Communicating about vaccines with young adults: Lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic and implications for future immunization campaigns

Ford, Caitlin
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University of Guelph

Canada’s primary COVID-19 vaccination rollout in 2021 was largely successful, however uptake for additional or “booster” doses has steadily waned—especially among young adults (18-to-29-year-olds). To encourage young adults to stay up to date with vaccinations, public health communication must meet the needs of this age group, and two research projects were conducted to identify strategies to achieve this. Because young adults are the primary user group on Instagram, the first research project assessed COVID-19 vaccine communication examples posted on the Instagram accounts of eight key federal actors. The second research project involved a series of interviews with young adults to identify audience needs, preferences, attitudes, and drivers to get vaccinated. Together these projects contribute to a foundational understanding about best practices for communicating about vaccines with young adults and the research findings can be applied to future vaccine communication campaigns.

COVID-19, Vaccines, Public Health, Health Communication, Vaccine Hesitancy, Young Adults, Vaccine Uptake, Social Media, Instagram