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Crop Biotech Update

WHO Calls for Actions to Encourage Acceptance and Uptake of COVID-19 Vaccines

December 16, 2020

As vaccines for COVID-19 reach high efficacy rates and with Britain's approval of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for emergency use, the World Health Organization (WHO) pinpoints the next challenge: public acceptance of the vaccine.

After the vaccine approval, a system for mass production for sufficient supply, efficient rollout, and equitable access would be laid out. Strategies to drive acceptance and uptake of the vaccines are vital in the process. Thus, the WHO Technical Advisory Group on Behavioral Insights and Sciences for Health released a report that details the factors that drive people's behavior when it comes to vaccines: an enabling environment, social influences, and motivation. When these factors are properly addressed, communities would be encouraged to accept and take up vaccination.

The recommendations of the report include the following:

  • The vaccination must be easy, quick, and affordable.
  • Vaccines must be available in safe, familiar, and convenient locations such as "drop-in" clinics where people usually go.
  • Rollout plans should be combined with a targeted, credible, and clear information drive on the importance and benefits of vaccination explained by trusted sources.

WHO stressed that communicating consistently, transparently, empathetically, and proactively about uncertainty, risks, and vaccine availability is necessary to build public trust.

Get more information from WHO.

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