Vaccine Confidence: Building Trust is the third episode in the six-part At the Core of Care Vaccine Confidence podcast and blog series.
In this episode, Stephen Perez and Jasmine Nakayama from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) share their thoughts on the rigor of the COVID-19 vaccine testing and the role of nursing increasing vaccine literacy and confidence across the country.
Stephen describes his experience as a nurse during the COVID-19 pandemic as similar to that of his experience working with patients with HIV, in terms of both the isolation and stigma of the work as well as the unique ability of nurses to rise the occasion. “Nurses are natural leaders,” he says, “and they have the ability to become leaders, because they are so close to the patient and doing the work that’s in and out of the patient’s life every day.”
When speaking to vaccine hesitancy, Jasmine prefers to reframe to vaccine confidence. She shares concerns that hesitancy is being used as an excuse for low immunization rates in communities of color, “rather than confronting long held equity and access issues. And as a result, we’re seeing that structural issues are often being met with individual-level interventions.
Stephen lays out a framework for vaccine confidence as “trust in the messenger, trust in the processes, and trust in the delivery system.” He discusses the long-held models that CDC uses to ensure the safety of vaccines, including the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). However, communicating these safeguards to patients can often be a difficult process—one where nurses are well-poised to shine.
Stephen describes confidence in the vaccine along a continuum, with refusal on one side and demand on the other. In the middle of that continuum is where CDC focuses their efforts, use strategies like the “Stages of Change” model from the World Health Organization and motivational interviewing. Collaborative conversations are key to increasing vaccine confidence, as well as leveraging community relationships and developing a true understanding of barriers that communities face to get vaccinated.
This project was funded in part by a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (grant number NU50CK000580). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is an agency within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The contents of this resource center do not necessarily represent the policy of CDC or HHS, and should not be considered an endorsement by the Federal Government.
Author: MaryGrace Joyce, MS, is the Policy Specialist of the National Nurse-Led Care Consortium.