APA hosted a virtual briefing for staff of the U.S. House of Representatives Science Committee to prepare for distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine. Participants discussed a range of issues related to a consensus study from the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine that was designed to provide a Framework for Equitable Allocation of COVID-19 Vaccine.
Leading the discussion was psychologist Baruch Fischhoff, PhD, one of the study’s authors, who highlighted the importance of a rigorously designed, evidence-based risk communication and community engagement program to ensure focal populations at the state, tribal, local, and territorial level would accept a vaccine. In addition, Fischhoff highlighted the need for an evidence-based vaccine promotion campaign that would include a rapid response research grant mechanism to evaluate existing or novel theory-driven strategies and interventions to decrease COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy, increase COVID-19 vaccine uptake, and eliminate social cultural, logistic, and legal barriers to COVID-19 vaccination in focal populations. Through such informal virtual briefings and panel discussions, the House is gathering valuable information to educate Congress and help formulate hearings in the future.