Effective communication is needed to ensure shared understanding of how well COVID-19 vaccines work and whether they are being equitably distributed. Without clear, consistent, readily accessible communications, people may lose faith in the vaccines and in those providing them. State, tribal, local, and territorial officials can play a key role in conveying that information to community members or intermediaries in a timely, clear, authoritative way and in conveying community concerns to policy makers.
This rapid expert consultation summarizes social, behavioral, and decision science research relevant to communicating how well COVID-19 vaccines work are and how equitably they are being distributed. It offers practical strategies for both the process and the content of such communication, recognizing that people respond to both how they learn about something and what they learn about it.
This rapid expert consultation was produced through the Societal Experts Action Network (SEAN), an activity of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine that is sponsored by the National Science Foundation and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. SEAN links researchers in the social, behavioral, and economic sciences with decision makers to respond to policy questions arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. This project is affiliated with the National Academies' Standing Committee on Emerging Infectious Diseases and 21st Century Health Threats, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response.
National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Understanding and Communicating about COVID-19 Vaccine Efficacy, Effectiveness, and Equity. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/26154.
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