“VaccineComm” Project

This project is a collaboration between the Robert Koch Institute, the Federal Centre for Health Education (BZgA) and the Harding Center for Risk Literacy. The aim of the project is to boost individual informed decision-making about Covid-19 vaccinations using effective online communication.

In representative online studies, we will develop and test simple and appealing communication tools about Coronavirus vaccines, such as fact boxes. The tools should not only aid shared decision-making between patients and doctors but also be self-explanatory and facilitate informed decision-making of Internet users. They should help citizens understand the personal benefits and harms of getting vaccinated and the societal goal of herd immunity.

We will also examine how various forms of epistemic uncertainties around vaccines are understood and how their communication affects trust in vaccines, science, and public health institutions. Furthermore, we will identify socio-spatial clusters of vaccine uptake and vaccine knowledge and examine whether and to what extent such clusters should be considered in communication tools.

Our findings may generalize to related decisions such as getting tested for the virus or antibodies, and to medical decisions more broadly.