While Covid-19 vaccination is a vital tool in helping the Philippines end the COVID-19 pandemic, actually understanding people’s concerns is crucial to promoting higher vaccination rates through more effective public health communication. After all, it’s the act of vaccination rather than the vaccines themselves which reduces disease spread and severity.
To help the Government connect with the community during the national COVID-19 vaccination roll-out, researchers should explore which attitudes drive or hinder covid-19 vaccination by conducting interviews in 3 high-risk groups: healthcare workers, older adults, and adults with comorbidities.
This will help develop insights and strategies to build public trust and encourage people to feel confident taking a COVID-19 vaccine.
The covid-19 vaccination, not vaccines that save lives. So actually having those vaccines to give to people and building people’s confidence to accept those vaccines is the key that makes disease prevention work.
One piece of the puzzle
By sitting down with everyone from clinicians and nurses together with administrators and seniors within these high-risk groups, the researchers will gain valuable insights into areas such as how the pandemic has impacted people’s lives, which factors influence whether or not individuals will join the COVID-19 vaccination, and whether there is any further information that people would like to know to boost their confidence in the vaccines, and participate in covid-19 vaccination.
It’s going to be one piece of the puzzle but it’s a piece of the puzzle that will hopefully allow us to be ahead of the game in ensuring that we deliver the best possible information to people to afford them the protection and ultimately enable us to have enough population-level immunity to end the pandemic.
As the Philippines learns more about the pandemic and the SARS-CoV-2 virus itself, these types of interviews allow us to pinpoint public attitudes towards vaccination and truly connect with people during these difficult times.
A back and forth to build trust
Those interviews will reveal the people are happy to get vaccinated or opt not to, these insights will be used for the most important step, testing and tailoring community health messaging to ensure it addresses all-important facilitators and barriers to covid-19 vaccination.
It is natural for people to ask questions about covid-19 vaccination, especially a novel one they are being asked to take, and that open, transparent public health messaging is an important way to build trust and confidence in the vaccines.
One of the ways we have to respond to hesitancy and to help build trust is via effective communication. If we respond to people’s questions and concerns, we can help build people’s confidence in the vaccines. That’s why I think this research is important.
The research reveals the attitudes to vaccination in general. Such studies on COVID-19 vaccination will examine trends in vaccine acceptance and hesitancy will allow the concerned government agency to continue evolving its community messages in the future.