Vaccination is a cost-effective strategy for reducing childhood mortality and morbidity, but more than 24 million children still do not have access to basic immunization services worldwide. Vaccination access and uptake in 'Hard to reach' groups also remains an issue.

Strategies to increase vaccination uptake involve:

  • Supply-side interventions: such as improving the availability of effective vaccines, technologies to support their application and health personnel to deliver services

  • Demand-side or consumer level components: such as communication to various stakeholders about vaccination

In research and policy, demand side or consumer level components are often neglected. Yet interventions such as improving communication between parents and health care providers, have the potential to address barriers to vaccination associated with parental knowledge and understanding, attitudes, beliefs and behaviour. 


In the COMMVAC project, communication intervention is defined as a purposeful, structured, repeatable and adaptable strategy to inform and influence individual and community decisions in relation to personal and public health participation, disease prevention and promotion, policy making, service improvement and research.


Communication interventions may operate at individual, community or societal levels, and target people in their role as parents or community members. The COMMVAC taxonomy of interventions to improve communication about childhood vaccination identifies seven key purposes of communication targeted at different groups including parents, soon to be parents and caregivers, communities, community members or volunteers; and health professionals.


The first phase of the COMMVAC project (COMMVAC 1) undertook two systematic reviews of high priority questions regarding the effectiveness of vaccination communication interventions:

  • Face to face interventions for informing or educating parents about early childhood vaccination

  • Community-directed interventions for informing and/or educating about early childhood vaccination