Addressing COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy for parents and caregivers
While vaccines have been proven to be highly effective in preventing COVID-19 infections and severe illness, the goal of achieving herd immunity remains unattainable without vaccinating children. Due to the prevalence of misinformation on the internet, Lauren Arrigoni, DNP, and Claire Boogaard, M.D., M.P.H., at Children’s National Hospital led a study, published in the Journal of Pediatric Health Care, that addresses parental hesitancy about giving their children COVID-19 vaccines. They found that a one-hour webinar delivered as a digital intervention can reduce parental COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy and parental uncertainty regarding vaccine information.
The big picture
The study used a pretest-posttest design with an adapted version of the Parental Attitudes about Childhood Vaccine (PACV) survey for COVID-19 vaccines. The webinar was streamed live and later posted to YouTube with survey QR codes and pre-survey and post-survey links in the video description. PACV data from the recorded webinar were collected over 4 weeks after the original webinar date. According to Dr. Arrigoni, the webinar itself was a collaborative work of a nurse and physicians to help provide scientific-based evidence for the general population of parents and caregivers. This project’s results have important implications for practice, as the researchers suggest that educational strategies have the potential to improve vaccination rates by increasing parental confidence in the COVID-19 vaccine. Using the webinar as a digital education strategy, the researchers also designed a dedicated section to empower parents to have conversations with their peers who may be hesitant about vaccines, even if they lack a medical background.
The patient benefit
While it was not possible to directly measure vaccination rates during this project due to time constraints, the researchers did find that parents who participated in the webinar felt more empowered and informed to make the decision to vaccinate their child. By addressing common parental concerns and providing accurate information, the webinar, as well as other types of digital interventions, could play a role in improving vaccination rates and ultimately contributing to truly ending the COVID-19 pandemic.
Why we’re excited
Overall, this study indicates that a webinar can effectively engage a large audience, educate them about vaccines and encourage conversations around vaccination.
“Vaccine hesitancy outreach can even begin before the vaccine is available,” says Dr. Arrigoni. “Applying these learned lessons can lead to more vaccinated individuals and would be an important step in battling parental vaccine hesitancy now and for future pandemics and viruses.”
You can read the full study, A Webinar to Improve Parental COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy, in the Journal of Pediatric Health Care.