Simple text messages encourage COVID-19 vaccinations: study

Close up of a woman's hands checking smart phone with personal organizer diary or agenda over the table at home.
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By , KNX 1070 Newsradio

A UCLA-led study published Monday suggests that text messages emphasizing the availability of COVID-19 vaccines increased the number of people who got jabbed.

According to the researchers, the text messages worked at increasing vaccination rates among all demographics, even groups who were hesitant about receiving the vaccine.

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“We found that text messages that stressed the accessibility of the vaccine and that included ‘ownership’ language — such as ‘The vaccine has just been made available for you’ and ‘Claim your dose today’ — significantly increased vaccine uptake,” said one of the study's authors, Dr. Daniel Croymans in a UCLA press release.

Croymans is a primary care physician and medical director of quality at UCLA Health. The research was a joint effort by the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, the UCLA Anderson School of Management and Carnegie Mellon University.

Researchers looked at data from two randomized trials with UCLA Health patients. Most were over the age of 65 and were eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine in January and February 2021.