As we make our way into 2021, the COVID-19 vaccines are being distributed to hospitals around the country and various makeshift vaccination sites are being established.
The public's response to these vaccines has been polarizing; while one perspective is of hope and relief at the prospect of a post-COVID world with widespread vaccination, another is apprehension and fear of a vaccine developed within roughly nine months. About 40% of people in the U.S. report hesitancy to take the vaccine when it becomes available to them - this is not just a minimal percentage of the population.
Why is such a large percentage of people in the U.S. wary to get the COVID-19 vaccine?
For years, scientists and healthcare professionals have tried to debunk prevailing vaccine mythssuch as the possibility of vaccines causing autism, that natural immunity is better, and that vaccines contain unsafe toxins. The general public's limited understanding of how vaccines actually work has only amplified apprehension to the COVID-19 vaccine. The concept of intentionally injecting the virus into the body for protection seems counterintuitive, unless you understand how that whole process works.
The rapid development of this vaccine is unprecedented, and has many people questioning its efficacy and safety. With many unknowns still present regarding the virus itself, there are concerns over whether this vaccine will truly protect people and if it has long-term effects of its own.
While anti-vaccination movements have been present in the past, the prevalence of social media and chaos of the pandemic has only proliferated the consumption of misinformation. With close to half of the population hesitant to get the vaccine, it is essential that we address the root of the problem: access to information - specifically vetted, quality information.
Healthcare organizations and pharma companies are the best resources for the most accurate and well-researched information around the COVID-19 virus and vaccines - and a digital front door solution offers the key for consumers and patients to access the information they need.
Social media is highly accessible to a wide range of people, which can be both a good and a bad thing. The first step in directing people away from using social media to access what can sometimes be inaccurate COVID-19 information and general healthcare facts is by improving the discoverability of healthcare organizations.
Orbita's advanced voice and search optimization strategiescan elevate healthcare organizations' online presence and direct patients to vetted, up to date COVID-19 knowledge bases. So when a patient asks Google, "Is the COVID-19 vaccine safe?" their first option will be a reputable source from the healthcare industry.
The next element of this program is curating a reliable knowledge base and making it accessible. Orbita's conversational AI technology offers omnichannel and multilingual capabilities, so patients with diverse backgrounds and varying degrees of technology literacy and comfort can have a helpful conversation with a virtual assistant about COVID-19 facts and information. The natural language processing capabilities behind this technology takes FAQ pages to the next level by delivering dynamic and personalized conversations, so that any individual can easily tap into this vetted pool of knowledge.
To further support discoverability and accessibility, Orbita offers proactive conversational campaigns that can nudge patients towards relevant content and encourage recommended behaviors.