Communication Strategies for Building Confidence in COVID-19 Vaccines: Addressing Variants and Childhood Vaccinations

The fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States has been fueled by the delta variant, which is more contagious than earlier variants, and a slowing down in new vaccinations. This context affirms the importance of tackling vaccine hesitancy and communicating with parents of children who are eligible to be vaccinated and those for whom future eligibility is anticipated.

In a rapidly evolving situation, where new evidence is continually emerging, state and local decision makers must be ready to frequently adjust and adapt their communication and messaging strategies to meet public needs. This rapid expert consultation explores strategies for communicating with two groups: vaccine hesitant individuals and parents of children who are considering vaccination.

To learn more about other strategies for communicating about vaccines, visit:

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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, which is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, and the Standing Committee on Advancing Science Communication, which is sponsored by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Kavli Foundation, National Academy of Sciences W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and the Science Sandbox – Simons Foundation.

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How can SEAN help?

Are you a policy maker? Do you have a question you need answered? SEAN will consider the most pressing questions and engage the nation’s experts to focus on your challenges. Contact us at or 202-334-3440.

SEAN is a network of experts in the social, behavioral, and economic sciences poised to assist decision makers at all levels as they respond to COVID-19. The network appreciates any and all feedback on its work. Please send comments to