Interpersonal Communication and Counseling: Improving Dialogue About COVID-19 Vaccination and Other Sensitive Topics

The rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine has highlighted the need for improved interpersonal counseling and communication (IPCC). Mis- and disinformation has muddled COVID-19 messaging, meaning that health providers have to spend extra time communicating with and counseling clients on vaccine side effects, risks, and benefits to ensure their concerns are addressed.

This course is intended for all health workers that interface with clients, including both in the health facility and at community-level. It offers an introduction and overview of IPCC, and techniques for counseling clients and countering myths and misinformation on an interpersonal level. Participants will learn how to better communicate with clients, as well as how to properly counsel clients to encourage behavior change. The course introduces new IPCC-related skills, provides a framework for sensitive counseling sessions, offers interactive exercises to practice these new skills, and includes job aids that can be printed and used in any counseling setting. Though the course focuses on counseling related to COVID-19 vaccination, it is widely applicable and useful for providers working in any health topic, from routine immunization to family planning to other health emergencies.

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Increasing COVID-19 Vaccine Uptake in Botswana Through Community Outreach and Door-to-Door Vaccination

Meeting Targets and Maintaining Epidemic Control (EpiC), a five-year global project funded by the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), is dedicated to addressing the HIV and COVID-19 pandemics. In Botswana, EpiC is led by FHI360 with core partners Right to Care (RTC), Palladium, and Population Services International (PSI). EpiC was modified in early 2020 to include funding to prevent, prepare for, and respond to COVID-19 by supporting the Ministry of Health to bolster health systems to address the pandemic.

To address low vaccine uptake among youth and the general population in the year 2022, EpiC rolled out intensive community mobilization. The project collaborated closely with District Health Management Teams (DHMTs), local community structures, and district-level leadership to rapidly increase vaccination uptake.

This resource is a success story that outlines the strategy that was employed to roll out vaccines at the community level.

Source: Increasing COVID-19 Vaccine Uptake in Botswana Through Community Outreach and Door-to-Door Vaccination

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Promoting Vaccination in India through Videos: The Role of Humor, Collectivistic Appeal and Gender

Vaccination hesitancy is a barrier to India’s efforts to control the COVID-19 pandemic. Considerable resources have been spent to promote COVID-19 vaccination, but evaluations of such efforts are sparse. Our objective was to determine how vaccine videos that manipulate message appeal (collectivistic versus individualistic), tone (humorous versus serious), and source (male versus female protagonist) toward vaccines and vaccination. We developed eight videos that manipulated the type of appeal (collectivistic or individualistic), tone of the message (humor or serious), and gender of the vaccine promoter (male or female) in a 2 x 2 x 2 between-subjects experiment. Participants (N = 2349) were randomly assigned to watch one of eight videos in an online experiment. Beliefs about vaccines and those about vaccination were obtained before and after viewing the video. Manipulation checks demonstrated that each of the three independent variables was manipulated successfully. After exposure to the video, beliefs about vaccines became more negative, while beliefs about vaccination became more positive. Humor reduced negative beliefs about vaccines. Collectivism and protagonist gender did not affect beliefs about vaccines or vaccination. Those able to remember the protagonist’s gender (a measure of attention) were likely to develop favorable beliefs if they had also seen the humorous videos. These findings suggest that people distinguish beliefs about vaccines, which deteriorated after exposure to the videos, from beliefs about vaccination, which improved. We recommend using humor when appropriate and focusing on the outcomes of vaccination, rather than on the vaccines themselves.

Source: Promoting Vaccination in India through Videos: The Role of Humor, Collectivistic Appeal and Gender

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Rumor Tracking and Infodemic Management in Public Health Emergencies

The overabundance of health information—including rumors and misinformation on and offline—has been a growing challenge across the world. This situation, called an infodemic, requires public health officials and health providers to work even harder to provide the public with accurate, up-to-date information.

This course is intended for risk communication and community engagement program implementers and other professionals working to identify and respond to emerging rumors. It offers an overview of the theory and practice of creating an infodemic management system, including step-by-step instructions, case studies, and links to additional tools. Participants will learn key definitions, consider how to conduct an infodemic landscaping analysis, and select sources of rumor data. The course modules also cover a variety of analysis techniques, strategies for addressing misinformation, and considerations for monitoring and evaluating infodemic management efforts.

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The Prevalence, Features, Influencing Factors, and Solutions for COVID-19 Vaccine Misinformation: Systematic Review

During the COVID-19 pandemic, infodemic spread even more rapidly than the pandemic itself. The COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy has been prevalent worldwide and hindered pandemic exiting strategies. Misinformation around COVID-19 vaccines is a vital contributor to vaccine hesitancy. However, no evidence systematically summarized COVID-19 vaccine misinformation.

This review aims to synthesize the global evidence on misinformation related to COVID-19 vaccines, including its prevalence, features, influencing factors, impacts, and solutions for combating misinformation.

Source: The Prevalence, Features, Influencing Factors, and Solutions for COVID-19 Vaccine Misinformation: Systematic Review

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Understanding the Behavioral and Social Drivers (BeSD) of COVID-19 Vaccination among Persons with Disabilities in Internally Displaced Camps in Somalia/Somaliland

In close collaboration with WHO, Handicap International adapted and piloted WHO’s behavioral and social drivers (BeSD) of vaccination tools1 to understand and analyze the perception of COVID-19 vaccines as well as the barriers and drivers of immunization among persons with disabilities in a humanitarian setting. The overall goal of this study was to capture the unique drivers of health prevention for Persons with disabilities in Somalia/Somaliland to support evidence-based disability-inclusive prevention (like RCCE programs) and strengthen advocacy for inclusive health information and services.

Source: Understanding the Behavioral and Social Drivers (BeSD) of COVID-19 Vaccination among Persons with Disabilities in Internally Displaced Camps in Somalia/Somaliland

 

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Evaluation of the WHO Community Engagement Research Initiative

The coronavirus disease (‎COVID-19)‎ pandemic has exposed inequities and service delivery gaps in national and global health systems. These weaknesses reveal the need to reimagine systemic approaches to community engagement, relationship development and trust building in health. The World Health Organization (‎WHO)‎ Regional Office for the Western Pacific led a multi-country Community Engagement Research Initiative to fill critical research gaps and accelerate action in mitigating the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on vulnerable populations.

This report offers an evaluation of evaluative action-based research carried out by four country research teams in Cambodia, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic and Malaysia.

Source: Evaluation of the WHO Community Engagement Research Initiative

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Insights Report: Increasing Willingness to Vaccinate in Sub-Saharan Africa

This Insights Report from Johnson & Johnson shares the background on their research, research about increasing willingness to vaccinate and lessons learned about what does not work to increase willingness to vaccinate in Sub-Saharan Africa. Some of the research shows that the messengers are just as important as the message itself as the research finds that government officials are not credible or persuasive sources of information when it comes to vaccines, nor are celebrities. The report also groups individuals based on their vaccine readiness into the following segments and suggests approaches for each segment: confident enthusiasts, enthusiastic pragmatists, vaccine ambivalents, vaccine skeptics and COVID cynics. The report suggests that it is possible to address low vaccine acceptance as long as individuals’ unique barriers and concerns are acknowledged, those concerns are addressed in a way that speaks to their values and makes the message personal to them, and trusted figures deliver the messages.

Source: Insights Report: Increasing Willingness to Vaccinate in Sub-Saharan Africa

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Rapid Review: COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout Service Delivery and Integration

A systematic review of COVID-19 vaccine roll-out experiences and lessons learned is being undertaken by the World Health Organization, MOMENTUM Country and Global Leadership, and COVID GAP to produce learnings for program audiences at all levels. This slide deck is the first in a series of multiple rapid review products, highlighting learning, best practices, and recommendations for one of the eight selected themes.

Source: Rapid Review: COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout Service Delivery and Integration

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    Primer on Digital Solutions for COVID-19 Vaccination Service Delivery

    A multi-agency initiative co-led by UNICEF and the World Health Organization, DICE provides coordinated technical assistance to national governments and partners on digital health interventions that address health priorities in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as post-pandemic health system needs.

    Source: Primer on Digital Solutions for COVID-19 Vaccination Service Delivery

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