Evidence-Based Strategies for Clinical Organizations to Address COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy

Lila J. Finney Rutten, Xuan Zhu, Aaron L. Leppin, Jennifer L. Ridgeway, Melanie D. Swift, Joan M. Griffin, Jennifer L. St Sauver, Abinash Virk, Robert M. Jacobson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The success of vaccination programs is contingent upon irrefutable scientific safety data combined with high rates of public acceptance and population coverage. Vaccine hesitancy, characterized by lack of confidence in vaccination and/or complacency about vaccination that may lead to delay or refusal of vaccination despite the availability of services, threatens to undermine the success of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination programs. The rapid pace of vaccine development, misinformation in popular and social media, the polarized sociopolitical environment, and the inherent complexities of large-scale vaccination efforts may undermine vaccination confidence and increase complacency about COVID-19 vaccination. Although the experience of recent lethal surges of COVID-19 infections has underscored the value of COVID-19 vaccines, ensuring population uptake of COVID-19 vaccination will require application of multilevel, evidence-based strategies to influence behavior change and address vaccine hesitancy. Recent survey research evaluating public attitudes in the United States toward the COVID-19 vaccine reveals substantial vaccine hesitancy. Building upon efforts at the policy and community level to ensure population access to COVID-19 vaccination, a strong health care system response is critical to address vaccine hesitancy. Drawing on the evidence base in social, behavioral, communication, and implementation science, we review, summarize, and encourage use of interpersonal, individual-level, and organizational interventions within clinical organizations to address this critical gap and improve population adoption of COVID-19 vaccination.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)699-707
Number of pages9
JournalMayo Clinic proceedings
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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