USC and Wondros Team Up to Tackle Low COVID-19 Vaccination Rates in LA Communities Hardest Hit by Pandemic2022-09-21T21:09:03+00:00

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.

Sample insights and opportunities informed by community interviews.

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.

Impact: The VaccinateLA social and digital media campaign successfully engaged viewers, garnering 2.5M paid and social impressions, 2.9M views of video testimonials and films (to view sample videos, see links at the end of this article), and driving 42K visitors to the VaccinateLA website over the course of two months. During this time, 41% of site visitors took action to schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment. Since August 2021, events and services that were organized as a result of the feedback from community and collaboration with partners, community health workers, and medical providers resulted in over 900 people receiving a vaccine, and nearly 10K receiving supportive services to access an appointment. At the community level, over a period of four months beginning with the launch of VaccinateLA, local vaccination rates increased. The population within the areas of focus in South and Eastern LA receiving one or more doses of the COVID-19 vaccine was consistently 30% higher than the predicted rate (based on the fractional increase for the population of Los Angeles County).

Sample social media post.

In addition, USC partnered with HRSA to train 176 promotoras (lay Hispanic/Latino community members who receive specialized training to provide basic health education in the community) in 38 other cities who reached 250K people (via radio, distributing flyers, and going door to door. This helped get 383K people vaccinated.

Videos: How to Vaccine, Of Reason and Rumors Short Film- English, Of Reason and Rumors Short Film- Spanish



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