Reducing Vaccine Hesitancy and Improving MMR Vaccination Uptake: A Behavioral Approach in the Philippines


A surge in measles cases in the Philippines, with a downward trend in vaccination uptake has highlighted the need for effective strategies to improve Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR) vaccination uptake, especially among pandemic-disrupted and born children (9 months to 3 years old). This study aimed to complement current service-level initiatives and promotions by looking into primary caregivers’ behavioral and decision-making contexts, to further understand the drivers of vaccine hesitancy among this population and develop, accordingly, behavioral solutions to strengthen these. Through a mixed methods approach, the study engaged 139 caregivers across three regions. From insights gathered on-ground, three behaviorally-informed solutions were developed and tested. There were three-levels of quantitative analysis around an adopted vaccine confidence scale, and themes were generated from the qualitative data. Initial findings revealed significant positive changes in caregiver behavior. A key observation was the increased planning towards vaccination, with two critical gateway behaviors identified: building self-efficacy to plan around vaccination visits and proactively managing potential side effects. Additionally, after usage, results show positive correlation with perceived benefits of vaccination, and demonstrated promising results in driving action, with 51% of participants successfully vaccinating their child within three weeks of the intervention. The study is currently progressing towards scaling up the intervention and ensuring its sustainability by developing a social marketing program. Given these, the study holds significant promise for improving MMR vaccination rates among children through behavioral solutions and consequently, impact public health for good.

Author Information
Timothy John M. Agulto, AHA! Behavioral Design, Philippines
John Dominic E. Rodriguez, AHA! Behavioral Design, Philippines
Mary Louise B. Rivera, AHA! Behavioral Design, Philippines
Rachel Angela A. Gutierrez, AHA! Behavioral Design, Philippines
Maria Shairra Alyssa P. Bello, AHA! Behavioral Design, Philippines
Christopher Joshua S. Villaester, AHA! Behavioral Design, Philippines

Paper Information
Conference: ACP2024
Stream: Qualitative/Quantitative Research in any other area of Psychology

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon