Title

Outcomes of a social media campaign to promote COVID-19 vaccination in Nigeria

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

1-1-2023

Journal

PloS one

Volume

18

Issue

9

DOI

10.1371/journal.pone.0290757

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic has been an historic challenge to public health and behavior change programs. In low -and middle-income countries (LMICs) such as Nigeria, there have been challenges in promoting vaccination. Vaccine hesitancy and social norms related to vaccination may be important factors in promoting or inhibiting not only COVID vaccination, but other routine vaccinations as well. The aim of this study was to conduct a national-level quasi-experimental evaluation of a social media based COVID-19 vaccination promotion campaign in Nigeria run in 2022. We followed a longitudinal cohort of Nigerians (at baseline) drawn from all 37 states in Nigeria over a 10-month period. This was done at 3 time points to evaluate psychosocial predictors of vaccination and vaccination outcomes following a theory of change based on Diffusion of Innovations, Social Norms Theory, and the Motivation, Opportunity, Ability (MOA) Framework. In a quasi-experimental design, participants in 6 Nigerian states where the social media campaign was run (treatment) were compared to participants from non-treatment states. This study highlights new social media-based data collection techniques. The study found that vaccination rates increased in treatment states compared to non-treatment states, and that these effects were strongest between baseline and first follow up (December 2021 to March 2022). We also found that more pro-vaccination social norms at one time point are associated with higher vaccination rates at a later time point. Social media campaigns are a promising approach to increasing vaccination at scale in LMICs, and social norms are an important factor in promoting vaccination, which is consistent with the Social Norms Theory. We describe implications for future vaccination campaigns and identify future research priorities in this area.

Department

Prevention and Community Health

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