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Increasing vaccine uptake in low- and middle-income countries

Opportunities for behavioural science research

  • Report
  • 22nd Apr 2020

Key findings

  • Social norms are a powerful behavioural lever ūüí™. Researchers in Sierra Leone used bracelets to signal infant #vaccination as the social norm thereby boosting uptake. #VaccinesWork
  • We worked with @wellcometrust to explore how behavioural insights can increase vaccine uptake in LMICs. Incentives, social signalling, and timely SMS reminders all look promising. #VaccinesWork
  • Timely prompts ‚Ćö using #mHealth technology remind parents to vaccinate their children. #VaccinesWork

Despite substantial progress, at the close of the ‘Decade of Vaccines’ almost 20 million children worldwide did not receive basic vaccines in 2018.¬† The majority of these children live in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).

This report includes a landscape analysis of the existing evidence for how behavioural insights can increase uptake of vaccines in LMICs. We also summarise ‘what works’ to encourage vaccination based on behavioural insights research in high-income country settings.

In light of the evidence gaps identified through this review, we suggest four approaches to funding future behavioural insights research with the aim of encouraging vaccine uptake in LMICs:

Focus: Fund research into describing and quantifying the prevalence of local behavioural barriers to vaccination

Refine: Fund research to refine and build evidence for promising behavioural interventions to encourage vaccine uptake

Expand: Expand the evidence bas by funding research to evaluate behaviourally-informed strategies that have not yet been applied to encourage vaccine uptake in LMICs

Enhance: Use behavioural interventions to maximise the impact and effectiveness of strategies to increase vaccine uptake, for example by improving the effectiveness of vaccine tracking technology