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Unintended consequences of communicating rapid COVID-19 vaccine policy changes: a qualitative study of health policy communication in Ontario, Canada
School of Pharmacy, University of Waterloo, ON, Waterloo, Canada.
Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för epidemiologi och global hälsa. School of Pharmacy, University of Waterloo, ON, Waterloo, Canada.ORCID-id: 0000-0001-6833-7601
Lincoln International Institute for Rural Health, University of Lincoln, Brayford Pool, Lincolnshire, Lincoln, United Kingdom.
School of Pharmacy, University of Waterloo, ON, Waterloo, Canada.
Vise andre og tillknytning
2023 (engelsk)Inngår i: BMC Public Health, E-ISSN 1471-2458, Vol. 23, nr 1, artikkel-id 932Artikkel i tidsskrift (Fagfellevurdert) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: The success of the COVID-19 vaccination roll-out depended on clear policy communication and guidance to promote and facilitate vaccine uptake. The rapidly evolving pandemic circumstances led to many vaccine policy amendments. The impact of changing policy on effective vaccine communication and its influence in terms of societal response to vaccine promotion are underexplored; this qualitative research addresses that gap within the extant literature.

Methods: Policy communicators and community leaders from urban and rural Ontario participated in semi-structured interviews (N = 29) to explore their experiences of COVID-19 vaccine policy communication. Thematic analysis was used to produce representative themes.

Results: Analysis showed rapidly changing policy was a barrier to smooth communication and COVID-19 vaccine roll-out. Continual amendments had unintended consequences, stimulating confusion, disrupting community outreach efforts and interrupting vaccine implementation. Policy changes were most disruptive to logistical planning and community engagement work, including community outreach, communicating eligibility criteria, and providing translated vaccine information to diverse communities.

Conclusions: Vaccine policy changes that allow for prioritized access can have the unintended consequence of limiting communities’ access to information that supports decision making. Rapidly evolving circumstances require a balance between adjusting policy and maintaining simple, consistent public health messages that can readily be translated into action. Information access is a factor in health inequality that needs addressing alongside access to vaccines.

sted, utgiver, år, opplag, sider
BioMed Central (BMC), 2023. Vol. 23, nr 1, artikkel-id 932
Emneord [en]
COVID-19 pandemic, Policy change, Public health communication, Vaccination policy, Vaccine confidence, Vaccine hesitancy, Vaccine inequity
HSV kategori
Identifikatorer
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-209181DOI: 10.1186/s12889-023-15861-yISI: 000993874800005PubMedID: 37221519Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85159966812OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-209181DiVA, id: diva2:1773241
Tilgjengelig fra: 2023-06-22 Laget: 2023-06-22 Sist oppdatert: 2023-08-28bibliografisk kontrollert

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