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Boosting Vaccine Confidence Through Storytelling, Immunization Advocates New Activities

Nursing Now Challenge Winners Prioritize Vaccines Among Health Workers

This week Nov. 2-4, the ICN Congress virtually hosted their annual nursing conference, the largest gathering of nurses worldwide. This year’s theme encompassed “Nursing Around the World” to incorporate experiences, innovations and contributions of nurses from regions across the globe. The Nursing Now Challenge, sponsored by Global Solutions Initiative and Immunization Advocates, the winners were given the opportunity to share their stories of nurse leadership for vaccine equity and acceptance at the Congress.

In session SS4 on Nov. 2, the seven early career nurses and midwives who won the challenge advocated for health workers to be prioritized in COVID-19 vaccine rollouts in their communities, sharing their experiences as essential workers impacted by the issue. “Nurses signed up to take care of patients, and none of [them] signed up to die,” Mpho Shelile, a nurse-midwife currently working as a lecturer at the National University of Lesotho, said in his session remarks, calling for a  push to prioritize health worker immunizations against COVID-19. The nurses shared the insights gained through their experiences to empower all nurses to advocate for vaccine acceptance and equity. Amy Staley, a staff nurse working on an orthopedic/vascular medical surgical unit at NYP/Weill Cornell in New York City, urged all nurses to continue influencing the conversation by elevating “our most powerful weapon, [which] is our voices.” 

As we aim to influence discussions and decisions on vaccine equity by engaging and learning more from nurses and midwives, we encourage you to watch session SS4 of the ICN Congress conference and share your stories on routine immunization, vaccine acceptance and demand with us on Twitter using #VaccinesWork and #HealthWorkersCount. 

Immunization Advocates Partners With Internews

Immunization Advocates is excited to partner with Internews to expand the reach of Internews’ “Let’s Talk Vaccines” blended learning course for journalists. The learning course consists of five parts, each distinctly targeting a different area of immunization reporting. To control and shift the narrative away from vaccine misinformation, this comprehensive e-learning course will provide tools to immunization experts and journalists to boost vaccine confidence among current and emerging vaccines through shaping participants’ approaches to storytelling.

“Let’s Talk Vaccines” will also be adapted in French to target journalists in Francophone Africa – where 30-40 journalists will be mentored. Internews will also lead dialogues between vaccine and immunization experts and journalists globally and regionally in Eastern Europe, Francophone Africa and South Asia, with follow ups from pandemic mentors in each region.

Podcast Season 2 Update

Sabin’s Immunization Advocates program launched season two of our podcast – Community Conversations on Vaccines — to focus discussion on barrier-related immunization issues in three countries — Kenya, Brazil and Nigeria. Our guests share their experiences on how public health professionals and journalism trainers are addressing challenges related to vaccine equity, supply, acceptance and demand during the COVID-19 pandemic. These leaders provide valuable insights on the challenges they face informing their communities about immunization during the pandemic and their recommendations for policy change.

World Health Summit

The World Health Summit took place on October 24-26. Sabin took this as an opportunity to further promote the statement Chief Executive Officer Amy Finan released during the Global COVID-19 Summit calling on leaders to “focus on the needs of the people delivering immunizations, the knowledge to understand and improve vaccine acceptance, and the application of knowledge to optimize vaccine uptake.” In doing so, Sabin continues to elevate the voices of nurses and midwives through understanding challenges from frontline health workers in the Community Conversations on Vaccines podcast.