Save the Children turns to science for manual to boost COVID injections in the Philippines – Philippines

The ‘Little Jab Book’ is the first practical guide using behavioral science to help boost the nation’s COVID vaccination rates, so health departments can start giving routine vaccinations to children again

MANILA, 23 February 2022 – Save the Children has partnered with two behavioral science research companies to find out why Filipinos have been reluctant to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and to create a manual launched today to increase bite rates and free health services for children.

The Philippines has recorded more than 55,000 deaths since the start of the pandemic, but only 56% of the population is vaccinated, which has strained the country’s health services and prevented millions of children from getting vaccinated systematically against deadly diseases.

To address this, Save the Children partnered with the Busara Center for Behavioral Economics and Common Thread to find out why people weren’t being vaccinated, leading to the ‘Little Jab Book Philippines’, the first practical guide to tackling COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy using behavioral science.

In-depth interviews with parents and a survey of more than 600 people in Malabon City, Metro Manila and Sarangani Province in southern Mindanao revealed four main barriers to vaccination: not not trusting COVID-19 vaccines, underestimating the severity of the virus, long wait times, and uncertainty about vaccine availability.

The manual provides practical and adaptable solutions to help health workers, government authorities and nongovernmental organizations increase immunization. This includes engaging young people to take an active role on social media platforms to help dispel vaccine-related “fake news” among their peers, running publicity campaigns with positive testimonials from those who have been vaccinated and simplification of vaccine registration.

Save the Children Philippines CEO Albert Muyot said:

“We know that ensuring that more than 80% of the population is vaccinated is one of the best measures to protect Filipinos from the ongoing pandemic. Confidence in vaccination will also help ensure that vulnerable children get their protection against COVID-19 and other deadly vaccine-preventable diseases.

“But an increased supply of COVID-19 vaccines has not necessarily translated into more hits in the arms. In fact, our research shows that particular barriers in the Philippines prevent many people from getting the COVID-19 vaccine, even though they know it’s the best tool to fight the virus. This is where the “Little Jab Book” comes in, which provides concrete and practical solutions to get as many Filipinos vaccinated as possible, so that our health services can resume providing other vital services interrupted by the pandemic, including routine vaccination of children. ”

Allison Zelkowitz, director of Save the Children’s Center for Utilizing Behavioral Insights for Children (CUBIC), said:

“COVID-19 has strained health services and devastated economies around the world, and has had far-reaching impacts, including on life-saving childhood immunization programs.

“With vaccines now more widely available, we need to identify and understand what is stopping people from getting vaccinated and engage with it in a practical way. If we don’t understand why they’re hesitating — whether it’s because of inconvenience, specific doubts, or a lack of significant approvals — vaccines may not reach enough people. If adoption is not as good as it should be, children and families will continue to suffer.

“We need to support effective rollout campaigns, and the ‘Little Jab Book Philippines’ – with its invaluable insights rooted in behavioral science – is an essential tool to achieve this.”

Aimed at low- and middle-income countries, the global version of the “Little Jab Book” was first published in 2021 and has led to the development of several country-specific versions, with Nepal and Kenya set to launch soon. their own how-to guides. .

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) COVID-19 vaccine user manual also drew inspiration from this global initiative, showing the global potential of these practical strategies.

The Center for Utilizing Behavioral Insights for Children (CUBIC) is supported by Save the Children’s Global Center of Excellence (CoE) for Innovation. The CoE helps innovators overcome barriers to scaling up their projects by providing capacity building and financial support.


For media inquiries and interview requests, please contact:

Lei Tapang, [email protected]/ +63 9178733448 (Manila)

Save the Children Philippines CEO Alberto Muyot is available for the spokesperson.

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