Help Address Vaccine Hesitancy and Uptake Among Populations Experiencing Health Disparities

Funding News Edition: January 21, 2021
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FDA-approved vaccines are a critical component in reducing infection rates and slowing the spread of viral outbreaks like SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19). However, increasing levels of vaccine hesitancy among populations experiencing health disparities highlight the need to understand and address misinformation, distrust, and reluctance about vaccines within populations at increased risk of morbidity and mortality.

Apply for research funding to use scientific methods to address vaccine hesitancy, uptake, and implementation among groups experiencing health disparities through Notice of Special Interest (NOSI): Research To Address Vaccine Hesitancy, Uptake, and Implementation Among Populations That Experience Health Disparities.

Scientific Areas of Interest

When forming your Specific Aims, consider upstream factors (e.g., interpersonal, community, health system policy), as well as relevant cultural and historical factors associated with individual beliefs, risk perceptions, and behavior across multiple levels.

Ultimately, your research should help address key questions like the following:

  • What interventions and strategies are most effective to increase the reach, access, acceptance, and vaccine completion among populations that experience health disparities?
  • How can evidence-based interventions that have reduced vaccine hesitancy and increased both access and uptake of other vaccinations be adapted or adopted to increase the uptake of the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine?
  • How can social media, digital marketing, and other innovative technologies (e.g., smartphone applications) be integrated into vaccine promotion interventions to identify and address the sources of vaccine misinformation?
  • How can vaccine-related communications on coronavirus, human papillomavirus (HPV), influenza, and other vaccines be generated and promoted by clinicians and healthcare systems to be community and culturally appropriate?

Your research topics could include the following examples:

  • Interventions to reduce barriers to vaccine uptake and successful completion of the vaccine protocol
  • Baseline rates of hesitancy for the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine and evaluation of innovative interventions to reduce concerns, increase trust and preparedness, and facilitate uptake of the vaccine in various settings and environments (e.g., primary care settings, medical centers, schools, workplaces, and other non-healthcare contexts) as administered by various staff
  • Multilevel factors, including policies, community-level factors, health systems, interpersonal/family/professional, and individual-level variables that maximize vaccine access, uptake, and series completion
  • How vaccine misinformation across social media platforms, cultural contexts, and interpersonal communication channels relates to vaccination uptake

Applicants should propose studies that emphasize collaborative partnerships with key community stakeholders to enhance vaccine access, uptake, and acceptance.

Projects must center on one or more NIH-designated populations experiencing health disparities, including racial and ethnic minority groups, less privileged socioeconomic status, sexual and gender minorities, and underserved rural populations. Focus on adults 18 years and older, with the exception of HPV-related topics, which may include minors 9 years and older.

Nonresponsive Areas of Interest

Applicants should note that the following applications are nonresponsive and will be withdrawn from this initiative:

  • Projects without primary focus on vaccine uptake or completion outcomes among one or more NIH-designated health disparity populations
  • Projects not applying methods of community-engaged research
  • Projects examining vaccine uptake/completion outside of the United States or its territories
  • Projects focused on individuals under age 18, with the exception of projects focused on the HPV vaccine, which may include minors 9 years and older

Submission and Contact Information

Applicants should submit applications for this initiative using one of the following funding opportunity announcements or any reissues of these announcements through January 8, 2022, the expiration date of this notice:

Applicants should follow all instructions in the SF 424 (R&R) Application Guide and must include “NOT-MD-21-008” (without quotation marks) in the Agency Routing Identifier field (box 4B) of the SF 424 R&R form; otherwise, their applications will not be considered for this initiative.

Direct all inquiries to Dr. Barbara Mulach, NIAID’s scientific/research contact for the NOSI.

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