An experimental study of the effects of messaging strategies on vaccine acceptance and hesitancy among Black Americans
Black Americans have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19 but have comparatively low vaccination rates, creating a need for vaccine messaging strategies that are tailored to this population. We conducted an experimental study to examine the effects of three messaging strategies on Black Americans’ reported willingness to receive the vaccine and vaccine hesitancy. We also recruited White and Hispanic Americans to assess any potential backfire effects of the tailored strategies for non-Black participants. A total of 739 participants completed the study. Results from 4x2 ANCOVAs indicate that, among Black participants, messaging that acknowledged past unethical treatment of Black Americans in medical research and emphasized current safeguards to prevent medical mistreatment was associated with significantly less vaccine hesitancy than the control condition. The same effects were not observed for messaging strategies that provided general safety information about the vaccine or that emphasized the role of the vaccine in reducing racial inequities. There were no significant differences across conditions for participants of other races. Results demonstrate that public health messages tailored to address specific vaccine concerns may aid future vaccination campaigns.
Dhanani, Lindsay Y. and Franz, Berkeley, "An experimental study of the effects of messaging strategies on vaccine acceptance and hesitancy among Black Americans" (2022). Psychology Open Access Publications. 48.