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Pro-actively addressing the challenges for an effective uptake of COVID-19 vaccination in Belgium: a transdisciplinary approach

Tackling the current COVID-19 pandemie will require effective
vaccines for individual protection and potential group immunity to reduce transmission. lf vaccines 
are developed, Belgium will likely ace challenges with COVID-19 vaccine uptake. Heightened anti­ 
vaccination sentiments are proliferating around the world. These sentiments are related to 
'post-truth' perceptions, i.e. increased skepticism towards science and authorities in general, as 
well as skepticism specifically towards vaccine safety and effectiveness. Emerging signs of 
escalating mistrust can be linked to such sentiments and perceptions, compounded with pandemie 
anxieties and incertitude ('insufficient knowledge') around scientific expertise and the polities 
of pandemie management. A strategy is urgently needed to guide Belgian public health authorities on 
how to promot vaccine acceptance among the population. This project aims to use an innovative 
hybrid monitoring tool to assess both on-line and on­ he-ground vaccine sentiments qualitatively 
and quantitatively. lnterventions that are responsive to the identified emerging vaccine concerns 
and controversies will be co-created with community and public health stakeholders and aim to place 
public health agencies a position to pro-actively counteract vaccine hesitancy prior to COVID-19 
vaccination campaigns in Belgium.

Date:1 Nov 2020 →  31 Oct 2021
Keywords:Mitigating vaccine hesitancy through narrative-based interventions and Living-Labs., Hybrid (online and on-site} monitoring of anti-vaccine sentiment., Social factors determining vaccine uptake.
Disciplines:Health and community services, Medical anthropology, Public health sciences not elsewhere classified, Social medical sciences not elsewhere classified