We Are Halfway There: Tips for Combatting Vaccine Hesitancy

By Welltok Marketing

Our nation hit a major milestone this week with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reporting that more than half of adults have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. While this is great news, experts across the nation are speaking up with concerns about achieving herd immunity. Supply is catching up to demand in many parts of the country and some areas are seeing a slowdown in proactive vaccine seekers. There are many reasons why someone may not be lining up to get vaccinated, and what you do can make a difference.

With the Kaiser Family Foundation estimating the U.S. will likely run out of adults who are enthusiastic about getting vaccinated within the next two to four weeks, now is an especially important time for organizations to maintain or even step up their COVID-19 vaccine campaigns to ensure people are making fact-based decisions about getting the vaccine. Combatting vaccine hesitancy isn’t going to happen with a one-and-done campaign. But with sustained effort, we can continue progress toward achieving herd immunity and returning to a more normal life.

Here are some tips for combatting vaccine hesitancy from the engagement experts at Welltok.

1. Honor your role as a source of information

Earlier this year we asked adults across the U.S. who they wanted to get information about the COVID-19 vaccines from. The answer – reputable organizations like their provider, health insurance provider, pharmacy and employer - not their social network. Your people trust you to provide accurate and timely information. Meet their expectations with dynamic COVID-19 vaccine awareness and education campaigns.

covid vaccine hesitancy 11Source: This Is Your Shot: Get Your COVID-19 Vaccine Communications Right Survey, Welltok, Jan 2021

2. Stick to the facts

There is a lot of misinformation out there about COVID and the vaccines. Your role is to stick with the facts and to direct people to reputable sources of information, like the CDC, when they have questions. Take Welltok’s Get Vaccinated Because campaign as an example. It features simple, easy to understand language, with links to the CDC if people want more information.

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3. Use new communication channels to reach people

In today’s disconnected world, it’s harder than ever to connect with people. If you’re seeing lower than desired engagement levels using your traditional outreach methods, it might be a good time to try something new, like text, automated calls (IVR) or good ol' direct mail.

With 90% of text messages being read within 3 minutes, text messaging is an increasingly popular channel people are using to break through the noise. We not only help our clients navigate the compliance landscape and send secure text messages, we also use this channel to reach our own employees!

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4. Keep a steady drumbeat of messages

Informing people about COVID-19 vaccines and addressing common questions that lead to vaccine hesitancy is not achievable through a one-time, generic campaign. For example, according to Kaiser Health News close to 60% of people who have been vaccinated are women, compared to about 40% of men. Addressing this disparity and driving more men to accept the vaccine will require targeted messages and outreach that will personally resonate with men who are on the fence.

With data and technology, it is possible to keep a steady drumbeat of personalized messages going over a sustained period of time. This is a lot of work, and something Welltok is helping clients do to reach up to 95% of targeted individuals.
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The biggest tip – remember that you are in a position to make a difference by engaging your people on a personal level and sending compelling messages to get them vaccinated. If you need help getting those messages out – Welltok can help. Let’s talk!

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