Drive for 75: What We Learned from Week 3

Caregiving Resource | March 18, 2021 | by Dee Pekruhn, Jill Schumann

LeadingAge Coronavirus Update Calls will feature brief segments called “Drive for 75” to promote the successful vaccination of at least 75% of our aging services providers’ workforce, and as needed, residents, by June 30. We will cover developments in the news, research, and innovative practices that support our members in attaining high vaccination rates. And, these resources and insights can be used by a variety of provider types, including home care, home health, hospice, adult day, and other home and community based settings, as well as congregate settings like afforable housing, nursing homes, life plan communities, and independent living. 

This Week’s Highlights:

· Volume Six: Air Date 3.15.21: “Facebooks Vaccine Misinformation Investigation”

Where is the boundary line between freedom of expression and the harmful spread of misinformation? This is the core ethical dilemma of Facebook’s recent probe into the content of user postings on the popular social media platform. They found that only 10 of these 638 “segments” contribute over 50% of the vaccine hesitancy content, and in the largest segment, only 111 people contribute over 50% of that content. They say that “the risk of harm appears to be disproportionately affecting a few communities.” It appears that most of the problematic content that fuels vaccine hesitancy on Facebook– a source of information for millions– is originating from a relatively small and focused group of people. Facebook is determining how to use the data gathered to inform their information management policies. Where to draw the line on expression of opinion – and what content should be removed or banned to protect susceptible groups from harm – remains to be seen.

· Volume Seven: Air Date 3.17.21: “Race, Regionalism and Politics in Hesitancy”

The findings of two recent studies – one by NPR/ PBS NewsHour/ Marist and another by CBS - revealed that race, surprisingly, showed the least disparity in hesitancy than other factors. When asked whether they would take the COVID vaccine, black and white Americans represented an equally-low percentage who would say “no:” 25 and 28%, respectively. In fact, in this survey, black Americans were the least likely to say no of all of the racial subcategories. Latino/ Hispanic Americans were not too far behind, at 37% replying “no.” More significant were the gaps between regional settings and political affiliations. In gross summary terms, people who live in rural areas and espouse conservative views were much more likely to state they would not get the vaccine than people who live in urban areas and espouse liberal views. Knowing and recognizing these undertones in hesitancy can help tremendously in better understanding – and supporting people – wherever they are in their vaccine acceptance decision-making.

· Volume Eight: Air Date 3.18.21: “Motivational Interviewing for Vaccine Hesitancy.”

Techniques used in the practice of Motivational Interviewing can be readily applied to conversations with people about vaccine hesitancy. Motivational interviewing is a guided conversation style that is built around three components: collaboration, evocation, and honoring the person’s autonomy. Collaboration is evoked using a comfortable, non-confrontational tone and language. Evocation empowers people to draw their own conclusions from the review and discussion of facts and feelings. The ‘interviewer’s’ job is to support people in making their own decisions by honoring their autonomy and choice. The core communication components are asking open ended questions; giving affirmations; practicing reflective listening; and summarizing the conversation while validating the person’s views and choices. This technique is often used when a person is ambivalent about a change they are facing, and seeks to align the change with the person’s own hopes and goals.