The importance of cultural tailoring of communicators and media outlets in an influenza vaccination awareness campaign: a digital randomized trial

G. L. Habib, H. Yousuf, L. Bredius, N. R. Bindraban, M. M. Winter, E. J. A. Scherder, S. van der Linden, J. Narula, L. Hofstra*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the vulnerability of ethnic minorities again. Health inequity within ethnic minorities has been explained by factors such as higher prevalence of underlying disease, restricted access to care, and lower vaccination rates. In this study, we investigated the effect of cultural tailoring of communicators and media outlets, respectively, on vaccine willingness in an influenza vaccination campaign in the Netherlands. A total of 1226 participants were recruited from two culturally non-tailored media outlets (Dutch newspaper and Facebook), and one media outlet tailored to a large community in the Netherlands with Indian ancestry. The participants from all three media outlets were randomly exposed to a vaccination awareness video delivered by a physician with an Indian or Dutch background, followed by an online survey. Cultural tailoring compared to cultural non-tailoring of communicators showed no difference in improvement of vaccine willingness (13.9% vs. 20.7% increment, respectively, p = 0.083). However, the media outlet tailored to the community with Indian ancestry, resulted in a higher improvement of vaccine willingness compared to non-tailored media outlets (46.7% vs. 14.7% increment, respectively, p < 0.001, unadjusted OR = 5.096). These results suggest that cultural tailoring of media outlets may be critical to effectively reach out to ethnic minorities to help optimize vaccination rates and improve general health.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1744
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2023

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