ESPID Education. Butler R. Jun 7, 2011; 7780
Mr. Robb Butler
Mr. Robb Butler

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The European Region has documented pockets of low immunization coverage for childhood vaccines, such as measles, mumps and rubella (MMR), oral polio vaccine (OPV) and pertussis which have led to growing susceptible populations being able to sustain disease transmission leading to outbreaks. In many countries, populations are excluded from services or refuse to be vaccinated.

To address the behavioural barriers to vaccination faced by such segments of the population, Member States need to better understand the epidemiology of the susceptible populations and appropriately create demand for vaccines, change risk perception and ensure equity to immunization services.

The WHO Regional Office for Europe is developing a Toolkit that comprises of formative research questionnaires and moderator guides, a behaviour change communications framework, and a menu of best practices and lesson learned from social marketing and vaccine communications programmes around the world. The behavioural determinant framework is adapted from tried-and-tested social marketing approaches. The framework helps shape a response to the motivational, ability and opportunity determinants of vaccination behaviour of at-risk, susceptible or vulnerable populations.

Member States will be equipped with the Toolkit and trained to epidemiologically and socially profile and segment susceptible populations, and appropriately respond according to their circumstances, behavioural barriers and communication/media preferences. The Toolkit components will be piloted in Bulgaria in 2011.

The Toolkit will reframe the response to reaching the remaining susceptible populations in the WHO European Region and, in turn, assist the Region in meeting elimination and eradication goals.

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