Launched in Spring 2022, the Vaccine Access and Training (VAT) program worked with under-vaccinated, medically underserved communities to promote vaccine confidence and increase COVID-19 vaccination rates. VAT used an ecosystem of 115 community health workers (CHWs), local clinics, health professionals, community-based organizations, public health experts, and corporate partners across seven states. As a strategy of VAT, AIM partnered with CHWs in five states to develop and implement COVID-19 household reminder postcard campaigns with messaging developed by trusted leaders.
CHWs received brief training on IIS and reminder/recall. CHWs also provided insight into community priorities, culture, and messaging to VAT partners via six clinician-led conversations by region. Conversation findings were used by AIM to develop six reminder postcard templates. Each region chose and fully customized a postcard template to ensure imagery, branding, and messaging met community needs. A third party conducted postcard mailing. Post-campaign, CHW supervisors provided feedback on the process via key-informant interviews.
76% (142,140) of postcards were successfully delivered in rural Alabama, Georgia, and Kentucky across 15 communities. Nearly 100% of cards were successfully delivered in Polk County, FL (38,227), and across three communities in Texas (85,896). Use of the QR code that was on the postcards was low (0.1%).
Among growing misinformation and distrust in public health institutions, community-led and branded reminder/recall may prove more effective than previous centralized approaches. CHWs reported the community-based, personal approach to mailings led to more trust and understanding of immunization registries. This presentation shares programmatic tactics and strategies for developing community-supported reminder/recall campaigns.