Weekly Review: Communicating COVID-19 – May 3, 2021

Weekly Review: Communicating COVID-19 – May 3, 2021

This week’s review focuses on understanding vaccine hesitancy, particularly addressing who is likely to be hesitant, where they get information, and what can be done to overcome hesitancy.

Although vaccine hesitancy is seen in all groups of people, this national probability-based survey found that people who perceived themselves to be at lower risk, relied on conservative media outlets, identified as Republican, had low confidence in science, identified as non-Hispanic Blacks, or reported lower levels of education were more vaccine hesitant. Many of these factors are addressable, and the researchers suggest implementing urgent public health communication to reduce vaccine hesitancy.

In a study of YouTube videos about COVID-19 vaccination, researchers found that related videos had been viewed more than 55 million times. The greatest increases in viewership were among videos that address fear, vaccine effectiveness, and adverse reactions. The researchers concluded that people are turning to social media for information about the COVID-19 vaccination to inform their decisions, but they are viewing a lot of inaccurate and negative information. They urge the U.S. Public Health Service to address these falsehoods.

A Kaiser Family Foundation survey found that individuals who work in health care are actually more vaccine hesitant than those who do not (29% vs 27%). To combat this problem, this executive summary suggests that communicating personal stories may be more effective than simply stating statistics to persuade vaccine hesitant individuals to get the vaccine. Additionally, the summary discusses how physicians should communicate with concerned employees and correct any misinformation about the vaccine. Finally, it is noted that vaccine hesitancy varies based on people’s education in science; therefore, educating employees is important.

|2021-05-03T09:00:32-04:00May 3rd, 2021|COVID-19 Literature|0 Comments

About the Author: Maria Brann

Maria Brann
Dr. Maria Brann, PhD, MPH, is a professor in the Department of Communication Studies in the School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI and affiliate faculty with the Injury Control Research Center at West Virginia University. She explores the integration of health, interpersonal, and gender communication. Her translational focus and mixed methods approach are woven throughout her health vulnerabilities research, which advocates for more effective communication to improve people’s health and safety. Her primary research interests focus on the study of women’s and ethical issues in health communication contexts and promotion of healthy lifestyle behaviors to improve personal and public health and safety. She researches communication at both the micro and macro levels and studies how communication influences relationships among individuals and with the social world.

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