Engaging “natural spaces”
Immunization in a Social Media World: A communication study
Insight and Analysis from Ukraine
Social media is changing the way we communicate about health issues and how the public is engaged in health services. Ukraine has significant online access and social media engagement; it also has the lowest childhood immunization rates in Europe and some of the lowest rates in the world. The reasons for this include vaccine supply availability and vaccine hesitancy.
This discussion focuses on the communication strategy related to immunization. In a social media world, what health communication strategy should we adopt and implement in order to address issues such as low immunization rates? The predominant approach has been to implement established and traditional health communication strategies, including message development, production of communication products, and dissemination of those products to target audiences.
In Ukraine, MCSP through The Communication Initiative and in partnership with UNICEF sought to address this communications strategy question from a different perspective using social media. The questions asked were:
- Where are the natural social media spaces in which people are gathering for conversations, information, support and guidance on immunization?
- Within those spaces, what kinds of questions are caregivers asking, and what kinds of information and ideas are they sharing related to their decisions on whether or not to have their children immunized?
- How can Ukrainian and international organizations seeking to boost Ukraine’s immunization and vaccine rates (and thereby improve Ukraine’s child health status) engage effectively with these audiences in their own spaces?
Though this work focused on Ukraine, the insights gained may be relevant to many other contexts, and your feedback is welcome.
Anna Postovoitova (Study Lead) and Warren Feek (The Communication Initiative Executive Director) will present both the methodology and major outcomes from this work.
12:30 pm – 2:00 pm
MCSP Office, Room 301 A/B
1776 Massachusetts Ave NW, Suite 300
Please RSVP to Warren Feek at [email protected].