5 ways data can help build trust in vaccines

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article is brought to you thanks to the collaboration of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.

Author: Bob Goodson, President and Co-Founder, NetBase Quid

  • The private sector has proven more agile that the public sector as organizations have struggled during the pandemic to keep up with change.
  • The public sector can learn from strategies to build consumer trust and expand market share.
  • A new World Economic Forum report outlines 5 ways to build trust in vaccines, by understanding the drivers of vaccine confidence.

In the past five years, organizations dedicated to serving the public good have fallen behind big brands in their ability to rapidly understand people’s needs, emotions, and to drive effective action that benefits us all.

When lockdowns began in March 2020, a major US household brand of hand wipes pivoted their packaging and content marketing to ensure that consumers had trust in their efficacy to help prevent the spread of viruses. They did this in a time frame of hours and days. Not weeks. And it worked. Sales skyrocketed after the re-positioning, and they went on to continually adapt the message, as the competitive landscape evolved, to further expand market share in a lasting way.

At the same time, public health organizations were not as agile in aligning on and sharing science-based messaging on non-pharmaceutical interventions including wearing masks and social distancing.

Think about it from your personal experience – which types of organizations have gained or lost your trust during the past year?

So, what has created this gulf? Over the past five years, a range of new technologies have been developed for and by big brands, enabling them to be more agile in responding to continuously changing market conditions. These approaches leverage the rise in publicly available data and advances in artificial intelligence. And quite simply, the same technologies and capabilities have not yet reached organizations dedicated to public good. The pandemic starkly exposed this.

However, it’s not just true for public health organizations. It’s true for charities, non-profits, and global aid organizations in all arenas. There are various reasons for this lag: budget priorities, relatively weaker measurement mechanisms, incentives, skills, and the marketing focus of SaaS companies. Further, traditional approaches lack the speed, cost effectiveness, and ability to instantly be repeated as messaging needs change. Many organizations still think that ‘getting the message right’ is all it takes. It’s not. Getting it right, then monitoring and adapting as outside forces react to messaging and factors surrounding the original situation quickly change.

An immediate example is the communication challenges around COVID-19 vaccines. It could be argued that vaccine hesitancy is the most important communication and insights challenge of 2021. The data is clear: high levels of vaccination saves lives. Far too many lives still hinge on the effectiveness of communication to the public on this topic. Yet organizations all over the world are struggling to get this message across and some are inadvertently doing more harm than good. Vaccines, Health and healthcare, Gavi

What is the World Economic Forum doing about access to vaccines?

In 2000, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance was launched at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos, with an initial pledge of $750 million from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The aim of Gavi is to make vaccines more accessible and affordable for all – wherever people live in the world.

Along with saving an estimated 10 million lives worldwide in less than 20 years,through the vaccination of nearly 700 million children, – Gavi has most recently ensured a life-saving vaccine for Ebola.

At Davos 2016, we announced Gavi’s partnership with Merck to make the life-saving Ebola vaccine a reality.

The Ebola vaccine is the result of years of energy and commitment from Merck; the generosity of Canada’s federal government; leadership by WHO; strong support to test the vaccine from both NGOs such as MSF and the countries affected by the West Africa outbreak; and the rapid response and dedication of the DRC Minister of Health. Without these efforts, it is unlikely this vaccine would be available for several years, if at all.

Read more about the Vaccine Alliance, and how you can contribute to the improvement of access to vaccines globally – in our Impact Story.

To assist in this challenge, the World Economic Forum ran an analysis in partnership with domain expert Dr Heidi Larsen of the Vaccine Confidence Project (VCP) at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (VCP), powered by NetBase Quid technology. The goal of their research was to get a deep understanding of the obstacles to vaccine adoption, barriers to building trust and the communication strategies that move people to action.

The initial keyword search yielded 66 million conversations during a six-month period to April 2021. Sources included Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, forums and blogs. The data was evaluated using artificial intelligence and visualizations to test hypotheses, based on VCP’s decades of research into factors that drive and undermine confidence. The nuances of the emotions people demonstrated, as well as the longevity of the ideas, were also studied.

This research derived five key insights, that are being shared with the public today in a report, in the hope that this improves the effectiveness of public health organizations in their communications challenges.

The full analysis, How to Build Trust in Vaccines: Understanding the drivers of vaccine confidence, is available here. The five key insights revealed are:

1. Talk about the “protection” provided by the vaccine. That keyword has significantly more resonance and power than any other.

2. Avoid labelling, or an implication that there is a moral obligation on people to be vaccinated.

3. Keep messages simple, emphasizing gratitude, and flag relatable examples, rather than celebrities or politicians.

4. Seek to understand why people have low confidence and treat those concerns with empathy, not judgement.

5. Focus on the clearest benefit of vaccination: protection for communities from hospitalization and death because of COVID-19.

The connections between the various drivers of low vaccine confidence.
The connections between the various drivers of low vaccine confidence. Image: NetBase Quid

This analysis is an example of the latest approaches used commonly by top brands, being applied to a matter of public health. However, it scratches the surface of the potential for new research partnerships and application of existing technology.

If you are reading this and you work at a major brand, agency, consultancy, or a technology company, how could you partner with the public sector to enhance a more nuanced understanding of consumers that could benefit the public good?

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

European Commission increases support for the EU’s beekeeping sector

More protection for our seas and oceans is needed, report finds

Which country offers the cheapest mobile data?

INTERVIEW: ‘Defend the people, not the States’, says outgoing UN human rights chief

10 ways central banks are experimenting with blockchain

Can the US-Iran rapprochement change the world?

DR Congo elections: ‘historic opportunity’ for ‘peaceful transfer of power’ says Security Council

What can be done to avoid the risk of being among the 7 million that will be killed by air pollution in 2020?

Is there a de facto impossibility for the Brexit to kick-start?

How trust and collaboration are key in India’s last mile response to the COVID-19 crisis

Investors must travel a winding road to net-zero. Here’s a map

Engaging women and girls in science ‘vital’ for Sustainable Development Goals

‘No steps taken’ so far to end Israel’s illegal settlement activity on Palestinian land – UN envoy

In visit to hurricane-ravaged Bahamas, UN chief calls for greater action to address climate change

Illegal fishing plagues the Pacific Ocean. Here’s how to end it

How AI and machine learning are helping to fight COVID-19

EU tells Britain stay in as long as you wish

Financing fossil fuels risks a repeat of the 2008 crash. Here’s why

Here are 4 tips for governing by design in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

How curiosity and globalization are driving a new approach to travel

Coronavirus (COVID-19): truth and myth on personal risk perception

The battle for the 2016 EU Budget to shake the Union; Commission and Parliament vs. Germany

Innovation can transform the way we solve the world’s water challenges

#WorldBicycleDay: 5 benefits of cycling

Missile strike kills at least 12 civilians, including children, in Syria’s Idlib: UN humanitarians

4 steps to developing responsible AI

Mental health and suicide prevention – What can be done to increase access to mental health services in my region?

UN chief outlines ‘intertwined challenges’ of climate change, ocean health facing Pacific nations on the ‘frontline’

New US President: MEPs hope for a new dawn in transatlantic ties

Desires for national independence in Europe bound by economic realities

European Union and African Union sign partnership to scale up preparedness for health emergencies

Yemen war: UN chief urges good faith as ‘milestone’ talks get underway in Sweden

Spring 2019 Standard Eurobarometer: Europeans upbeat about the state of the European Union – best results in 5 years

Coronavirus: Commission approves contract with CureVac to ensure access to a potential vaccine

Outbreak of COVID-19: The third wave and the people

A day in the life of a Venezuelan migrant in Boa Vista, Brazil

EU Copyright Directive: Google News threatens to leave Europe while media startups increasingly worry

3 ways to fight short-termism and relaunch Europe

Accountability in Sudan ‘crucial’ to avoid ‘further bloodshed’, says UN rights office

UN committed ‘to support the Libyan people’ as Guterres departs ‘with deep concern and a heavy heart’

Antarctica: the final coronavirus-free frontier. But will it stay that way?

Mario Draghi didn’t do it but Kim Jong-un did

UN chief welcomes G20 commitment to fight climate change

MEPs: Access to adequate housing should be a fundamental European right

More countries are making progress on corruption – but there’s much to be done, says a new report

Mountains matter, especially if you’re young, UN declares

EU food watchdog: more transparency, better risk prevention

Young activists share four ways to create a more inclusive world

The European Sting @ the European Business Summit 2014 – Where European Business and Politics shape the future

More than one million sexually transmitted infections occur every day: WHO

These countries spend the most on education

How a new approach to meat can help end hunger

MEPs cap prices of calls within EU and approve emergency alert system

Electronic cigarettes: is it really a safe alternative to smoking?

China confirms anti-state-subsidy investigation on EU wine imports

Century challenge: inclusion of immigrants in the health system

Here’s how we reboot digital trade for the 21st century

Britain and Germany change attitude towards the European Union

UN, global health agencies sound alarm on drug-resistant infections; new recommendations to reduce ‘staggering number’ of future deaths

Ten new migratory species protected under global wildlife agreement

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s