The Victorian Department of Health (DH) has established a COVID-19 Vaccine – Vaccination Clinical Champions program.
The program aims to increase vaccine confidence, increase uptake of COVID-19 vaccinations, and raise awareness of Victoria’s easy to access COVID-19 immunisation program that provides appropriate access for priority populations.
Providing timely, accurate, scientific-based, evidence-informed and factual information to the vaccine hesitant population is key to achieving high vaccination rates and in turn reducing COVID-19 related harm by preventing serious illness and death, and, as much as possible, disease transmission.
Traditional information campaigns or vaccine promotion strategies are unlikely to be effective. The specific concerns of community members must be sought and acknowledged, and key opinion leaders need to be meaningfully engaged and empowered to advocate for vaccines.
One-on-one conversations will be key to addressing hesitancy in the 20-30 per cent of Victoria’s population and encouraging them to book and attend a COVID-19 vaccination appointment.
What does the program entail?
Clinical champions are:
- Trusted members of the community from clinical backgrounds
- Are comfortable and confident to:
- share information and messages
- answer questions
- discuss risks and clinical concerns regarding the COVID-19 vaccination program
Department of Health support:
- Facilitated training including one two-hour live training session conducted by the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI) on How to build confidence in COVID-19 vaccines
- Provide timely, up-to-date information about the vaccination program
- Provide and update collateral for champions to use, including printing any materials if necessary
- Facilitate and brief vaccine champions to participate in engagement opportunities
- Provide a DH representative to assist with any policy related queries that you may have during the sessions you deliver.
- Payment is available to cover costs, should you wish to be reimbursed, for sessions coordinated by DH.
Clinical Champion role includes:
- Deliver presentations on COVID-19 vaccination via face-to-face or webinar at forums organised by DH. These sessions are usually no more than an hour in length and usually conducted after-hours.
- Attend and participate in discussions at ‘on-the-ground’ engagement sessions in collaboration with grant recipients, LPHUs or at events organised by DH e.g. at community events, pop-up clinics etc.
- Tell personal stories about their experience getting vaccinated and why they chose to get vaccinated.
- Participate in media and social media opportunities
Resources to use:
- Slide presentation for you to tailor as needed for future speaking opportunities on the vaccination program
- Key messages about the COVID-19 vaccination program to inform any conversations, which are updated regularly
- Access to the Department of Health’s COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout – Stakeholder Resource Site, containing flyers and other information
What is the expected commitment?
- Undertake one two-hour training session with the MCRI
- Participate in community of practice sessions
- Participate in agreed opportunities arranged by Department of Health. We will work with your schedule, and you will have the opportunity to accept or decline an opportunity each time.
- Incorporate key messages provided by the Department when delivering information
- Stay up-to-date with any changes to the vaccination program and vaccine information
- Refer to reputable sources of information including the Australian and Victorian governments websites for further information
- Provide insights to the Department of Health around key concerns or issues identified through engagements to help the Department respond appropriately
- As an ambassador for COVID-19 immunisation program, not act in any way that brings the program into disrepute