Health workers in Focus: drawing on social science to enhance the COVID-19 vaccination program

To achieve high and equitable COVID-19 vaccination coverage amongst health workers, it is important that multi‐pronged strategies that combine personal – and organisational – level interventions, are used. At a personal level, there needs to be a focus on how we communicate to health workers. It is critical that we spend time tailoring communication material to capture the spectrum of staff and the factors leading to low vaccine acceptance. Our health systems represent a microcosm of the community, there are staff with medical conditions, there are those that may not be able to get vaccinated, and there will be staff who are hesitant. Reasons for hesitancy around this vaccine may stem from a lack of understanding about the need or rational for vaccination, low perceived disease risks (low levels of worry), concerns around safety and effectiveness, and misunderstandings around development.

Health workers are not just a target group for vaccination; but they are a tremendous resource and a key partner in the vaccination campaign. Enhancing efforts to support uptake amongst health workers will have wider positive impact as it will promote uptake amongst the community. Therefore, we need to ensure that we support health workers to build their skills and confidence to address misinformation and hesitancy.

In this presentation, Associate Professor Holly Seale will explore the key factors associated with hesitancy amongst health workers, examine the latest data on acceptance of the COVID-19 vaccine, and to explore the key strategies that can be used to distinguish and communicate with health workers across the acceptance spectrum.

Draft Agenda

  • 45 minute Presentation and Live Q&A with presenter Holly Seale
  • 30 minutes Online Speed Networking
  • The online exhibition hall will be open throughout the session where attendees can connect with exhibitors for live meetings.

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Registration for this webinar and the ACIPC Conference Community is FREE for members and non-members.


Associate Professor Holly Seale is an infectious disease social scientist at the School of Population Health at the University of New South Wales in Australia.

She has over 15 years of experience and 150 publications focused on improving confidence and engagement of different at-risk groups with immunisation and other prevention strategies. She is the Deputy Chair for the Collaboration on Social Science and Immunisation.

The research she leads focuses on promoting acceptance and uptake of immunisation while applying a “whole-of-life” lens. It incorporates innovative research focused on groups that traditionally have received less attention and continue to have suboptimal uptake: children and adults with chronic medical conditions, culturally and linguistically diverse communities (focus on both migrants and refugees) and occupational groups including hospital healthcare providers.

During the COVID-19 pandemic she has focused her efforts on examining the strategies that will enhance communication and engagement with people from CALD backgrounds with a particular focus on acceptance of a COVID-19 vaccine.

She also works to address issues impacting on patient and family engagement with infection prevention and control strategies across Australia, Bangladesh, Indonesia, and South Korea. Within this program, she explores the patient, provider and system factors that influence engagement and acceptance of infection prevention strategies and formulates and develops approaches/interventions to improve acceptance and compliance. Most recently, she has expanded this work to include a focus on antimicrobial resistance and stewardship.

Event Details
  • Start Date
    March 11, 2021 12:00 pm
  • End Date
    March 11, 2021 1:30 pm