Distrust of expertise represents a great challenge for modern societies. In particular, it creates difficulties for healthcare professionals, given that citizens are arriving at the consultancy room with ready-made diagnoses, internet misinformation and contested attitudes. Vaccine hesitancy epitomizes this contestation: some parents refuse to vaccinate their children which leads to low vaccine coverage and risks of disease outbreaks. VAX-TRUST will contribute to increasing vaccine uptake in Finland, Belgium, Poland, Czech Republic, Italy, Portugal, and the UK and Europe as a whole by:
1) equipping healthcare professionals with tailored up-to-date knowledge on vaccine hesitancy in their specific local region and nation in international perspective; this knowledge will be obtained through (a) critical review of previous research on vaccine hesitancy, (b) a quantitative study using existing Eurobarometer 91.2 data (n=27,524 in 28 countries), (c) a quantitative and qualitative media analysis during 2019-2021 and (d) qualitative observations and interviews with healthcare professionals and parents (n=60 per region) at local healthcare centres in specific Target Regions;
2) giving healthcare professionals tools, support and peer support to deal with vaccine hesitancy, taking into account that some professionals may themselves be vaccine hesitant. This will involve specific interventions tailored for the Target Regions and include 50-100 individuals. These interventions will be evaluated for usability and transferability;
3) distributing the intervention tools to future healthcare professionals in order to strengthen their knowledge about vaccine hesitancy and facilitate support to meet with vaccine hesitancy in their future career; exploitation events will aim at 50-100 medical and nursing students in each Target Region;
4) identifying and communicating targeted recommendations to Target Regions, the seven countries and European area based on the project activities.