Discussions

Vaccine Hesitancy and COVID 19 treatment vs. prevention messaging

Posted by Dr Paula Miceli @drpaulam, Oct 5, 2020

I'm circling back around to the topic of vaccine hesitancy with COVID-19. We had a thread a few months ago, and I wanted to revisit the issue. I'm in the process of inquiring with a variety of contacts (in my local area) about their level of interest to hear more about vaccine hesitancy and what can be done to address it in non-medical health settings (eg. in mental health care). The response has been mixed. I'm wondering about whether members of this community have been working to cultivate interest amidst health care professionals to educate themselves about ways to respond to client/patient concerns. There's a lot of COVID fatigue these days, and I can imagine how this might not make it to the priority list.

As well, I have been wondering about whether health care providers are reluctant to learn about the topic because they are themselves hesitant, or because a vaccine candidate has not yet been advanced to the point of market release (eg., the perception that it is too early to begin educating oneself).

Does anyone have any experiences that they might share? If this is being navigated satisfactorily, can you provide any suggestions about how this is unfolding?

well, recently looking at over 1300 tweets of the top 10 hospitals in washington and the largest 4-5 insurance companies there was close to zero social media leveraging of CDC and Washington State Department of Health information regarding influenza and Covid. Effectively there is no digital coordination of messaging by the most trusted healthcare information sources and the largest healthcare organizations in our state.

So although I think individual doctors and individual organizations will push for vaccination, I think we should expect to get crushed by disinformation. Excluding vaccination of children ( whcih likely won't happen for some time), even if we have a vaccine ready to go by February, I will be shocked if by this time next year we have a > 50% adult vaccination rate in our state ( and Washington is in the top ten states for vaccinations).

Partly because of this, and partly because of resistance to simple,things like masking, I would say we are only in about the 3rd inning of Covid. I think it's going to get a lot worse before it gets better.

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I appreciate your input. It's sobering but helpful. I'm wondering if you might provide an example (or two) of a top 10 hospital in Washington State. I can add them to my twitter feed and monitor them (given that Washington State seems to be, at least in experience, more open to immunization).

Liked by Kathy Bowers

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you bet.

Heathcare orgs which didn't retweet trusted content include @UWMedicine, @virginiamason, @Swedish, @Providence. Although they all were active tweeting Covid information, they didn't really retweet any direct CDC or Department of Health sources.

the same goes for out large insurance compaines: @premera, @kpthrive, @molinahealth.

Interestingly @myCHPW the community Healthplan of Washington DID retweet government trusted sources.

ALSO, @wsma_update The Washington State Medical Association, DID actively retweet government trusted sources.

I hypothesize that most marketing departments have not been directed to liberally retweet the CDC and the Department of Health. In fact, I would say they more actively retweet the Seattle Seahawks and the Seattle Kraken (out new hockey team) more than they do the CDC or Washington Department of Health.

Liked by Dr Paula Miceli

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@matthewrehrl

you bet.

Heathcare orgs which didn't retweet trusted content include @UWMedicine, @virginiamason, @Swedish, @Providence. Although they all were active tweeting Covid information, they didn't really retweet any direct CDC or Department of Health sources.

the same goes for out large insurance compaines: @premera, @kpthrive, @molinahealth.

Interestingly @myCHPW the community Healthplan of Washington DID retweet government trusted sources.

ALSO, @wsma_update The Washington State Medical Association, DID actively retweet government trusted sources.

I hypothesize that most marketing departments have not been directed to liberally retweet the CDC and the Department of Health. In fact, I would say they more actively retweet the Seattle Seahawks and the Seattle Kraken (out new hockey team) more than they do the CDC or Washington Department of Health.

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This is a really interesting point and I agree. Marketing departments should probably also focus on using their platform to get the message out via their own staff. For the general public, hearing your own hometown physicians, surgeons, or nurses talking about the importance of vaccines could strengthen the message beyond what retweeting the CDC might accomplish.

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Cancer centers might not be sharing about vaccination but they are with patients. One of the first questions I was asked at my recent follow-up visit at my center was if I had gotten a flu shot. I had one scheduled and have since gotten it.

Liked by Dr Paula Miceli

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@johnfitzgerald

This is a really interesting point and I agree. Marketing departments should probably also focus on using their platform to get the message out via their own staff. For the general public, hearing your own hometown physicians, surgeons, or nurses talking about the importance of vaccines could strengthen the message beyond what retweeting the CDC might accomplish.

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Excellent point John. And here is where I think coordiantion with an orgs email, an orgs Facebook, and perosnal staff Facebook comes in. If you live in acounty of 250 K, and you employ 2000 staff, then if you can get several hundred of you staff to repost or contirbute to your orgs trusted Facebook content then you can amplify this trusted content locally—and locally is what counts for vaccine acceptence.

There is the concept of meme critical mass—what percentage community do you need to convince for a meme to spread spontaneously, (or what percent of true believer do you need for content to spread automatically). I have seen one model which states the number is 13%. Then a target number for a county of 250K is 32,500—and a moderate size orgs staff can help be part of and achieve that number.

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We are doing some paid Facebook advertising for one of our system's hospitals to getting individuals to register for a COVID-19 phase 3 trial. The responses to the ads clearly show the mistrust, false information and conspiracy theories that are out there. From not trusting the safety of the vaccine, to the virus is a hoax, to the government is trying to put microchips in us through the vaccine, the responses clearly show a split in how the country sees this virus and the vaccine. We actively retweet Health Department information, as well as the CDC. We still retweet CDC information, but it is no longer met with the same confidence that it once would have been. The CDC has unfortunately lost some credibility with the public. I believe we are going to face an uphill challenge over the next months. A national plan would be a wonderful thing to be able to help support from each of our organizations.

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Circling back to this for any of the members who might be following the discussion thread.
I'm sharing this (somewhat) recent article from Dr. Peter Hotez….for those who might not be aware of it.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7235572/pdf/main.pdf

Liked by Matthew Rehrl

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@drpaulam

Circling back to this for any of the members who might be following the discussion thread.
I'm sharing this (somewhat) recent article from Dr. Peter Hotez….for those who might not be aware of it.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7235572/pdf/main.pdf

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excellent editorial article:

key quote: 'In the new alliance category, the antivaccine movement has started connecting with groups and individuals protesting against government interference and social distancing, working to add child- hood vaccination mandates to their list of grievances "

I think that is what we need to understand. To fight a coordinated movement, healthcare orgs need to coordinate with each other.

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Hope this is of interest to some.
A pre-print became available re: vaccine acceptance study in LA health care workers; 66% of the sample intends to delay vaccination, despite high survey (Likert) ratings of confidence in safety, importance and effectiveness.
Sharing it with you…..
https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.11.18.20234468v1

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