Latino Parents' Reactions to and Engagement With a Facebook Group-Based COVID-19 Vaccine Promotion Intervention: Mixed Methods Pilot Study

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



JMIR formative research






COVID-19; Latino parents; Spanish; digital intervention; misinformation; social media; vaccines


BACKGROUND: Misinformation in Spanish on social media platforms has contributed to COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy among Latino parents. Brigada Digital de Salud was established to disseminate credible, science-based information about COVID-19 in Spanish on social media. OBJECTIVE: This study aims to assess participants' reactions to and engagement with Brigada Digital content that sought to increase COVID-19 vaccine uptake among US Latino parents and their children. METHODS: We conducted a 5-week intervention in a private, moderator-led Facebook (Meta Platforms, Inc) group with Spanish-speaking Latino parents of children aged ≤18 years (N=55). The intervention participants received 3 to 4 daily Brigada Digital posts and were encouraged to discuss the covered topics through comments and polls. To assess participants' exposure, reactions, and engagement, we used participants' responses to a web-based survey administered at 2 time points (baseline and after 5 weeks) and Facebook analytics to calculate the average number of participant views, reactions, and comments. Descriptive statistics were assessed for quantitative survey items, qualitative responses were thematically analyzed, and quotes were selected to illustrate the themes. RESULTS: Overall, 101 posts were published. Most participants reported visiting the group 1 to 3 times (22/55, 40%) or 4 to 6 (18/55, 33%) times per week and viewing 1 to 2 (23/55, 42%) or 3 to 4 (16/55, 29%) posts per day. Facebook analytics validated this exposure, with 36 views per participant on average. The participants reacted positively to the intervention. Most participants found the content informative and trustworthy (49/55, 89%), easy to understand, and presented in an interesting manner. The participants thought that the moderators were well informed (51/55, 93%) and helpful (50/55, 91%) and praised them for being empathic and responsive. The participants viewed the group environment as welcoming and group members as friendly (45/55, 82%) and supportive (19/55, 35%). The 3 most useful topics for participants were the safety and efficacy of adult COVID-19 vaccines (29/55, 53%), understanding child risk levels (29/55, 53%), and the science behind COVID-19 (24/55, 44%). The preferred formats were educational posts that could be read (38/55, 69%) and videos, including expert (28/55, 51%) and instructional (26/55, 47%) interviews. Regarding engagement, most participants self-reported reacting to posts 1 to 2 (16/55, 29%) or 3 to 4 (15/55, 27%) times per week and commenting on posts 1 to 2 (16/55, 29%) or <1 (20/55, 36%) time per week. This engagement level was validated by analytics, with 10.6 reactions and 3 comments per participant, on average, during the 5 weeks. Participants recommended more opportunities for engagement, such as interacting with the moderators in real time. CONCLUSIONS: With adequate intervention exposure and engagement and overall positive participant reactions, the findings highlight the promise of this digital approach for COVID-19 vaccine-related health promotion.


Prevention and Community Health