The History and Future of Planetary Threats | Crisis Communications and Vaccine Uptake in Fragile African Settings: What Works?
March 31, 2021
8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. EST
As the COVID-19 vaccine campaign moves worldwide, innovative approaches to vaccine campaigns are badly needed. How do we build trust in vaccines among a weary, anxious, and often skeptical public? This webinar featured conversations among African and US policymakers, activists, nursing leaders and academics to dissect the elements of effective risk communications campaigns, with an emphasis on empowering individuals and communities to lead the charge.
The challenges at this juncture are complex. Vaccines cannot displace public health and social measures. Communications must be tailored to the audience, and calibrated to context, country and culture. The recent proliferation of SARS-COV-2 variants presents novel hazards. We must listen continuously and specifically to local responses to vaccine communications and administration protocols. At the heart of any possible success will be trust, and trust must emerge from honest, evidence-based risk communication conveyed by individuals and leaders who have earned the confidence of the communities they serve.
In the History and Future of Planetary Threats series, the Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy (ISERP) convenes meetings to examine modern-day catastrophic risks and hazards, whether natural, accident or deliberate, in the following domains: geological, biological, epidemic infectious disease, environmental, chemical, extreme weather, food security, radiological and nuclear, or combinations of these. By catastrophic we understand to mean classes of events that could lead to sudden, extraordinary, widespread disaster beyond the collective capacity of national and international organizations and the private sector to control, causing severe disruptions in normal social functioning, heavy tolls in terms of morbidity and mortality, and major economic losses; in sum, events that may well cause a change in the direction of history. Nuclear falls into a class of its own, because it can result in the annihilation of life on planet earth and the end of history as we know it.
Murugi Ndirangu, Columbia University, Columbia Global Center Nairobi
Youssef Cherif, Columbia University, Columbia Global Center Tunis
Natalia Kanem, United Nations Population Fund
Wilmot James, ISERP, Columbia University
Donda Hansen, US CDC
Michael T Ghebrab, Catholic Relief Services
Simone Carter, UNICEF
Jennifer Dohrn, Columbia University School of Nursing
Chinwe Lucia Ochu, Nigerian CDC
Stefano Cordella, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent
Sheila Davis, Partners in Health
Richard Garfield, US CDC
Melinda Frost, World Health Organization
Victoria Rosner, Columbia University English and Comparative Literature Department
Madeline Drexler, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Mark Heywood, Daily Maverick (South Africa)
Center for Pandemic Research at the Institute for Social Research and Policy (ISERP)
Frontline Nurses: Center for the Study of Social Difference
Columbia University | School of Nursing
Columbia University |Program in Vaccine Education at the Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons
Columbia Global Centers-Nairobi and Tunis
Columbia University| Earth Institute
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