Reaching Herd Immunity Behaviorally: Using Social Media Insights to Inform COVID-19 Vaccination Efforts

As more countries in the developing world are expanding COVID-19 vaccine distribution, ensuring vaccine demand and hesitancy are emerging as key challenges for containing the COVID-19 pandemic. Understanding country-specific drivers behind vaccine take-up are essential as it can lead to a more tailored approach to communication campaigns and vaccine rollout design features at large by addressing behavioral, social, and informational barriers to uptake. This in turn can have an enormous impact on the success of vaccine operations and ultimately reaching herd immunity. The Mind, Behavior, and Development Unit (eMBeD) in the Poverty and Equity GP, the Development Impact Evaluation (DIME) group, and Health, Nutrition & Population GP teams are leading a first-of-its-kind project using behavioral insights obtained from social media surveys to improve vaccine take-up. This session presents early lessons from the first batch of countries where this work has been implemented and how it’s informing the design of country-tailored COVID-19 vaccination rollout plans. The session features panelists from the WB, WHO, and CDC who will discuss additional insights and opportunities to leverage behavioral science thinking and technology to improve communication, social mobilization, and vaccine rollout design features, in general, to further accelerate take-up.