Evaluation of Cambridge Health Alliance’s Vaccine Tripling Program

Type: Poster Presentation
Date: September 2023

Citation

Nathaly Perez Rojas, Amanda Robinson, Sarah Jalbert, Sharon Touw, Kathy Betts, Assaad Sayah (Sept 2023). “Evaluation of Cambridge Health Alliance’s Vaccine Tripling Program. Presented at the 2023 CHA Academic Poster Session (poster). Boston, MA.

Abstract

COVID vaccine hesitancy is a challenging issue that impacts healthcare systems’ ability to serve marginalized populations. Identifying new strategies to reach patients and share important information with them involves piloting and evaluating these strategies. CHA and its Community Health Improvement (CHI) team have been at the forefront of innovative strategies to improve COVID-related outcomes among patients. CHA was initially very successful in vaccinating its patient population, but they needed strategies to reach the vaccine hesitant in light of persistent community-level disparities in vaccine take-up rates. These disparities persisted despite CHA using multiple pathways of engagement. CHA hired a political messaging and organizing firm Campaign Industries (CI) to implement a program to increase vaccine rates in the target communities within CHA’s catchment area, Malden, Everett, and Revere.

 

CI implemented a strategy, “vaccine tripling” (VT), for combating vaccine hesitancy and increasing vaccination rates by recruiting vaccinated community members and asking them to speak with three unvaccinated people in their lives about getting vaccinated.  CHA also engaged with the Institute for Community Health (ICH), to evaluate the intervention’s implementation process and effectiveness at reaching unvaccinated community members.

 

ICH found that the program was implemented successfully, though there were some challenges. Despite successful implementation, we found that for the vast majority of patients, phone-based recruitment was not an effective strategy for gaining participation in vaccine outreach in their communities. We also found that language is a particularly important factor when conducting outreach, and language, culture, ethnicity, and age were all associated with significant differences in likelihood of successful engagement with patients. Language concordance between organizers and primary contacts was important to both project implementation and outreach success. A lesson learned from this project is that similar outreach strategies applied to healthcare settings need to take diverse populations into consideration when applying this strategy.  

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