Teenage girl getting vaccinated

Info campaigns key to success of vaccine programmes, NHS Wales says

Misinformation-driven public hesitancy can reduce the efficacy of vaccination programmes even though they are the most effective way of saving lives and insulating public health across the globe, a new report form Public Health Wales has said.

Every year, vaccines save between three-and-a-half and five million lives worldwide, according to Public Health Wales – but mere availability can’t be relied upon to reach all the people in need, as vaccination programmes must also be accepted by people and the communities they reside in if they are to be as successful as possible.

The report examines everything from policies and programmes to experiences and evidence from around the world and indicates that, whilst digital misinformation is one of the biggest causes of vaccine hesitancy, truth is the biggest driver of acceptance and healthcare professionals are often the most trusted sources.

Public Health Wales therefore say that communication campaigns are crucial if the public are to trust vaccination programmes.

International Health Lead at Public Health Wales, Dr Mariana Dyakova, said: “Deciding to accept a vaccine depends on many factors, mostly on building and maintaining trust with people, families and communities. This requires clear understandable language, listening and responding to concerns, and reiterating confident evidence-backed key messages, which fight uncertainty.”

“It is especially important to reduce inequity of communication reach through tailoring immunisation strategies to improve uptake, engaging community-centred approaches, ensuring website accessibility, targeting vulnerable or disadvantaged populations, and including their experiences in campaigns.”

Public Health Wales’ report identifies key factors that communication campaigns should do, be or include:

  • Positive testimonies from people who have received the vaccine
  • Input from health professionals
  • Culturally and linguistically appropriate messaging
  • Consistent messaging
  • Benefit-focused
  • Appraisal of vaccine information sources
  • In conjunction with supplementary policies and public health measures
  • A strong foundation of public-private multisectoral collaborations
  • Community-tailored messaging
  • Increase social media presence

Interim Head of Public Health Wales’ Vaccine Preventable Disease Programme, Dr Christopher Johnson, added: “It’s encouraging that this report highlights that communications campaigns can increase vaccine acceptance. Having access to accurate and trusted information is vital to help individuals make informed decisions regarding vaccination. 

“In Wales, we have run a number of communications campaigns, which are behaviourally informed, to help inform and increase people’s knowledge about vaccination. And this is something we will continue to do - to ensure people are receiving trusted, accurate information.”

To access the full report, click here.

National Health Executive, Jan/Feb, Cover

NHE Jan/Feb 22

The pioneering programmes aimed at solving the NHS workforce pressures - starting at the top

This issue highlights the latest topics within the health sector, from pioneering programmes aimed at solving the NHS workforce pressures, treatment to slow the progression of Parkinson's disease, how the UK is leading the way in cancer research & more!


View all videos
National Health Executive Presents

National Health Executive Presents

NHE365 Virtual Events

NHE has created a full calendar of events to address the most important issues that influence the delivery of healthcare services. Over 365 days you'll have the opportunity to hear from a range of highly motivating, informative and inspirational speakers. These speakers will equip you with the knowledge and unique insight to enable you to overcome the challenges that you face.

Finger on the Pulse

Ep 14. Health messaging is a science, Professor Craig Jackson

On Episode 14 of NHE's Finger on the Pulse podcast, we're joined by Professor Craig Jackson, Professor of Occupational Health Psychology
Birmingham City University to discuss the coronavirus pandemic, the health messaging around it and how those in power have missed a trick by overlooking the key role of psychology in informing the public of restrictions, measures and the ever-changing situation

More articles...

View all