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Reducing Disparities in COVID-19 Vaccine Uptake

When the COVID-19 vaccine became available to children, researchers Thao-Ly Phan, MD, MPH, and Paul Enlow, PhD, at the Nemours Children’s Center for Healthcare Delivery Science, were determined to improve vaccination rates and decrease disparities, particularly among Black and Latino youth whose communities were experiencing higher rates of infection and hospitalization.

With a grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the researchers convened Nemours Children’s colleagues from the Value-Based Services Organization, Office of Health Equity & Inclusion, and Division of Infectious Disease, as well as Delaware ACCEL colleagues from University of Delaware and ChristianaCare. This team reviewed survey data from patient families about the COVID-19 vaccine to inform evidence-based strategies. The group assembled leaders and youth from seven local Black- and Latino-serving community organizations as well as focus groups. 

Reducing Disparities

Together, they created messaging tailored to community vaccine concerns and devised ways to deliver those messages in the primary care setting. Their work resulted in a series of fact sheets, videos and other communication tools — first, tested in a randomized controlled trial in Nemours Children’s primary care clinics with the help of providers and community health workers, then disseminated broadly through partners and social media.

Watch teens and families talk with doctors about the COVID-19 vaccine.