Bridging Experience and Expertise A Case Study of COVID-19 Vaccine Trial Participation and Social Media Vaccine Communication

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Kari Campeau


The coronavirus pandemic has been widely experienced online, and the experience of COVID-19 vaccines is no exception. This article reports on a case study of social media writing authored by COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial participants as a new and innovative form of vaccine communication. Findings offer three insights about vaccine decision-making and communication: 1) vaccine refusal, confidence, and hesitancy are increasingly informed by individuals’ personal assessments of vulnerability and risk; 2) expressed vaccine hesitancy is characterized by openness to persuasion; and 3) this impressionable vaccine hesitancy can be productively addressed in spaces that bridge lived experience and medical expertise. Building on these insights, this article delineates strategies for meaningful and participatory online communication about vaccination. 

Article Details

Research Articles
Author Biography

Kari Campeau, University of Colorado Denver

Kari Campeau is an Assistant Professor of Rhetoric & Composition in the English Department at University of Colorado Denver. She has been studying and writing about vaccination and vaccine decision-making for the past seven years. She researches and teaches in the areas of rhetoric of health and medicine, technical & professional communication, and human-centered design.



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