News publications and other organizations are encouraged to reuse Direct Relief-published content for free under a Creative Commons License (Attribution-Non-Commercial-No Derivatives 4.0 International), given the republisher complies with the requirements identified below.

When republishing:

  • Include a byline with the reporter’s name and Direct Relief in the following format: "Author Name, Direct Relief." If attribution in that format is not possible, include the following language at the top of the story: "This story was originally published by Direct Relief."
  • If publishing online, please link to the original URL of the story.
  • Maintain any tagline at the bottom of the story.
  • With Direct Relief's permission, news publications can make changes such as localizing the content for a particular area, using a different headline, or shortening story text. To confirm edits are acceptable, please check with Direct Relief by clicking this link.
  • If new content is added to the original story — for example, a comment from a local official — a note with language to the effect of the following must be included: "Additional reporting by [reporter and organization]."
  • If republished stories are shared on social media, Direct Relief appreciates being tagged in the posts:
    • Twitter (@DirectRelief)
    • Facebook (@DirectRelief)
    • Instagram (@DirectRelief)

Republishing Images:

Unless stated otherwise, images shot by Direct Relief may be republished for non-commercial purposes with proper attribution, given the republisher complies with the requirements identified below.

  • Maintain correct caption information.
  • Credit the photographer and Direct Relief in the caption. For example: "First and Last Name / Direct Relief."
  • Do not digitally alter images.

Direct Relief often contracts with freelance photographers who usually, but not always, allow their work to be published by Direct Relief’s media partners. Contact Direct Relief for permission to use images in which Direct Relief is not credited in the caption by clicking here.

Other Requirements:

  • Do not state or imply that donations to any third-party organization support Direct Relief's work.
  • Republishers may not sell Direct Relief's content.
  • Direct Relief's work is prohibited from populating web pages designed to improve rankings on search engines or solely to gain revenue from network-based advertisements.
  • Advance permission is required to translate Direct Relief's stories into a language different from the original language of publication. To inquire, contact us here.
  • If Direct Relief requests a change to or removal of republished Direct Relief content from a site or on-air, the republisher must comply.

For any additional questions about republishing Direct Relief content, please email the team here.

Direct Relief and Meta Work to Increase Covid-19 Vaccine Uptake among Parents, Children in the U.S.

Data for Good at Meta and Direct Relief collaborate to inform Covid-19 vaccination messaging towards parents.



A child receives a Covid-19 vaccine in Nov. 2021 as her father holds her hand at a vaccination pop-up site in New York City. (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

Editor’s note: This report was written in collaboration with Data for Good at Meta.

Direct Relief, in partnership with Data for Good at Meta, recently released the results of an online campaign aimed at promoting the Covid-19 vaccine among children aged 5-11 in the United States. The team found that messages emphasizing social norms and personal choice can be effective at building vaccine confidence, takeaways that may assist in the development of future messaging strategies targeting communities with low vaccine adoption.

The campaign, which reached approximately 1.4 million people, targeted adults ages 25-49 in states with below average vaccination rates, including West Virginia, Wyoming, Mississippi, Idaho, U.S. Virgin Islands, North Dakota, Louisiana, Tennessee, Indiana, Alabama, Ohio, Montana, American Samoa, Missouri, South Carolina, Georgia, Arkansas, Michigan and Oklahoma.

To support the development of the campaign messages, the Data for Good team analyzed public Facebook posts and data from the Covid Trends and Impact Survey (CTIS). Public posts revealed that many people in states with low acceptance reacted negatively towards vaccine mandates and that public discussions around vaccines were often deeply polarized with people either advocating strongly for them or criticizing their need at all. Both post and survey data also underscored general parental concerns about vaccine safety.

Based on these findings, as well as prior research on vaccine hesitancy that revealed that people who are hesitant towards vaccines tend to value their personal liberty, the research team designed campaign messages that emphasized vaccination as a personal choice and that promoted vaccines as socially accepted. The Personal Choice + Aspirational campaign highlighted vaccination as a choice and highlighted the non-politicized benefits of vaccinating children and teens, including protection, return to school, recreation and spending time with extended family.

The social norming approach has been successful in prior vaccine campaigns and can work to address issues of polarization by normalizing the topic of vaccination as accepted and routine. This campaign included two short videos – one emphasizing widespread vaccine uptake among doctors and people under 18 and a second video that framed vaccinations as a normal part of life for children. Both videos emphasized the fact that the majority of Americans wanted the Covid-19 vaccine for their children.

Finally, to address concerns about vaccine safety, both campaigns linked to a resource page that provided information on Covid-19 vaccine safety for children and encouraged contacting a pediatrician with any questions.

Personal Choice + Aspirational Ad Creative Example:

Social Norming Ad Creative Example:

Altogether, the campaign reached approximately 1.4 million people and led to approximately 153K clicks to the vaccine resource page. To understand how well the two different approaches performed with the target audience, the research team conducted a brand lift survey comparing people who saw the ads (the test group) and those who did not (the control group) on a range of questions related to vaccine acceptance (See Table 1).

Results of the post-campaign survey revealed that the social norming message was most successful overall, achieving especially high increases for the question on getting people to encourage their friends to ask a pediatrician about the Covid-19 vaccine. The personal choice + aspirational message also yielded statistically significant results and worked particularly well for shifting attitudes about social approval for the vaccine.

Both approaches were effective in promoting safety, likely due to the fact that both ads linked out to the resource page with information on vaccine safety. Neither approach was effective in achieving 90% statistically significant results on the importance of the vaccine, but both came very close, reaching an 80% threshold for significance on this question.

Table 1. Brand Lift Survey Results Highlighting Where Exposure to the Ads Caused a Lift (Treatment vs Control)

Influencing Vaccine Decision-making Moving Forward

A number of insights from this campaign may prove useful for future vaccination outreach. The results of this experiment suggest that future vaccination campaigns should consider the following approaches.

  • Stress that vaccines are generally accepted by parents and doctors alike. Use of social norming messages has been consistently effective at increasing vaccine acceptance and may be particularly relevant for communities with low acceptance. Social norming also is not limited to campaigns and can be a powerful tool when leveraged by individuals through use of tools like vaccine profile frames or vaccination selfies, and among influencers who post about their vaccine stories.
  • Use liberty messaging to underscore personal choice. Messages emphasizing personal autonomy worked well to increase attitudes towards people believing that getting one’s child vaccinated is an approved behavior. Where vaccine conversations are polarized and mandates are facing backlash, emphasizing personal choice in the matter may prove a worthwhile approach.
  • Where possible, ensure campaigns include a call-to-action and opportunity to learn more. Providing people with access to an online resource as part of digital campaigns is a critical step in ensuring that attention-grabbing messages don’t miss an opportunity to further educate their target audiences and to take action. This campaign benefited from including a link to the Get Vaccine Answers – Parent and Caregiver resource page that ensured that people looking for more information had access to it.

“Our partnership with Direct Relief to increase vaccine acceptance in the US and Puerto Rico has been tremendously successful,” said Laura McGorman, Public Policy Manager for Data for Good at Meta. “We appreciate the opportunity to leverage insights from social media to address concerns among parents about the Covid-19 vaccines and hope that campaigns like these can ensure that more children are vaccinated each day.”

“Vaccination remains our most important tool to overcome the spread of Covid-19. It’s critical that online efforts to encourage vaccination, particularly among children and teenagers, are done in a targeted, responsible, and effective way, which minimizes polarization,” said Andrew Schroeder, VP of Research and Analysis for Direct Relief. “This type of collaboration with researchers at Meta to understand which messages to different groups across the country will best accomplish that goal, is a key contribution towards ensuring that families and communities are well protected.”  

Code3 provided support in generating the creative content of this campaign.

Giving is Good Medicine

You don't have to donate. That's why it's so extraordinary if you do.