A report “Infrastructure of Trust: The Case for Investing in Vaccine Demand” by the Brown University School of Public Health, with support from The Rockefeller Foundation, outlines the need for urgent resources dedicated to integration into pandemic preparedness and response plans to address the rampant disinformation, erosion of trust in public health, and lack of access to health services that has undermined the United States’ vaccination efforts to date.
The report delivers a new framework to guide vaccine demand generation strategies overall and provides the following policy recommendations for public health officials, institutions, and policy makers to build and maintain a stronger public health system to protect Americans from this, and future, pandemics.
- Invest in a communications infrastructure – similar to other aspects of pandemic preparedness – that builds trust in public health guidance over time and makes public health communications everyone’s job. This includes building in flexibility to address evolving information needs and to fight disinformation tactics that sow fear and doubt in vaccinations.
- Be in solidarity with community by aligning with their priorities, needs, and values to make it easier for individuals to see how the vaccine fits into their life and frame vaccination as a decision that makes sense. This is an essential component that builds trust, integrates interventions into other needed services, and creates a more equitable public health system.
- Integrate vaccine demand assessments and strategic planning into pandemic preparedness and resilience efforts at all levels of government, industry, and the nonprofit sector – from the start.
This report is based on learnings from The Rockefeller Foundation’s Equity-First Vaccination Initiative (EVI) – which funded community-led work on vaccine access and confidence in communities of color in five U.S. cities – as well as an extensive literature review and interviews with key experts, advocates, practitioners and authorities.