UNICEF Leads a Groundbraking Campaign to Address Vaccine Hesitancy in Mongolia
Communications campaign to intensify the COVID-19 booster dose uptake in Mongolia.
Bus stops and billboards across Ulaanbaatar city became the stage of UNICEF led campaign to increase COVID-19 booster vaccine uptake in the country.
Although Mongolia performed remarkably well with COVID-19 vaccination rates, the booster dose uptake has been stagnant for the last couple of months, even though the risks of COVID-19 infections remain high. In fact, whereas over 90% of the target population is fully vaccinated, only 54% received a booster dose helping reduce hospitalizations and deaths associated with the disease.
Following the lead of the government incentive that gave impetus to the vaccination through an initiative that provides a cash handout for every citizen who received a full dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, UNICEF partnered with VIRAL LLC company to develop a groundbreaking campaign aimed at addressing vaccine hesitancy across the population.
“Can you give me a good reason for getting the COVID-19 vaccine?” this was the question UNICEF Mongolia and Viral PR Company asked through Choirongo Facebook page. This Facebook post, was the first step of the communications campaign to intensify the COVID-19 booster dose uptake in Mongolia, and managed to engage 85,000 social media users. The question raised by UNICEF opened discussions for considerations on the importance of vaccines.
Up to 700 people commented on the post, expressing their opinions on why one should get vaccinated against COVID-19. Out of those comments, 60 most captivating were selected and used for the second part of the campaign, which aimed at engaging most of Ulaanbaatar inhabitants, also those who do not have access to social media. Thus, over 60 comments were printed on posters and placed on billboards in 37 different locations around Ulaanbaatar, including 22 bus stops and other strategic spots in the city, such as universities, shopping malls and busy streets.
The campaign engaged a considerable number of people and had them reflecting on the need to protect ourselves and our loved ones by getting vaccinated. At the targeted bus stops only, daily reach amounted to 439,348 people.
Protect your loved ones
“Protect your loved ones from COVID-19 by getting vaccinated” this was one of the many key messages that UNICEF delivered.
UNICEF campaign also included a video featuring children who explained how they felt when members of their families had COVID-19. “I used to dream of becoming an artist, but after COVID-19 I decided I want to study to become a doctor” this is the testimony of one of the children who participated in the video, which raised awareness by giving voice to the fears and emotions that children felt while dealing with COVID-19, and emphasized the importance of getting vaccinated.
The video was published on UNICEF Mongolia Facebook and Instagram pages and reached 220,000 users in total. Although the campaign just started and there’s still no data on its results in terms of booster doses uptake, given the high number of people engaged, an increase of 15% in booster vaccinations is expected within the first month.
Furthermore, UNICEF campaign to intensify the booster dose vaccination did not stop in the capital city, it included also rural areas of the country. In partnership with the National Center for Communicable Diseases (NCCD), UNICEF is supporting the Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE) interventions in rural areas of all 21 provinces. Doctors and communications experts developed key messages on COVID-19 that will be disseminated through specific channels to reach rural residents and those in living in remote areas.
UNICEF on the frontlines to defeat COVID-19
Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, in early 2020, UNICEF has been on the frontlines to support the Government of Mongolia in emergency preparedness and COVID-19 response. UNICEF work focused not only on the procurement and supply of COVID-19 vaccines, and development of a newly built vaccine storage; it furthermore encompassed targeted campaigns aimed at raising awareness on COVID-19 and increase vaccination coverage across the country.
To further address the issue of vaccine hesitancy and the spread of misinformation and fake news on vaccination, UNICEF partnered with the local NGO, Mongolian Center for Investigative Reporters/FactCheck Mongolia (MCIR/FCM) to gather a team of professional factcheckers, investigative journalists and health professionals. During the spring of 2021, the team identified false information and fake news related to COVID-19 vaccines and disseminated accurate and evidence-based information. In the summer or 2021, a social media campaign to emphasize the importance of checking information sources to prevent the dissemination of false information related to COVID-19 vaccines reached 1,7 million people.
FactCheck.mn has checked and debunked over 200 false claims related to COVID-19 vaccines and published on the website and social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram 215 news, posts and videos, reaching more than 900,000 people.
UNICEF Mongolia partnered and supported in RCCE interventions with the Ministry of Health (MOH), National Center for Public Health (NCPH), NCCD and National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).