USC and Wondros Team Up to Tackle Low COVID-19 Vaccination Rates in LA Communities Hardest Hit by Pandemic
Starting in the summer of 2021, Wondros partnered with the University of Southern California (USC) to design and run VaccinateLA, a “listen first” community-centric COVID-19 vaccine advocacy campaign, specifically designed to address the relatively low vaccination rates in African American and Latino communities in South LA and eastern areas of city. The campaign was designed to speak to the real concerns and questions that community members expressed. Since its launch, VaccinateLA has been successful in contributing to a significant increase in vaccine uptake in these communities that have shown the lowest vaccination rate numbers—where people are dying of COVID-19 at nearly three times the rate of white Americans.
We listened to and co-designed with communities. We identified core segments of our desired audience and conducted in-depth interviews to better understand their attitudes and fears. This was combined with USC-led community listening sessions and informational town halls. The goal was to base the campaign on what community members expressed to be their actual hesitations and concerns. Moreover, this process of listening to the communities and spending time with them, engaging in a shared dialogue, helped to bolster trust, as well as lessen fears about getting vaccinated. Co-designing the campaign with communities was itself an effective way to help people feel better about getting vaccinated.
The result of this community listening and research was VaccinateLA, a multichannel campaign that speaks to the diverse concerns of real people—not everyone has the same reasons for delaying or refusing vaccination. This was developed from the combined knowledge of Wondros’s vaccine communications experts, USC researchers, doctors, public health experts, filmmakers, and community partners.
The campaign went out over radio, social media, via community partners on the ground, and localized telenovela pamphlets (visual aids used to communicate public health information related to COVID-19).
Not everyone has the same reasons for delaying or refusing vaccination.