IVAC Puts Up a Strong Showing at the Vaccine Acceptance Research Network Conference (VARN)
This year, the Sabin Vaccine Institute’s annual Vaccination Acceptance Research Network (VARN) 2023 Conference was co-convened with UNICEF and co-sponsored by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, in Bangkok, Thailand. IVAC showed a strong presence at VARN, with a number of posters, oral presentations, and workshops.
Alex Michel presented a poster on IVAC’s online course, COVID Vaccine Ambassador Training: How to Talk to Parents, which uses peer-based communication approaches to combat vaccine misinformation and vaccine hesitancy in the community by training laypersons to become vaccine ambassadors. To date, the course has trained over 30,000 learners from 88 countries, with over 90% of learners rating their learning experience as “excellent” in a randomized survey of learners across all countries. Prachi Singh presented a poster on how lactating and pregnant women in Kenya and Bangladesh navigate the COVID-19 vaccine decision-making process, noting that the women are influenced by numerous social, psychological, and structural factors.
Baldeep K. Dhaliwal presented a poster on the CIVIC Project titled, Decolonizing Global Health and Strengthening Vaccination Programs Using Online Platforms: a Bottom-up Approach. This poster highlighted our finding that using online platforms to conduct research was found to be an effective strategy to engage researchers at all levels and combat systemic barriers associated with in-person activities such as researchers’ power, economic, social and gender dynamics. Then, Dr. Aastha Kant submitted a poster titled, Power to the People: Community-Led Strategies for Generating Demand for Routine Immunization in India, on the ARISE Project. This project introduced Social Behavior Change Communication (SBCC) strategies across all multi-sectoral levels of the Socio-Ecological Model (SEM) to effectively generate vaccination demand in Mewat, Haryana, India.
IVAC staff and faculty also participated in oral presentations in a session titled, Vaccinating across the Life-Course: Maximizing the Benefits to All. Marley Jurgensmeyer presented IVAC’s newly re-designed VIEW-Hub, an interactive, map-based platform for visualizing data on vaccine use and impact. IVAC Deputy Director Dr. Rupali Limaye moderated a research-based panel on the Complexities of Vaccine Equity, while Dr. Limaye and Dr. Chizoba Wonodi both participated in separate panels on demand generation. Emily Miller spoke in a session titled Tools and Approaches to Boost Vaccine Confidence about a recent vaccine misinformation training in the Philippines.