, and whether reimbursement is required.