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A team led by Dr. Corrina Moucheraud, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of health policy and management, has been selected as a partner for the Sabin Vaccine Institute’s Vaccine Acceptance & Demand Initiative 2021 Social and Behavioral Grants Program
An interdisciplinary research team with the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health's UCLA Center for Health Policy Research (CHPR) has been selected as a partner for the Sabin Vaccine Institute’s Vaccine Acceptance & Demand Initiative 2021 Social and Behavioral Grants Program. The team, led by Dr. Corrina Moucheraud, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of health policy and management, is one of 10 selected projects from around the world that will apply a range of social and behavioral science approaches to investigate locally suitable solutions to support COVID-19 vaccine and routine immunization acceptance and uptake over the next year.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has upended health systems and services worldwide, including the delivery of routine childhood vaccines. We need to better understand disruptions to vaccination programs in Africa, in order to design strategies for making up for these losses. We are so proud to have been selected as a 2021 Social and Behavioral Grant Partner to study the effect of the pandemic on routine childhood vaccination in Kenya,” said Moucheraud, principal investigator of the grant.
The Sabin Vaccine Institute grant will build on an existing collaboration with the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) and Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) to create new and expanded data to better understand the magnitude of under-vaccination, assess potential determinants, and collaborate with Kenyan women, policymakers, and other key stakeholders to design evidence-based solutions to address these barriers. Through the ongoing collaboration, the team is working to understand how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected maternal and child care utilization in Kenya.
“Childhood vaccinations are crucial for good public health. If babies born during the pandemic are substantially under-vaccinated, we cannot take a passive approach to vaccination catch-up and need evidence-based strategies to ensure that these gaps are closed quickly and equitably,” said Moucheraud.
Moucheraud will be joined by UCLA colleagues Dr. May Sudhinaraset, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health associate professor of community health sciences; Dr. Beth Glenn, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of health policy and management; and Dr. Ashley Gromis, as well as researchers from KEMRI and IPA.
Established in 2019, the Social and Behavioral Research Grants Program initially funded three on-the-ground research projects exploring childhood and routine vaccination acceptance among communities in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Now in its third year, the program has expanded to 10 grant partners located in eight LMICs, with research reprioritized to account for and respond to the impact of the pandemic on vaccine acceptance and uptake. Central to the objectives of the 2021 grant partnership are efforts to develop and disseminate evidence-informed knowledge and solutions-based strategies from the research.
“The COVID-19 pandemic remains a challenge to global communities through its continued waves of infection, emergence of variants and infodemic; all of which also impact upon routine immunization programs, requiring a closer look at how we approach vaccine acceptance and uptake worldwide,” said Dr. Kate Hopkins, Sabin’s Director of Research, Vaccine Acceptance & Demand. “We look forward to supporting the exciting and diverse work of the 2021 grant partners as they explore how different community-centric approaches may serve to improve public health responses, particularly in terms of vaccine equity, marginalized populations and implementation of effective social media and messaging strategies to tackle misinformation.”
Learn more about the Sabin Vaccine Acceptance & Demand Initiative Social and Behavioral Research Grants program.
by Elaiza Torralba
The UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, founded in 1961, is dedicated to enhancing the public's health by conducting innovative research, training future leaders and health professionals from diverse backgrounds, translating research into policy and practice, and serving our local communities and the communities of the nation and the world. The school has 761 students from 26 nations engaged in carrying out the vision of building healthy futures in greater Los Angeles, California, the nation and the world.