Expert Pitch

Rutgers Expert Available to Discuss Communicating About COVID-19 Vaccine

New Brunswick, N.J. (Sept. 17, 2020) – Rutgers University–New Brunswick Professor William Hallman is available for interviews on how to communicate with the public about a potential COVID-19 vaccine.

“For a COVID-19 vaccine to be embraced by the public, officials can’t rely on a one-size-fits-all message,” according to Hallman, an experimental psychologist who is a Rutgers Global Health Institute core faculty member and chairs the Department of Human Ecology in the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences.

Although scientists are still working toward reliable answers, now is the time for health officials to plan how information will be communicated to the public once a COVID-19 vaccine is ready, according to Hallman, who uses scientific research to explore human behavior. Public health leaders should be investigating the use of communication strategies and tactics that will contribute to vaccine uptake, he said.

“There’s a lot more to getting people to act than simply telling them the facts. A communication science approach would involve initial research – for example, looking at data from past vaccination rollouts and conducting surveys or focus groups – to understand what people in different populations know, or think they know, and what they want to know about COVID-19 and vaccines,” said Hallman. “Then researchers could test different types of messages based on that information, collect and interpret the audience’s feedback and design and target the COVID-19 vaccine communications accordingly. It won’t be perfect, but it’s a way to anticipate and to address the ‘Yeah, but what about…?’ questions right from the start.”

Full story: https://globalhealth.rutgers.edu/news/more-than-words-communicating-about-a-covid-19-vaccine/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=rutgerstoday&utm_content=Faculty%20Excellence


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Broadcast interviews: Rutgers University has broadcast-quality TV and radio studios available for remote live or taped interviews with Rutgers experts. For more information, contact Neal Buccino at [email protected]

ABOUT RUTGERS—NEW BRUNSWICK
Rutgers University–New Brunswick is where Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, began more than 250 years ago. Ranked among the world’s top 60 universities, Rutgers’s flagship is a leading public research institution and a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities. It has an internationally acclaimed faculty, 12 degree-granting schools and the Big Ten Conference’s most diverse student body.



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