Harvard Study’s Goal: Identifying Messages That ‘Break Through’ to Vaccine Skeptics

Harvard Study’s Goal: Identifying Messages That ‘Break Through’ to Vaccine Skeptics

“If only there were a message that could break through skepticism and persuade unvaccinated people to get their shots. What a world that would be. But over the past year, this really did happen,” reads a February 2022 Vox article1 that continues on to describe a Harvard Business School publication2 which offers new evidence on the most effective ways to convince the “anti-vax” population to get vaccinated.

The publication entitled “From Anti-Vax Intentions to Vaccination”2 involved surveying over 6,000 people in several countries including the United States, the United Kingdom, European Union, Australia and New Zealand.

The researchers first contacted the participants in December 2020 asking them to assess their likelihood of getting a COVID-19 shot on a scale from zero to ten. The researchers then experimented with four messages to respondents and followed up again six months later. The four messages included:

  1. Self-protection
  2. protecting others
  3. Protecting public health
  4. Protecting the economy

Altruistic Messages of Protecting Others Most Effective in Convincing Skeptics to Vaccinate

The control group heard no messaging at all. Researchers found that the altruistic messages of protecting health, protecting others, and protecting the economy had a stronger impact on convincing respondents to get vaccinated than the self-protection message. One-third of individuals, who initially had rated their likelihood of getting a COVID shot as a zero before being subjected to altruistic messaging, went on to receive the vaccine by the time of the follow up.

A Vox article outlining the research states:

It is tempting to think of vaccination intentions as static… But people can be moved, too, according to these findings—not necessarily by emphasizing their personal health, but by persuading them that they will do good for the people around them and the country at large.1

Guilt, Embarrassment Used as Part of Vaccine Promotion Messaging

This was not the first time persuasive messaging has been studied regarding COVID shot acceptance. In July of 2020, Yale published a randomized controlled trial study entitled “Persuasive Messages for COVID-19 Vaccine Uptake.”3

The study’s primary outcome measure was to find out participants’ intentions of getting a COVID shot, while secondary outcome measures included a vaccine confidence scale; a measure of willingness to persuade others to get the vaccine; a measure of fear of those not vaccinated, and social judgement of those who do not get the vaccine. The latter category is described as being a “scale composed of four items measuring the trustworthiness, selfishness, likeableness, and competence of those who choose not to get vaccinated after a COVID shot becomes available.”3

The trial used one of several intervention messages to better understand which messages had the most impact on willingness to vaccinate. Some of these messages included:

  • Personal Freedom Message: society members can preserve personal freedom when enough citizens are vaccinated.
  • Economic Freedom Message: working together to stop COVID-19 by getting enough people vaccinated will help society preserve its economic freedom.
  • Social Pressure—Guilt/Embarrassment Messages: the best way to protect family and community is to get vaccinated. The survey asks the participant to imagine the guilt or embarrassment they would feel if they don’t get vaccinated and spread the disease.
  • Trust in Science Message: refusal to get vaccinated is not understanding how infections are spread and ignoring science
  • Not Bravery Message: vaccinated firefighters, doctors, and front line medical workers are brave. Those who not to get vaccinated are not brave.

Yale, UNICEF and Facebook Advise Highlighting Societal Norms and Expectations to Promote Vaccination

In December 2020, Yale Institute of Global Health, along with UNICEF and Facebook, put out a “Vaccine Messaging Guide”4 intended for use by public health professionals, communicators and other vaccine advocates.

Part of this guide discusses how a messaging campaign aimed at reinforcing social norms may be effective and gives examples such as Ireland producing an “I got the HPV vaccine” video which reinforces the vaccine as a social norm. The guide reads:

We do what other people do. Social norms offer implicit guides for our behavior by telling us what others are doing or what they expect us to do. There is evidence that social norms are associated with vaccination decisions, and one study found that perceiving greater support for HPV vaccination from friends, parents, or doctor was associated with increased vaccine intentions.4

Authors of the Yale/UNICEF/Facebook “Vaccine Messaging Guide” also outline their definition of “vocal vaccine deniers” and maintain that vaccine deniers use four basic techniques when justifying refusal to conform to the social norm of complying with federal vaccine policies and law, including misrepresenting scientific evidence, shifting the hypotheses when their argument is not winning, censoring opposing viewpoints, and personally attacking the opposition.4

Psychologists, Social Scientists ‘At the Forefront’ of Combating Vaccine Hesitancy

According to the American Psychological Association (APA), psychologists are at the forefront of combating vaccine hesitancy and will be important leaders in ensuring that everyone believes COVID shots are safe and effective and “actually rolls up their sleeve to get it.”5 Psychologists and other social scientists have been tracking vaccine attitudes since 2020 to better understand who is hesitant to receive a COVID shot and why.

Steven Taylor, a clinical psychologist at the University of British Columbia in Canada says that those with strong anti-vax and anti-mask attitudes are driven by a phenomenon that psychologists have labeled “psychological reactance,” which is a “motivational state driven by the feeling that someone is trying to curtail one’s freedom.”5 To convince people with “psychological reactance” to vaccinate, Dr. Taylor says it’s best not to frame vaccination as an obligation but to use the message that “getting vaccinated is a right you have, don’t let people take that away from you.”5

Percentage Vaccinated to Reach Herd Immunity Remains Unknown

While the push to persuade those who refuse to get a COVID shot to change their minds continues, scientists still do not know how many people in a population have to get vaccinated to achieve the theorized “herd immunity.” Early estimates from epidemiologists were roughly 60 to 70 percent of the population having either natural immunity or vaccine acquired immunity but the situation is complicated by the fact that the COVID shots were not specifically designed to prevent infection and transmission of SARS-CoV-2, only to prevent severe COVID disease.6

Anthony Fauci, MD has slowly increased his estimate for COVID-shot induced herd immunity to 90 percent or more of the U.S. population.6 In a telephone interview, Dr. Fauci acknowledged that “he had slowly but deliberately been moving the goal posts,” partly based on science and partly on a “gut feeling” that the country is finally ready to hear what he truly thinks.7

Despite several studies demonstrating that natural immunity is broad and longer lasting,8 the focus of COVID disease control continues to be on increasing vaccination rates. Recently, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla submitted data to the FDA for a fourth dose of the mRNA BNT162b2 (also known as “Comirnaty”) biologic.9 Bourla stated that while the third dose was protecting against hospitalizations and deaths, “it’s not that good against infections”9 and so a fourth booster is necessary.


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Click here to view References:

1 Scott D. What can actually convince vaccine skeptics to get their shots. Vox Feb. 17, 2022.
2 Galasso V et al. From anti vax intentions to vaccination: panel and experimental evidence from nine countries. National Bureau of Economic Research Feb. 2022.
3 Yale University. Covid-19 Vaccine Messaging, Part 1. NIH U.S. National Library of Medicine July 7, 2020.
4 Vaccine Messaging Guide. Yale Institute for Global Health, and Unicef, and Facebook December 2020.
5 Pappas S. Social science and the COVID-19 vaccines.  American Psychological Association Mar. 1, 2021.
6 FDA. Development and Licensure of Vaccines to Prevent COVID-19: Guidance for Industry. Efficacy Considerations Pages 13-24. Revised June 2020.
7 McNiel D. How much herd immunity is enough? The New York Times Sep. 22, 2021.
8 Makary M. Natural immunity to COVID is powerful. Policymakers seem afraid to say so. The Washington Post Sept. 15, 2021.
9 Tin A. Pfizer CEO says fourth dose of COVID vaccine is “necessary,” submits data to FDA. CBS News Mar. 14, 2022.

40 Responses to "Harvard Study’s Goal: Identifying Messages That ‘Break Through’ to Vaccine Skeptics"

  1. Peace   March 21, 2022 at 3:42 pm

    Vaccine skeptics?? They also label vaccine hesitancy. 🙄 Leave unvaccinated people alone, end of story!!! What a nuisance.

    Reply
    • JesusSaves   March 23, 2022 at 2:28 pm

      Isn’t anyone wondering about this:

      Economic Freedom Message: working together to stop COVID-19 by getting enough people vaccinated will help society preserve its economic freedom.

      Economic “FREEDOM”??? WHAT DOES THAT REALLY MEAN? Are they accidentally revealing something here, such as THEY caused the whole economic shut down to force peole to take this mRNA inoculation?

      Reply
      • Peace   March 28, 2022 at 4:26 pm

        I second your sentiment.

        Reply
  2. Joseph D. Bidenn   March 21, 2022 at 3:43 pm

    Hogwash! Get the vaccine, all of them and still get infected and infect you family and friends.
    I’d rather inject battery acid than these bio-weapons! Fu(k Fauci☠️

    Reply
    • Peace   March 23, 2022 at 2:10 pm

      🤝👏

      Reply
  3. TJ   March 21, 2022 at 4:03 pm

    They forgot to address those of us who have already experienced vaccine damage and don’t wish to experience a repeat performance and resulting denial of damage.

    Reply
    • JesusSaves   March 23, 2022 at 2:26 pm

      Problem with that is, the ones who got the shot and died can’t be interviewed right now….please leave a message….*BEEP*!

      Reply
  4. rob   March 21, 2022 at 4:11 pm

    including misrepresenting scientific evidence, shifting the hypotheses when their argument is not winning, censoring opposing viewpoints, and personally attacking the opposition.4

    The above is directed at those who wish to exercise their fredom of chose regarding their own health, a basic human right, the very same aguments are used by pro vaccinators to push the vaccine, which by their own admission does nothing to prevent illness!!

    ”complicated by the fact that the COVID shots were not specifically designed to prevent infection and transmission of SARS-CoV-2”

    How can any medical intervention be prescribed for something which has never been isolated

    Reply
  5. Grasshopper Kaplan   March 21, 2022 at 5:07 pm

    This is totally horrifying although not surprising

    Reply
  6. Irene   March 21, 2022 at 5:15 pm

    I’m glad Vaccine Reaction posts these kinds of stories and gives us a look at the manipulation being used against the population. It makes me angry that these people need to resort to manipulation to get people to be vaccinated.

    I’m not anti-vaccine, I got my flu shot and a tetanus booster this year but I will NOT get this dangerous COVID shot. True the reaction to the shot percentage wise is low compared to others who’ve had the shot but to those who have severe a reaction it can be life changing.

    Looking back at all shots throughout our history, this shot, based on the data, is the most deadly, they need to go back and come up with a safer alternative.

    We should be experimenting with various treatments not stuck with one being crammed down our throat.

    There is only one person in our house whose vaccinated and 2 who’ve had COVID, the vaccinated was one of them. My husband and I are on Hydroxychloroquine, vitamin D and quercetin, neither one of us have had COVID or if we have we didn’t know it. If both my grown kids, living in our house, have had COVID but my husband and I have not, we’re in our 60s, what does that imply?

    Lastly, the W.H.O. World COVID meter shows data and with a litter math you’ll see this virus is 99.98% survivable. Even with my co-morbid diseases, based on the CDC calculator, my chance of survival is about 75%. So let’s us actual data and science to make reasonable decisions.

    Reply
  7. Pamela Martin   March 21, 2022 at 5:33 pm

    The vaccines are dangerous and ineffective. They won’t help Omicron which is suppose to be mild. WHY WOULD YOU GET A VACCINE???

    Reply
    • JesusSaves   March 23, 2022 at 2:30 pm

      They never “isolated” Covid 19. Why would anyone get a DNA changing shot to begin with?

      Sorry I do not want to be a GMH (genetically modified human).

      God gave me an immune system, THAT “science” is settled!

      Reply
  8. Nick   March 21, 2022 at 6:53 pm

    If the vaccine industry was not 100% corrupt and criminal, and if all vaccines weren’t examples of medical fraud, they might have a better chance at getting people to accept their products.
    If they had liability for their products, like every other industry on the planet, they might have a better chance of selling their product.
    No one is going to trust a product that is liability free, experimental, and offers no protection whatsoever, and is highly dangerous.
    It is a sad reality that they need to have psychological studies and coercive, dishonest messaging to get people to accept the shot that isn’t a vaccine.
    Vaccine passports and endless boosters don’t help to inspire people to get jabbed.

    Reply
    • watchman on the wall   March 22, 2022 at 12:22 pm

      Well stated, Nick!

      Reply
    • Sylvia   March 28, 2022 at 2:40 am

      Thank you for your cogent comment. It is becoming increasingly rare to have posts that are objective, rational, logical, as well as scientific.
      A robust, well-balanced immune system (both innate and adaptive) has an inherent ability to interact intelligently with pathogens. It is damaging to subject it to vaccines that claim to ‘train’ it – or is it really ‘reprogramming’ or sterilizing?
      Particularly when current scientific understanding of the intricacies of the immune system is, at best, in its infancy

      Reply
  9. Tom   March 21, 2022 at 7:19 pm

    You harvard dolts are not smart enough to break my resistance to poison mRNA injections or any vaccines for that matter. Keep wasting you time and money trying…you will always fail! Most of us now know the truth.

    Reply
  10. DH   March 21, 2022 at 8:32 pm

    “… scientists still do not know how many people in a population have to get vaccinated to achieve the theorized “herd immunity.”.

    That’s because NO ONE has to get vaccinated to achieve herd immunity …exposure to the “virus” (fighting it and/or overcoming it) does that. Now they want us to believe that ONLY a vaccine can create immunity. Lies, propaganda, and brainwashing!

    Reply
  11. Jean   March 21, 2022 at 8:41 pm

    To claim getting vaccinated protects others is a false claim. Harvard is recommending lying in order to convince people to get vaccinated. Vaxxed people can spread Covid to others.

    Reply
  12. Cheryl Zastrow   March 21, 2022 at 9:46 pm

    That person is not analytical. The definition of this “VAX” is changed (past vacs have been shown not to be so effective either but drug companies own their own “studies” and don’t have to release them. WHO, CDC states that it doesn’t prevent you from getting it or transmitting it, “it may reduce symptoms. Natural immunity lasts and lasts and is the best. If the person who wants to immunosuppress themselves and set up a permanent risk for clots, – itisis, permanent susceptibility to serious other conditions, go ahead. If you think it is a protection/a real vaccine, than why do others have to get it? You should be protected. Vaccinated people ARE the ones making others at risk- known as shedding. Pfizer even has that recorded. Note what is in these jabacides – graphene, the nanoparticles, aluminum, HIV shedded cells, animal fetal contaminant, mercury, infertility product from fetal kidney cell line HEK 293 used in the past in 3 countries. (some have one from eye tissue). The comparison graph of deaths of shot up kids to young adult age(broken down in age groups) to non shot up kids is shocking. THE SHOT IS THE DISEASE, KILLER. I have videos of testimonies of ICU nurses in Canada and US exposes the lies that UN vaccinated are dying more. FOLLOW THE MONEY with bribes to keep it all going – medical facilities and medical practice staff, labs who had quotas and used the PCR test that can’t diagnose (that’s why it got a patent by one of the globalist players in 2015. It’s been planned for years – Gates – I have the article and video ( I think within the last 6 mo has been taken down), Kissinger speech talking about the herd (that was deleted from his speech now.), Rockefeller Foundation letter 2010. Read Marxist goals to take over America.
    Ask WHY one would have to take a 4th shot now. Why do stores get paid to do fake testing and give shots? or get beer or a donut for a shot? Why is the White House staff, congress, postal service workers, CDC, FDA exempt? Why does Scandinavia, Africa, India not have problems with this planned virus. Watch the Davos summits or Event 201, read Klaus’ book. Why haven’t there been problems when crowds gather at Oscars, big rallies, churches, weddings…… by people who know better than to wear a mask. Oh, wear it in the plane but take it off to eat. DUH.

    Reply
  13. mark   March 21, 2022 at 10:37 pm

    if only there was away to cure the worlds amnesia that the immune system, and only the immune system, heals and protects

    Reply
    • Sylvia   March 28, 2022 at 2:51 am

      Well said!
      The world would be a happier place if taxpayer $ were spent on helping people adopt a healthy lifestyle, ie:
      – nutritious foods;
      – regular ‘as able’ exercise;
      – quality sleep;
      – elimination of addiction to sensory gratification;
      – develop resilience
      – develop cognitive flexibility;
      – develop compassion, ethics, integrity, gratitude, and mindfulness.
      Obesity and lifelong dependence on prescription drugs are becoming the norm rather than the exception.
      Time for an honest reassessment.
      Change your mind, train your brain.

      Reply
  14. Carsos   March 21, 2022 at 11:01 pm

    Here’s a sure-fire message that will induce a person to get the vaccination. Point a gun at the hesitant individual, along with a needle loaded with the vaccine, and say in no uncertain terms:
    “Your choice, hombre. You have one minute to choose which way you want to be shot.”

    Reply
  15. Nancy   March 22, 2022 at 11:24 am

    Anyone choosing to get any vax for themselves or more importantly their children, I urge you to watch VAXXED from cover-up to catastrophe, the film. It sheds light on the lies the CDC has been using for years to cover up their horrible findings.
    worth the watch for everyone!!

    Reply
  16. James   March 22, 2022 at 12:18 pm

    I would not get this failure of a”vaccine”, even if you gave me $$$$$. Imagine, a Vaccine sooo great that you need 3 or maybe 4 or even5 before you know it works. How about our immune system and natural immunity,,,Why ignore that?!??! Because it does not create revenue for Big Pharma and does not follow the insane rhetoric

    Reply
    • JesusSaves   March 23, 2022 at 2:31 pm

      They let the cat out of the bag when they admitted that they don’t want healthy people because then they don’t make $$.

      Reply
  17. watchman on the wall   March 22, 2022 at 12:24 pm

    Just makes one wonder what exactly is in that needle that they want so desperately to inject into our bodies…

    Reply
    • JesusSaves   March 23, 2022 at 2:36 pm

      Cancer causing oncogenes, nano robots. Allegedly people who have this shot are able to be ‘picked up’ on Bluetooth devices.

      They aren’t foisting all this 5G and Hell phone towers on us for our own good.

      Just look at their arrogance, they made the Georgia Guidestones, their satanic commandments say the earth is not to have the population above 500,000,000 people. TOTAL.

      They don’t go to all this trouble just for decoration. They mean this for us! All those people who got the shots are going to regret it once everyone starts getting cancer, but of course they’ll have a lame explanation for that too.

      Oh and this created war, probably an excuse to cause yet another “plandemic” for humanity, and start World War 3.

      Reply
  18. Melissa Murray   March 22, 2022 at 12:46 pm

    Maybe in middle school peer pressure like this might work. But as adults, we outgrow that need to be excepted.
    This guilt tripping tactic has been so overused to shut down any criticism of our past President just because of the color of his skin, no one cares if they’re called a racist anymore. Same is true with being called a flat earther for not bowing to experts and scientists.
    Let them cry wolf all they want. Most have turned a deaf ear to it.

    Reply
  19. Kimberly   March 22, 2022 at 1:02 pm

    Unfortunately for them, those who are intelligent enough to know that vaccines don’t, and have never, prevented ANY disease, will NEVER be persuaded to inject themselves or their children with toxic chemicals to appease their fantasies. Even a vaccine supporter should know vaccines were never designed to protect OTHERS, they were designed to (supposedly-yet to be proven) protect the individual vaccinated. There’s just way too much stupid in this world…

    Reply
  20. Kim   March 22, 2022 at 3:16 pm

    F them. The day people get mass brainwashed you have to ask what are they spraying what these harp and 5g towers are doing to the glial cells in peoples brains. They are systematically dumbing down the population. The only healthy humans left are the non vax

    Reply
  21. Erik Snip   March 23, 2022 at 3:37 am

    This jab was promoted as the saviour, it will stop you getting “it” and stop you transmitting “it”. In this low grade psychowarfare article they state it will only make you less sick from “it”. 99.98% of all infected were not that sick from it, comparable to a nasty flu (which can be nasty and deadly). This article prooves this whole debacle has nothing to do with healthcare but control and manipulation. Great health to all! Erik the Netherlands

    Reply
  22. Fowell the $   March 23, 2022 at 4:10 am

    How much $ did Pfizer pay Harvard to do their marketing research?
    Or did they get $ from US?

    Reply
  23. Natalie   March 23, 2022 at 8:19 pm

    When you have true science, safety, integrity, and ethics on your side, you don’t need a study in manipulation.

    Reply
  24. Fred   March 23, 2022 at 11:30 pm

    you are all sheeple. this is a bio weapon being fought with a bio weapon. I do not care what you education is or what you read. Please wake up!!!

    Reply
  25. Robert Burkhalter   March 25, 2022 at 10:19 am

    I firmly believe that folks who rely on doctors to keep them healthy should get vaccinated. Their doctors have been keeping them in a diseased state for most of their lives and they might not live without it. The rest of us, should just carry on. Each should do as their consciousness directs without infringing on others. And of course, keep paying Dr. Fauci as much money as our corrupt government allows.

    Reply
  26. Amy Egan   March 25, 2022 at 4:39 pm

    The comments here have covered it all. Sometimes I’m sadly stunned at how many people don’t have a clue the mind control they’re under. Then I read a long string of comments by people who know exactly what’s going on and I’m hopeful again.
    Good going, fellow citizens. Thank you for standing up to the lies, brainwashing and tyranny. Stay strong and pure bloods!!

    Reply
  27. Micheala   March 26, 2022 at 4:26 pm

    Well Thank you for sharing The Final Solution Playbook with the rest of us! Very informative!

    Not that we weren’t aware of your nefarious intentions long before the death-shots were rolled out…yet these extra little tidbits of manipulation tactics are tremendously helpful.

    Reply
  28. Snowflakween   March 27, 2022 at 6:10 pm

    Someone needs to do a study on how to unbrainwash the masses.

    Reply
  29. Wren o   March 27, 2022 at 10:22 pm

    This is brainwashing. There’s nothing more to say.

    Reply
  30. Louise Gallagher   March 30, 2022 at 9:46 pm

    I would like to think that those smart enough to refuse the SHOTs the first time will not be swayed by some cute little nothing phrase. The words are as meaningless as the shots themselves.

    Reply

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