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



The COMMVAC project aims to:

  • build research knowledge and capacity to use evidence-based strategies for improving communication about childhood vaccinations with parents and communities in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs);

  • build the evidence needed to support the implementation of effective communication interventions; and 

  • translate this evidence into guidance for policymakers in LMICs on communication strategies to improve childhood vaccination uptake. 

 For more information please visit the COMMVAC website


Effective provider-­‐parent communication can improve childhood vaccination uptake and strengthenimmunization services in low-­‐ and middle-­‐income countries (LMICs). However, demand-­‐side interventions to improve vaccination have been neglected and existing rigorous research is often not readily found or easily applicable to LMICs.


The COMMunicate to VACcinate project uses an innovative combination of methods. First, it produces a systematic map of communication interventions. Second, it develops a taxonomy of interventions to improve communication around childhood vaccination so as to: (1) understand the relations between different types of interventions; (2) facilitate conceptual mapping of these interventions; and (3) clarify the key purposes of interventions. Third, it will hold deliberative forums with key stakeholders to discuss priorities for systematic reviews, informed by the systematic map and taxonomy. Fourth, it will conduct systematic reviews on high priority topics. Finally, it will produce web-­‐based evidence summaries that translate review findings into accessible messages for LMICs and allow users to add implementation commentary.


COMMVAC is a novel approach to more effectively using existing research and practice descriptions. Key outputs include high quality evidence on the scope and effects of interventions to improve provider-­‐parent communication around vaccination and knowledge resources tailored for LMICs.


For a list of all publications related to this project, please visit