Assessing Changes in COVID-19 Vaccine Uptake and Intentions among the Brigada Digital Latino Social Media Audience: A Repeated Cross-Sectional Study
COVID-19; Latinos; community-based outreach; health information access; language minority populations; misinformation; social media campaign; vaccination
BACKGROUND: U.S. Latinos experienced disproportionate COVID-19 impacts in terms of morbidity and mortality. Vaccination against COVID-19 is an important strategy for mitigating health impacts, and yet, vaccine uptake was slower among U.S. Latino adults compared to other racial/ethnic groups. Vaccine hesitancy has been a significant barrier within Latino communities, and exposure to misinformation has been associated with negative attitudes toward vaccination. While some COVID-19 mitigation efforts have included community-based outreach, few studies have explored the impact of community-based digital messaging in Spanish to counter COVID-19 misinformation, build trust, and promote vaccination. METHODS: To address this gap, we conducted a one-year repeated cross-sectional study to assess changes in COVID-19 vaccine uptake, intentions, and perceived norms, as well as barriers to accessing reliable information and levels of trust in COVID-19 information sources among Latino adults exposed to social media content. This culturally-tailored content disseminated on Facebook, Instagram, and X platforms was amplified by community health workers and partners, and focused on COVID-19 risk and prevention, vaccine safety and efficacy, and correcting related misinformation. RESULTS: Statistically significant increases in COVID-19 vaccination, intentions to vaccinate children, and vaccination subjective norms were observed from May 2022 (wave 1) to April 2023 (wave 2). Among perceived difficulties accessing information, respondents indicated the most difficulty in judging the reliability of COVID-19 information in the media; however, a statistically significant decrease in perceived difficulty was observed between waves. With regard to trust in COVID-19 information sources, levels of trust were highest for healthcare providers in both waves. From wave 1 to wave 2, there were statistically significant increases in trust in the FDA to ensure COVID-19 vaccine safety and trust in the federal government to ensure child COVID-19 vaccine safety. CONCLUSIONS: Social media messaging by trusted community-based sources shows promise as a strategy for combating health misinformation and ameliorating information access gaps for language minority populations. This digital approach represents an important tool for deploying critical information to underserved populations in public health emergency and crisis contexts, and for supporting changes in attitudes, trust, and behaviors to improve health outcomes.
Riggle-van Schagen, Courtney; Andrade, Elizabeth Louise; Chandarana, Shikha; Lu, Nathan; González, Anna; Favetto, Carla; Gomez, Valeria; Palacios, César; Díaz-Ramírez, Manuel; and Edberg, Mark Cameron, "Assessing Changes in COVID-19 Vaccine Uptake and Intentions among the Brigada Digital Latino Social Media Audience: A Repeated Cross-Sectional Study" (2023). GW Authored Works. Paper 3778.
Prevention and Community Health