Coronavirus (1383) Communicating risks and benefits of COVID-19 vaccine (4)

20 October, 2021

A few days ago I noted here that, according to the COVID Behaviors Dashboard, the overarching reason for vaccine hesitancy is a distorted view of the balance of risks and benefits. Which led me to ask: Are public health communication campaigns adequately focused on correcting this distorted view? Are they using methods that help people better undertand the risks and benefits? Is anyone aware of a compelling public health message that communicates this effectively?

I have found this presentation from the University of Cambridge UK Winton Centre for Risk and Evidence Communication: Communicating the potential benefits and harms of the Astra-Zeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

It shows graphically the benefits and harms for different age groups with different vulnerabilities. Clearly, the benefits greatly outweigh the harms for most people (with the exception of young adults age 20-29). Despite the title of the presentation, there is no guidance on how to communicate these data to the public.

Neil Pakenham-Walsh, HIFA Coordinator,