building vaccine confidence | An initiative to strengthen public trust in vaccines | #BuildingVaxConfidence

Emory University

To increase vaccine confidence among nursing students and overcome vaccine hesitance in at-risk populations, Emory designed a 20-contact hour, multi-modal learning unit for pre-licensure students on COVID-19 as part of a public health clinical rotation. As part of the learning unit, students learn about commonly cited reasons for COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy among different populations, practice motivational interviewing skills, discuss strategies for addressing and identifying common sources of COVID-19 vaccine misinformation, and collaborate with other nursing students and clinical sites. Students worked together to develop a culturally and linguistically appropriate poster, infographic, social media campaign, mobile vaccine clinic, or multimedia presentation.

Curriculum Resources

  • To increase vaccine confidence among students, Emory University integrated vaccine confidence into the curriculum of their Population Health Course and Population Health Practicum. Students organized and participated in health and vaccine fairs, neighborhood outreach activities, and individual clients contacts. Students took two online pre-simulation student training modules – Motivational Interviewing and COVID-19 Vaccine Misinformation, Myths, and Disinformation and How to Debunk Them.
  • To increase vaccine confidence among faculty, Emory University offered five faculty the opportunity to take the American Psychiatric Nurses Association’s Motivational Interviewing online module. Emory created the online course How Nursing Faculty Can Help Promote Vaccine Confidence to build COVID-19 confidence among nursing students and faculty so that they can better engage with patients and individuals in the community to promote uptake of the COVID-19 vaccine. This online course is free and open to the public.
  • To increase vaccine confidence among healthcare professionals, Emory University created the online course How Healthcare Professionals Can Promote COVID-19 Vaccine Confidence in the Community to build COVID-19 vaccine confidence among students and healthcare professionals so that they can better engage with patients and individuals in the community to promote uptake of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Learning Opportunities

Emory University created in-classroom simulations with five standardized patients representing individuals lacking vaccine confidence, including pregnant people concerned about the effects of the vaccine on their fetus and a non-U.S. citizen concerned that immigration officers will receive information about their address and place of employment. Students received real-time feedback from the standardized patients in a non-judgmental and safe space. Simulation resources:

Social Media Strategies

Download Social Media Strategies Handout


One of the positive impacts of Emory University’s project is the strengthened academic-practice partnership with their nine clinical partners. Due to the project, the DeKalb County Board of Health, Atlanta Harm Reduction Coalition, and Mexican Consulate have requested student and faculty involvement in COVID-19 and Monkey Pox vaccine community events.


School at a Glance

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  • Location: Atlanta, Georgia
  • School Type: Private University
  • Partners: 
    • DeKalb County Board of Health
    • Forsyth County Health Department
    • Gwinnett County Health Department
    • Mexican Consulate
    • Friends of Refugees
    • Gateway Homeless Shelter
    • Boat People Save Our Souls
    • Atlanta Harm Reduction Coalition
    • VA Clinic
  • Faculty Contact:  Dr. Quyen Phan