Over the last 200 years, vaccines have proven to be one of the most effective ways to prevent and control disease. They have tremendous potential to save lives, but only if immunization rates remains high.
The evidence confirming the safety and effectiveness of vaccines is overwhelming. Just as we rely on evidence and research to make decisions about vaccine development and introduction, we must research and identify approaches that would enable people to better understand the safety and protections provided by immunization. Every parent should understand how vaccines protect their children and communities from devastating diseases that once affected so many.
A few parents are deciding to delay the recommended immunization schedule or decline vaccination altogether, though the reasons underlying these decisions vary widely depending on the location, demographic and vaccine in question. Delay or refusal of childhood immunizations poses a danger to unvaccinated children and to public health by leaving children vulnerable to serious diseases like polio, measles and diphtheria. Low vaccination rates reduce community or herd immunity, which is essential to keep such diseases out of a population.
Immunization managers, health professionals and the media must be prepared to answer parents’ questions to inspire confidence in immunization.
Sabin connects people with the resources they need to overcome barriers to vaccination and improve vaccine uptake. Sabin helps immunization professionals inoculate against misinformation about vaccines by providing them with the latest tactics, tools and behavioral insights to encourage vaccine confidence within their communities.
As part of the Sabin Vaccine Institute’s commitment to improving vaccine acceptance, Sabin is implementing a small grants program: Social and Behavioral Interventions for Vaccination Acceptance. The primary goal of the program is to identify promising social and behavioral interventions for addressing vaccination hesitancy and improving acceptance in low- and middle-income countries. The program provides an opportunity for bottom-up approaches to designing and piloting interventions and contributing to generating evidence. The secondary goal of this program is to build collaborative relationships for social and behavioral research between academic researchers and immunization program managers at the country level. Under this program, three small grants of up to US$24,000 each will be awarded for intervention research projects, which can be conducted over a period of eight months beginning August 2019.
Proposals should reflect key aspects of social and behavioral intervention design, such as defining a target group, gaining a multi-level understanding of their barriers and motivations around vaccination acceptance, and identifying potential pathways for intervention. As Sabin is focused on vaccine equity and working toward immunization across the lifespan, target groups may include adolescents, pregnant women, caregivers of children under age five, adults, healthcare professionals or vulnerable populations. Proposed interventions should align with the goals of the country’s health system and priorities for immunization programming. Applicants are also encouraged to leverage local partnerships for community engagement between immunization program managers, non-governmental organizations and civil society organizations, including faith-based organizations.
Key details and directions for proposal submission can be found in the Request for Proposals (RFP).
The deadline for proposal submissions is Sunday, June 16, 2019.
The Vaccination Acceptance Research Network seeks to build and support a network that increases vaccination acceptance and demand, particularly in low- and middle-income countries, through the design, development, application and use of social and behavioral science expertise, evidence, methods and approaches. The Vaccination Acceptance Research Network is building an international, multi-disciplinary, not-for-profit network to foster and facilitate social and behavioral science-based collaborations. The network includes university-based social and behavioral researchers and scientists; national immunization programs and public health institutes; immunization stakeholder agencies, partners and donors; public health schools, researchers and research institutes; public health agencies and ministries of health; and professional societies and associations (e.g., medical, health communications, behavioral and social science).
To learn more about the project visit vaccineacceptance.org
The Sabin Vaccine Institute serves as the Vaccination Acceptance Research Network Secretariat.
Photo credit: CDC PHIL