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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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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On the Fence About COVID-19 Vaccines?

This is an infosheet touching on key topics of concern regarding COVID-19 vaccination. It addresses core components of hesitation, fears, and misunderstandings. Target audiences for this infographic are rural communities, those on the fence or undecided about vaccination, and adults with multiple comorbidities.

Source: On the Fence About COVID-19 Vaccines?

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    COVID Vaccine Ambassador Training: How to Talk to Parents

    In collaboration with the Johns Hopkins Consortium for School-Based Health Solutions, IVAC faculty have just launched a free online course, “COVID Vaccine Ambassador Training: How to Talk to Parents.”

    Designed for parents, teachers, and school staff, this online course aims to provide “vaccine ambassadors” with the tools to discuss concerns about COVID-19 vaccines with people in their communities. The self-paced course teaches adults how to have respectful and empathetic conversations with parents and guardians who remain hesitant about vaccination for their children, even if they are vaccinated themselves.

    The goal of the course is to empower more people to communicate with parents in the U.S. who have concerns about vaccinating their children, despite the availability of safe, effective, and free COVID-19 vaccines for children ages five and up. In recent weeks, COVID-19 hospitalizations in children have spiked to record levels, including among unvaccinated children ages 5 and up who are eligible for COVID-19 vaccines. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an average of 672 children age 17 and under were admitted to hospitals every day with COVID-19 during the week ending Sunday, January 2—the highest such number of the pandemic. These numbers underscore the urgency to get eligible children across the country vaccinated and boosted now.

    The COVID-19 Vaccine Ambassador course covers evidence-based communication strategies, with video explainers and FAQs about COVID-19 and COVID-19 vaccines, as well as lessons on how to engage in constructive conversations about vaccine hesitancy. The course also includes reliable sources of information about COVID-19 vaccines, an important tool in discussions around vaccines.

    Source: COVID Vaccine Ambassador Training: How to Talk to Parents

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      Combating Online Health Misinformation and Vaccine Hesitancy for Health Providers

      This 60-minute online training focuses on how to effectively communicate with vaccine hesitant individuals and how to effectively respond to misinformation people may encounter online or on social media. Those who complete the training will earn a certificate of completion through the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health that can be printed directly from the course page.

      This training was developed by a team of leading epidemiologists and behavioral scientists at the International Vaccine Access Center to provide health professionals with evidence-based skills on how to combat vaccine misinformation and promote vaccine confidence in the communities they serve.

      Source: Combating Online Health Misinformation and Vaccine Hesitancy for Health Providers

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        COVID-19 Digital Classroom Courses

        The COVID-19 course series is part of the COVID-19 Digital Classroom initiative. These courses are primarily designed for community-based health workers who practice in low- and middle-income countries. It covers a range of topics on COVID-19, including basic information on the virus and how to mitigate its public health effects. The course is designed to synthesize the most important, high-level information on COVID-19 from a variety of well-respected resources in a practical way. Many of the resources are cited for your reference and include documents and guidelines from the World Health Organization, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the UN, and many other reliable sources. While community-based health workers are the primary audience for this course series, the topics covered are relevant for everyone involved in responding to this pandemic worldwide.

        It is important to note that while these courses provide a generalized overview of COVID-19 and information on how to contain the spread of the disease, they cannot account for everything, especially as we are still learning day-to-day about the virus and its impact on our health and society. Therefore, please use this course as a guide, and continue to familiarize yourself with your context, including your country’s public health guidelines, in order to best customize the content we cover here for you and your community’s specific needs.

        Source: COVID-19 Digital Classroom Courses

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          COVID-19 Contact Tracing Online Course

          The COVID-19 crisis has created an unprecedented need for contact tracing across the country, requiring thousands of people to learn key skills quickly. The job qualifications for contact tracing positions differ throughout the country and the world, with some new positions open to individuals with a high school diploma or equivalent.

          In this introductory course, students will learn about the science of SARS-CoV-2 , including the infectious period, the clinical presentation of COVID-19, and the evidence for how SARS-CoV-2 is transmitted from person-to-person and why contact tracing can be such an effective public health intervention. Students will learn about how contact tracing is done, including how to build rapport with cases, identify their contacts, and support both cases and their contacts to stop transmission in their communities.

          The course will also cover several important ethical considerations around contact tracing, isolation, and quarantine. Finally, the course will identify some of the most common barriers to contact tracing efforts — along with strategies to overcome them.

          Source: COVID-19 Contact Tracing Online Course

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            Understanding the COVID-19 Pandemic Insights from Johns Hopkins University Experts

            This is a free, publicly available course entitled Understanding the COVID-19 Pandemic: Insights from Johns Hopkins University Experts. This course is set up as a series of short modules to explore the COVID-19 pandemic. Registration is not required. The modules build on each other. The course begins with a discussion of the virus that causes COVID-19 and works its way to the pandemic’s broader implications for society.

            This course features original content that was created after the imposition of social distancing measures.

            Upon completing this course, you will be able to:

            • Describe characteristics of the COVID-19 virus, including how it is diagnosed and treated
            • Understand the development of the COVID-19 pandemic, and emerging trends throughout the world
            • Discuss societal challenges raised by COVID-19 and opportunities to address them

            Source: Understanding the COVID-19 Pandemic Insights from Johns Hopkins University Experts

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              Coronavirus Online Course

              This online course is designed for individuals with low health/science literacy to explain COVID-19.

              Each section describes a different aspect of COVID-19, including how it is transmitted, symptoms, and treatment, with a brief recap of important points after each section.

              Source: Coronavirus Online Course

                Views 731