Stakeholder involvement for investigating communication-based interventions to increase COVID-19 vaccine uptake

Session Type
Oral presentation
Engaging stakeholders and building partnerships
Iannizzi C1, Andreas M1, Bohndorf E1, Hirsch C1, Bora A1, Brinkmann-Paulukat J2, Bormann B3, Kaufman J4, Lischetzki T1, Monsef I1, Neufeind J5, Schmid-Küpke N5, Thole S2, Skoetz N1
1Evidence-based Medicine, Department I of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and University Hospital Cologne, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany
2Division Infection Prevention, NRW Centre for Health, Bochum, Germany
3Division Health Data, Healthcare Structures, NRW Centre for Health, Bochum, Germany
4Vaccine Uptake Group, Murdoch Children's Research Institute, Melbourne, Australia
5Immunization Unit, Robert Koch-Institute, Berlin, Germany

Background: Long-awaited COVID-19 vaccines are effective in preventing severe COVID-19 disease. However, vaccine hesitancy, identified as one of the top ten threats to global health by the WHO, has proven to be an important issue in the COVID-19 pandemic.
Objectives: Involve important stakeholder in the review process and investigate the effectiveness of communication strategies to increase COVID-19 vaccine intention.
Methods: Within this project funded by the Germany Research Foundation, we invited stakeholders to an online meeting to develop a relevant research question. The discussion was based on the findings of our prior scoping review, which maps current evidence on interventions to increase COVID-19 vaccine intention. Together with relevant stakeholders from policy and research, we prioritised types of interventions and target populations and developed the PICO for a subsequent systematic review. We will discuss the implementation of the intervention strategies, identified in the systematic review, in another stakeholder meeting by the end of the project.
Results: As the initial stakeholder meeting was so successful, most stakeholder agreed to further participate in the project and be involved in the upcoming systematic review. Thus, we had biweekly meetings until the end of the project, with experts from the Robert Koch Institute and the NRW Center for Health. We conducted the planned systematic review of randomised controlled trials and included studies investigating communication-based interventions to increase COVID-19 vaccine uptake, for any population. The policymakers were particularly interested in communication strategies, as these are easy to implement. Outcome measures, considered most relevant by the stakeholder, were COVID-19 vaccine uptake, vaccine confidence and intention. We performed meta-analyses using Review Manager Desktop version 5.4. Our findings included 27 studies. Evidence from our meta-analyses shows that for COVID-19 vaccine uptake there may be a slight increase in vaccine uptake when education and information strategies or social norm strategies are applied, compared to no intervention.
Conclusions: Our findings will have implications for policy decision-making in prospective vaccination promotion, not only regarding Covid-19.
Patient, public and/or healthcare consumer involvement: Involving stakeholders in the review process ensured that relevant research questions are answered and facilitated translation and dissemination of the results.