Drive for 75: Resources from Week 10

Regulation | May 07, 2021 | by Jill Schumann

LeadingAge Coronavirus Update Calls 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.

This Week’s Highlights:

Volume Twenty Five: Air Date 5.3.21. “Combatting Misinformation”

One of the hardest issues to deal with in building vaccine confidence is the vast amount of misinformation. Misinformation seems to be everywhere and new strands of it creep up constantly. When you are having conversations with individuals about the vaccines you are often ready to combat much of the traditional misinformation we have repeatedly heard over the last few months, but what about new items that have just hit social media, television, or the airwaves?

The Public Health Communications Collaborative is trying to provide resources to combat misinformation. One section of their website is dedicated to misinformation alerts. It tracks new items of misinformation and then makes recommendations on how to address it – whether it requires a direct response, a passive response – responding if brought up, or to ignore it. Also, it provides links to fact checking sources so you can have those at your fingertips.

They also link to a Vaccine Misinformation Management Field Guide. This thorough field guide has case studies as well as actionable items to help address and initiate vaccine confidence through four stages --- preparing, listening, understanding, and engaging. Take a look at these resources and add them to your toolkit to boost vaccine confidence and help to debunk rampant misinformation.

Volume Twenty Six: Air Date 5.5.21. “Messenger Gender Bias”

Women continue to outpace men in getting a vaccine, by about ten percentage points. There are likely many reasons, but a new study from Macalester College hints at gender bias that transcends public health messages themselves. Professor Leah Witus made short videos to teach people about the science of mRNA vaccines. A colleague in the sociology department suggested she test gender bias and compare the effects of a female narrator to a male narrator.

According to the study, which polled more than 1,100 people from across the US, the video narrated by the male showed a statistically significant increased vaccination intention when compared to a group that didn't watch any video. For people who identified as more politically liberal and moderate, the female narrated version of the video was also effective in increasing vaccine intention. But for people who identified as conservative, watching the female version of the video made them less likely to indicate that they would want to get vaccinated.

It is well known that there is gender bias in science, so it appears that there is also gender bias influencing how people see the voice of science, or who they trust as scientific authorities. This may be a helpful insight as we work to increase vaccine uptake.

Volume Twenty Seven: Air Date 5.6.21. “Changed Minds”

It is time for some good news about people who changed their minds and decided to get the vaccine. It does happen, so don’t give up.

This article describes a focus group of such people. What led them to switch varied from person to person – a single mother’s concern about who would take care of her small child were she to get seriously ill from COVID; knowing that being vaccinated would get him into a Yankee’s game; hearing a physician’s clear answers to her questions; listening to the stories of young COVID long-haulers; having injection anxiety addressed; and much more. In another article Josh Sharfstein shared that one 65 year old he vaccinated said that her 85 year old mother told her to get vaccinated– so she was doing it for her mother. It is clear, as we have heard over and over again, that this is a very individual issue.

These stories of changing minds informed the GOP Doctors Caucus – a group of Republican physician members of Congress who have made public service announcements urging people across the political spectrum to choose vaccination. These PSAs may be helpful in de-politicizing vaccination.

We would also call your attention to this short, but effective video from CMS in which nursing home staff members say why they chose to get vaccinated.

The Black Coalition Against COVID has launched a series called Black Doctors Read COVID Tweets, responding to real Twitter questions about COVID with real answers and dispelling myths with a strong dose of science and a touch of humor.