Myths and misinformation have fueled vaccine hesitancy around the world. That’s why UNICEF and partners are working nonstop, deploying community engagement teams and some innovative communication techniques to address fears and concerns and boost vaccine confidence — a critical step toward ending the pandemic.
Community outreach teams share COVID-19 vaccine information people can trust
A ‘talking truck’ spreads COVID-19 prevention tips in South Africa
A multimedia messaging truck is getting the word out in South Africa, for example, as a sort of roaming COVID-19 prevention campaign on wheels. In communities around the world, including Maharashtra State, India and North Kivu Province, Democratic Republic of the Congo, communication specialists trained by UNICEF and partners go door-to-door to answer questions and promote COVID-19-appropriate behaviors.
“We are the bridge between the [health] structure and the community,” said Deogratis M. Mulahuko, president of the community health center in Goma, DRC. “That’s why we are called community relays. They are brothers, they are aunts. This strategy ensures that the population can understand. And by working in the community, the community knows us.”
In rural Bolivia, local theater troupes teach how vaccines offer protection from COVID-19
In the Bolivian rainforest, indigenous theater troupes put on shows to promote behavior change and vaccine confidence, with UNICEF’s support. Actors playing vaccines and health care workers join forces to protect the community from an actor dressed in a menacing spiky ball coronavirus costume. “We made this theater play about COVID because we want people to be vaccinated,” said Fabiola Cristina Orozco Torrico. “I want my community to be vaccinated, to be aware that COVID does exist, that it is not a lie.”
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Top photo: A UNICEF-supported community outreach worker on the job in North Kivu, Democratic Republic of the Congo, raising awareness and changing attitudes about COVID-19 vaccines. © UNICEF