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The Partnering 4 Vaccine Equity (P4VE) initiative in New Mexico (NM) aims to overcome vaccine hesitancy and promote health equity among underserved populations. Four listening sessions were conducted in 2023 by the University of New Mexico Prevention Research Center, Presbyterian Community Health, and community partners to understand vaccine attitudes and message preferences of African American, African immigrant, NM Hispanic/Latinx, and Hispanic/Latinx immigrant communities. The sessions followed a semi-structured discussion guide led by trained trusted messengers and recruited through community-based organizations and social media platforms. Participants shared their experiences and perspectives on COVID-19 and influenza vaccine attitudes, beliefs, and barriers. Participants provided feedback on a set of vaccine messages informed by previous listening sessions and were also provided with materials to develop their own vaccine messages. Participants expressed distrust and skepticism due to language barriers, lack of trust in the government and healthcare system, and concerns about vaccine efficacy and side-effects. Participants emphasized need for accurate information about vaccines, addressing misinformation and myths. All groups preferred positively framed messages that addressed specific concerns and questions, were culturally representative, and came from people in their respective communities. Participants identified specific cultural values, beliefs, and practices that could be incorporated into vaccine messages to increase their relevance and appeal. The study highlights the importance of culturally appropriate vaccine communication strategies, including tailored messaging and trusted messengers, in building vaccine confidence and improving health outcomes. These findings have important implications for advancing community health equity and addressing access barriers, and are being used to inform vaccine confidence efforts.

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Health Communication; Health Messaging; Vaccine; Health Equity; New Mexico; Black; Hispanic; Immigrant; Refugee; Focus Groups


Presented at NMPHA

Vaccine Messaging – What New Mexico Black and Hispanic/Latinx Communities Have to Say