Building Vaccine Confidence

Globally, health care workers are among the first groups of people to have access to the COVID-19 vaccine. However, recent surveys suggest a high rate of COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy among health care workers is driven by low confidence in the safety and efficacy of the vaccine, with many indicating that they would rather "wait-and-see". Developing effective strategies that increase vaccine confidence and lead to maximal vaccine uptake is crucial.

This research brief provides an overview of the issues surrounding vaccine confidence (the why), challenges to building confidence (the what) and outlines strategies that may assist in building vaccine confidence (the how). Sources are provided throughout the brief for further reference and a resource section is included at the end for additional reading.


Resources for Vaccinating 5-11 Year-Old Children

  • Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) shared video ans article from intensive care physician and medical lead for the intensive care unit (ICU) at HHS's Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre, Dr. Bram Rochwerg, and his family. He and his wife, Dr. Rachel Loewith, a family physician at HHS, talk about their choice to vaccinate their young children:
  • The Hospital for Sick Children offers a confidential, COVID-19 vaccine consult service for families:
  • The Kids' Health First website ( offers information and resources for parents, youth, children and providers. Provider resources include links respecting vaccine confidence, consent, pain management and more. Content has been curated and created by experts from the Children's COVID-19 Vaccine Table, whose purpose is to provide strategic advice and recommendations to the Ontario government regarding vaccine strategy to inform planning, process and readiness with a focus on children.
  • Michael Garron Hospital (MGH) produced a panel discussion for children and families hosted on November 10, 2021 and featuring Dr. Janine McCready, Infectious Diseases Physician at MGH, and Morgan Livingstone, Child Life Specialist at MGH:
  • A template letter for patients encouraging parents to get their 5-11 year-old children vaccinated with the COVID-19 vaccine, was developed by Dr. Tara Kiran, Family Physician at Unity Health and Dr. Noah Ivers, Family Physician, Women's College Hospital. The letter was shared over social media for providers to use in their own practice. 
  • Have questions about the COVID-19 vaccine for kids? Here's what a pediatrician (and parent!) wants you to know. Dr. Anne Wormsbecker is a parent and pediatrician based at St. Michael's Hospital, Unity Health. She answers common questions about why kids need a lower dose, the rigorous scientific process that went into its approval, and strategies to help little ones feel comfortable on the big day.
  • St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital in the U.S. also offers a "COVID-19 Vaccines" Colouring Book, which offers children a fun way to learn about these vaccines and how they work. 

Experts from Ontario hospitals also helped answer questions from parents about the COVID-19 vaccine for 5-11 year old children:

Related resources

  • is a website that highlights resources on children's pain, including fears around needles and vaccination. These are searchable by type of resource (e.g., blog posts, videos, images) and by category (e.g., needle pain, pain assessment, cancer pain).
  • Solutions for Kids in Pain (SKIP) is a national knowledge mobilization network incorporated as a not-for-profit organization. SKIP's mission is to improve children's pain management by mobilizing evidence-based solutions through coordination and collaboration. They offer resources that help parents and children prepare for vaccinations and supports around needle pain and fear.

Additional Vaccine Related Resources for Hospitals


Sample Hospital Communications and Templates:

Social Media Posts and Videos:

Related Reading: