What are the best practises for vaccination promotion?

Friday 17 May 2024

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After the COVID-19 pandemic, vaccination campaigns are still very uneven across countries, and hesitation to vaccinate against the virus continues throughout Europe. To understand the reasons why different groups of people in Europe hesitate or refuse to vaccinate against COVID-19, we created coOPERATOR!

The state-of-the-art shows that vaccine hesitation is a complex issue that modern society still haven’t completely understood. Thus, coOperator encompasses how citizens think about the COVID-19 virus, what systemic barriers they may face when it comes to accessing the vaccine, how healthcare practitioners and local governments speak about the COVID-19 vaccine and vaccination campaigns, and relationships of trust or mistrust between citizens and their healthcare practitioners and local governments.

The project will research these complexities and more to understand what factors contribute to vaccine hesitation and vaccine rejection across Europe. The research demographic will include national ministries of health, national institute of health, regional and local health authorities, and key citizen informants within the local and national research community. By working with these groups, our project will map the varying needs across different European countries (systemic barriers, gender, class, etc) to understand where policymakers should concentrate their vaccine campaign efforts. The information we collect will also be transformed into training modules for healthcare practitioners to improve how they talk about the vaccine to different groups, how to recognise and tackle systemic barriers, and how to learn from their citizens’ doubts. The goal of our project is to compile what we learnt into training modules and policymaking suggestions which we will then pilot in five European countries: Belgium, Cyprus, Greece, Italy, and Portugal.

The project partners had their first in-person meeting at the Cyprus University of Technology in Limassol, Cyprus on 17th and 18th January 2024. The team consisted of researchers in public health, epidemiology and medical anthropology, project managers across various European public health organisations, consultants in science communication, health IT, and medical informatics, and more. Over two days, we had lively discussions around our hopes for the project and its expected challenges. We asked our group: Should we focus on vaccine hesitation for COVID-19 only or should our research include hesitation for the flu vaccine? Should our research groups consist only of adults making decisions over their own bodies – or should we include adults making decisions for their dependents, e.g., children or elderly relatives? What counts as “good vaccine coverage” and how do we track “vaccine promotion”?

This project will present new medical research that builds on important ethical questions as we step deeper into a post-pandemic world: What doubts do citizens have about medicine? What can healthcare practitioners and policymakers learn from these doubts? How can we be good co-citizens as we try to keep each other safe?

Follow us to find out all the news about coOPERATOR or write to Ritti Soncco for more information: ritti.soncco@cesie.org.

About the project

coOPERATOR: Developing a Country-Observatory for sharing best practises for vaccination promotion is a project funded by EU4Health, European Commission.


For further information

Read more about the project, visit the web site https://cooperatorvax.eu/ and follow us on Facebook and Linkedin.

Contact Ritti Soncco: ritti.soncco@cesie.org.