Using Behavioral Insights to Increase the Demand for Childhood Vaccination in Low Resource Settings

Lebanon has historically maintained high immunization coverage rates for most routine vaccines. However, an increase in poverty rates coupled with an influx of over a million refugees posed significant challenges to the national immunization program.

In response, an accelerated immunization activities (AIA) program, encompassing community-based outreach and referral activities, was launched to increase the demand for childhood vaccination through the public healthcare system. Despite this effort, uptake among refugee and host community households remained low, resulting in pockets of low immunization coverage rates. This study investigates the barriers that prevent households in low coverage areas from vaccinating their children, and evaluates a behavior change intervention designed to overcome the identified social, perceptual, and cognitive barriers.

Households with un- or under-vaccinated children were recruited from seven cadastres with low immunization coverage rates. A mixed methods approach, including stakeholder interviews and field observations, was employed to identify the main barriers to vaccination.The study highlights the importance of integrating behavioral insights into vaccination campaigns and programs, especially in low resource settings, to ensure that more children can benefit from life-saving vaccines.