Leadership Lesson – October 2021: Focus on the Movable Middle: Strategies for Overcoming Vaccine Hesitancy
Focus on the Movable Middle: Strategies for Overcoming Vaccine Hesitancy
This month’s leadership lesson is from Leighann Sauls, AHS program director for Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina and Tennessee.
Vaccine hesitancy is a growing challenge. CMS convened a group of leading behavioral science experts from top institutions with expertise across organizational behavior, psychology, healthcare communication and policy and marketing to identify opportunities for improving COVID-19 vaccine uptake among the long-term care facility staff population.
The group provided a model for thinking about vaccine hesitancy among long-term care staff. In this model, there are three groups on the continuum of vaccine hesitancy:
- Vaccine acceptors
- Movable middle
- Vaccine refusers
Understanding your staff as individuals and where they fall across this continuum helps identify interventions for success. As the report suggests, rather than target all staff with a uniform intervention, the focus should be on the those in that fall in the movable middle – those who express varying degrees of hesitancy but are likely to change their minds.
Some successful strategies for the movable middle are:
- Leverage social influence, communicators and motivational forces to motivate staff
- Supplement information-based campaigns with peer to peer conversations
- Mitigate logistical and access barriers
For more details and recommendations, please review the final report – COVID-19 Vaccination Uptake Behavioral Science Task Force: Final Report – February 23, 2021
Additional resources on Vaccine Hesitancy: