Increasing Vaccination Demand in Rural Settings via Facebook
Etienne Berges and team of Christian Aid in the United Kingdom will develop a Facebook-based program to increase the demand for and convenience of vaccination services in rural Myanmar. Fewer than 60% of children under two years of age in Myanmar have received all of the recommended vaccinations; the percentage in rural areas is lower as the process is seen to be inconvenient and of low priority. Facebook is widely used for information sharing between caregivers: 85% of Myanmar’s internet traffic goes through Facebook. They will leverage this platform to establish communities among healthcare providers and caregivers in rural settings to create positive peer pressure to pursue immunization and increase convenience of vaccination services by coordinating appointments. The program will be tested in a trial with a rural healthcare center serving 30 villages in Kachin and evaluated for its effect on adherence to the basic vaccination schedule. The results will help researchers to understand the influence of social networks on parental vaccination decision-making.