Melbourne Children’s Global Health Forum-February

Vaccine communication and capacity building in the Indo-Pacific region



The COVID-19 pandemic showed just how important communication and community engagement are in building public trust and confidence in vaccines. Beginning in 2021 in Australia, Professor Danchin and Dr Kaufman created a program to train community members to communicate effectively about COVID-19 vaccines as Vaccine Champions. In 2022, they worked with local stakeholders in Fiji to adapt the program and broaden its scope to include routine childhood vaccines as well. Then, in partnership with Prof Thu-Anh Nguyen’s team at the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research in Vietnam, they radically expanded the program with a scalable train-the-trainer approach. In this forum, the team will share their experiences collaborating with local stakeholders to adapt and implement the program in different countries. They’ll also share some evaluation data and reflect on lessons learnt and future plans for the program.

Speaker information

Prof Margie Danchin is a general paediatrician, vaccinologist and vaccine social scientist. She is Deputy chair of the Australian Regional Immunisation Alliance (ARIA), is on the Advisory Board for the Australian Expert Technical Assistance Program for Regional COVID-19 Vaccine Access: Policy, Planning and Implementation (AETAP-PPI) and leads a program of vaccine uptake research in the Indo Pacific region; a Group Leader of the Vaccine Uptake, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute; Paediatrician, Department of General Medicine, The Royal Children’s Hospital Clinician Scientist Fellow and Principal Fellow, Department of Paediatrics and School of Population and Global Health, The University of Melbourne.

Prof Thu-Anh Nguyen is an epidemiologist and a social scientist by training, with more than 20 years of experience. She is the Country Director, Woolcock Institute of Medical Research in Viet Nam and Honorary Senior Clinical Lecturer, University of Sydney. She has been an investigator for clinical trials related to tuberculosis and manager of COVID-19 epidemiology and vaccination projects.

Dr Jessica Kaufman is a Research Fellow, Vaccine Uptake, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and Honorary Fellow, The University of Melbourne and La Trobe University. She is an expert in communication about vaccination. Her current research focuses on strategies to increase acceptance of COVID-19 vaccines and improve routine vaccine uptake across the lifespan. She leads the implementation of the Vaccine Champions program in Australia and the Indo-Pacific region. Jessica holds fellowships from the NHMRC and the Marian and E.H. Flack Trust.


Chair: Dr Alicia Quach

Comments are closed.