Since the beginning of the pandemic, there has been an excess of information and misinformation in what WHO called an “infodemic. ”. We have learned the hard way that information alone does not result in tangible behavior change even when the stakes for health and safety are extremely high.
This “infodemic” has also translated into increased mistrust for the COVID-19 vaccines. The reasons for vaccine hesitancy are multifold and include the following (based on our study conducted in February 2021)*:
Despite the differing attitudes towards COVID-19 and vaccines, there is unanimous agreement about the cascading impact of COVID-19 on the lives of the people as mentioned below.
We conclude that COVID-19 is as much a socio-economic issue as it is a public health one. Any communications campaign needs to speak to this aspect, in a tone that is empathetic and relatable to the problems being faced by the public, while simultaneously outlining key health benefits.
*Based on a COVID-19 vaccine communications needs assessment study conducted in urban and rural areas of Punjab (Ludhiana) and Karnataka (Tumkur). The study was conducted by Convergent View with the support of Kalyani Rajan.
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