Communication lessons learned from the 2017 measles-rubella campaign in India: Perspectives from vaccine decision-makers

Rupali J. Limaye, Madhu Gupta, Adarsh Bansal, Mary Kate Chandler, Mathuram Santosham, Daniel J. Erchick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In 2017, to reduce the burden of measles and rubella, a nation-wide measles-rubella campaign was launched in India. Despite detailed planning efforts that involved many stakeholders, vaccine refusal arose in several communities during the campaign. As strategic health communication and promotion is critical in any vaccine campaign, we sought to document lessons learned from the 2017 MR campaign from a strategic health communication and promotion perspective to capture lessons learned. To inform future campaigns, we conducted in-depth interviews through a perspective that is not usually captured, that of government and civil society stakeholders that had experience in vaccine campaign implementation (n = 21). We interviewed stakeholders at the national level and within three states that had diverse experiences with the campaign. Three key themes related to strategic health communication and promotion emerged: The importance of sensitizing communities at all levels through relevant and timely information about the vaccine and the vaccine campaign, leveraging key influencers to deliver tailored messaging about the importance of vaccines and mitigating vaccine misinformation rapidly. Our study findings have important implications for health communication and promotion research related to vaccine campaigns. The field must continue to enhance vaccine campaign efforts by identifying important health communication and promotion factors, including the importance of sensitization, trusted messengers that use tailored messaging and mitigating misinformation, as vaccine campaigns are crucial in improving vaccine acceptance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberdaac116
JournalHealth promotion international
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2022


  • India
  • measles-rubella vaccine
  • vaccine campaign
  • vaccine hesitancy
  • vaccine sentiment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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