This project supports the Office of Infectious Disease and HIV/AIDS Policy (formerly the National Vaccine Program Office) to address Goal 3 of the National Vaccine Plan, which focuses on developing and disseminating communications that provide accurate, timely, transparent, and audience-appropriate information about vaccines. Achieving this goal is closely tied to efforts to better measure and track public confidence in vaccinations.
Community Science developed and tested a Vaccine Confidence Index to support surveillance activities and advance research on adult immunizations. This required a data and literature review to identify existing vaccine confidence–related measures and items that could be used as the basis for a vaccination confidence–related index. In consultation with a national advisory group, we identified appropriate constructs, indicators, and existing measures of vaccine confidence. A survey tested the index, which showed racial and ethnic disparities in vaccine confidence for various vaccines. A follow-up study was conducted by facilitating focus groups with African Americans and Hispanics to better understand underlying assumptions and barriers to receiving the influenza vaccine. The two studies identified the need to develop specific health messages that address the concerns and barriers experienced by specific racial and ethnic minority groups and the best mode of delivery for those messages.