The fightback against the pandemic
At the start of 2021 the top social, economic and public health priority was to get the world vaccinated. Vaccines were being bought by developed countries for their own people with extra stock being gifted to the World Health Organisation (WHO) and developing countries. The race was on to get jabs into arms at an unprecedented speed.
Vaccine hesitancy has been an issue since vaccines have existed, and the speed with which the covid vaccines were created and approved were causes of concern, alongside significant amounts of mis-information about covid and the vaccines across news and social media channels around the world.
UK Government leading the way
Based on the UK’s success in the speed of the vaccination roll-out and as host of the G7 World Leaders in June, the UK Government wanted to show global leadership in helping the world get vaccinated. The UK Government brought together groups from technology, media and academia and set the challenge of building tools in partnership with the WHO to roll-out vaccines most effectively. Engine were asked to lead and co-ordinate the project and create the communications strategy and toolkit.
Finding the undecided
The brief was to show the world’s population at a global, country and regional level in 4 groups: Already Vaccinated; Vaccine Acceptors; Vaccine Rejectors and the Undecided.
Then overlay the current and historical narrative from news and social media about covid-19 and vaccines matched to those global, country and regional levels, to show the sentiment of the conversation. To produce a communications strategy with ready-to-go campaigns to be used to increase vaccine confidence and raise awareness of mis-information.
Global Dashboard and insights
A database was built with data feeds covering the key areas:
•Population data including socio-demographic data
•Survey data on likelihood to have the vaccine split geo-demographically
•All News media reports at a region, country and global level with volume and sentiment analysis to highlight positive / neutral / negative coverage with keywords to understand the narrative
•Social media mentions and conversations with volume, sentiment and keywords analysis
Communications to change behaviour
To change behaviour in vaccine uptake, the communications objective was to increase vaccine confidence in order to reduce the amount of people undecided about taking the vaccine and move them into becoming acceptors. A toolkit was created to enable communicators to launch, lead and champion a global campaign to drive confidence, minimise the effect of misinformation and ultimately increase vaccine uptake globally.
“This project was of global importance, supporting vaccine roll-out and countering mis-information. It was a first in the way it put real-time data on a global scale at the heart of communication decisions and actions.
It was time critical, with the need for collaboration across government, industry and academia. It had a big ambition, but also needed to produce something very practical and useful for our partners. The dashboards and communication toolkit impressed everyone who saw them.”
Director, Prime Minister's Office & Cabinet Office