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

Loma Linda University

To address vaccine hesitancy, project leaders developed a Student Ambassadors for Vaccine Information (SAVI) group. SAVI includes all undergraduate nursing students enrolled in the Health Promotion course. Student members adapted reliable vaccine information to develop social media messages using TikTok, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and other popular platforms. SAVI disseminated these messages to the rest of the student body, faculty, affiliated community-based organizations, and nursing staff throughout Loma Linda University Hospital. To share vaccine success stories, the school developed a mobile art installation titled Vaccination Dedication, which features a series of black and white portraits of a wide range of individuals affected by the pandemic, with quotes from personal interviews integrated into the artwork. The portraits are readily appreciated because most people have a deep understanding and literacy regarding reading faces. Throughout the mobile design, vaccine hesitancy is addressed through personal experiences and facts, such as CDC statistics, demographics of the disease, and hotspots related to vaccination rates.

Curriculum Resources

Undergraduate students enrolled in the Spring 2022 Health Promotion course participated in Loma Linda University’s project through assignments and labs activities designed to increase their knowledge in discussing COVID-19 vaccines, promoting vaccinations, and overcoming hesitancy. For the project, the course coordinator developed new COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy scenarios along with scenarios on other health topics as part of a case simulation activity. Students had the opportunity to practice motivational interviewing using these scenarios preparing them for practical application of motivational interviewing and communication skills with fellow students, nurses, other healthcare providers, patients, and family members. This curricular activity is sustainable and adaptable to future health threats or other vaccination campaigns.

The undergraduate students were taught the importance of art/narrative/storytelling and cultural engagement methods to effectively communicate health messages among underrepresented, diverse populations. Using these methods, the students developed COVID vaccination and health communications imbued with creativity. Students chose different forms of media to present their communications to various at-risk groups, producing 11 different products. Faculty oversight guided the students and ensured accurate, reliable information. The student projects were disseminated through the Garcia Center for the Arts, a local community-based organization, and in a 3-D gallery embedded in the project page on our LLUSN website.

Media and Outreach Strategies

To reach target populations, Loma Linda University developed and disseminated video testimonials, a podcast, and roundtable discussion.

Social Media Strategies

For social media, Loma Linda University created professional portraits focused on the eyes of nurses and nursing students with quotes about why they chose to be vaccinated. These portraits were also included in a mobile display, which was displayed at the school of nursing and Garcia Center. The digital version can be viewed here.

Other videos produced for social media include:

Download Social Media Strategies Handout


Loma Linda University’s nursing students used creative means to thoughtfully engage and interact with various populations and share up-to-date, accurate information in a way that makes the information truly accessible to the intended audience. Experiencing art involving stories allows for emotional and educational connections to audiences, which promotes positive attitude changes and may lead to health behavior change. The mobile and digital displays of the portraits deeply resonated with people. While the quotes accompanying the portraits communicated why the nurse/student chose to be vaccinated, the portraits themselves powerfully communicated the importance of the choice because, as human beings, we have a deep understanding and inherent literacy when it comes to reading faces.

School at a Glance

map of California with a Star marking Loma Linda

  • Location: Loma Linda, California
  • School Type: Private University
  • Partners: 
    • The Garcia Center for the Arts
  • Faculty Contacts: Dr. Lisa Roberts

Rendering of Pandemic Life