Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine today released guidance on communication strategies to combat mistrust and build confidence in COVID-19 vaccines based on research on decision making, changing beliefs/attitudes, and reaching and engaging diverse audiences.

The report recommends focusing communications on those who are skeptical or hesitant rather than firmly opposed to vaccination; tailoring messages to specific audiences; adapting messaging as circumstances change; and using trusted messengers with roots in the community to overcome mistrust and build confidence, among other strategies.
 
“Everyone — employers, health care providers, faith leaders, elected leaders, and public health officials — has a role to play,” the authors say. “All strategies for increasing vaccine confidence need to take into account that vaccine decision making is part of a nuanced ecological model in which individual beliefs and behaviors are influenced by experiences at the community, organizational, and policy levels.”

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