The size and scale of vaccinating close to one billion people poses an unprecedented public health challenge for India. In the early days of the vaccine rollout, we focussed our response efforts on researching the extent of vaccine hesitancy and the potential need for strategic communications in this historic effort. We realised that there is a need for simple, empathetic and compelling communication to facilitate large-scale behaviour change to drive demand for vaccination. This, after all, is the best solution we have to decrease COVID-19 morbidity and mortality and win back our old lives!

Knowing well that there are limits to what we can achieve through the Institute alone , we began to seek partnerships with willing State Governments to create such a campaign. The Government of Punjab, a long-standing partner of the Institute, was the first to join hands with us and we are immensely grateful for their partnership and support. This led to the creation of a campaign with a distinct local flavour of the State of Punjab, to help build trust and confidence in the COVID-19 vaccine while also managing barriers which stand in the way of vaccine compliance including misconceptions, myths, rumours and a barrage of mis/disinformation.

While we built this for Punjab, we quickly realised that the essence of our strategy, as validated through research in other states, has national relevance. We therefore went on to create a “Universal Vaccine Acceptance Communication Toolkit”. The campaign strategic document outlines our initial research findings, how our findings translated into a communication strategy with a strong identity, messaging matrix, segmentation and a final design look and feel.

 

This work was done by the author/s when they were a part of the IDFC Institute and is republished here with permission.