Background: As of August 2022, the COVID-19 immunization rates are relatively high in Southeast Asia (99.86% of Brunei's population; 93.91% of Singapore's; 81.95% of Malaysia's; 62.38% of Indonesia's). However, a preliminary assessment of the main social media platforms used by the four countries showed an increasing number of narratives in Malay language relating to poor confidence in vaccines and public health response. Given the high social media penetration rates and the shared values amongst the Malay-speaking communities in the four countries, the current mechanisms in addressing vaccine misinformation on social media may no longer be effective for the vaccinated populations. By drawing from the World Health Organization's 'Behavioral and Social Drivers of Vaccination' framework and the Social Inoculation Theory, this study aims to co-design and test the effectiveness of a culturally responsive and inclusive content as an intervention for Malay-speaking social media users against vaccine hesitancy. To the author's best knowledge, the proposed study will be the first to test a social media-based intervention in the underrepresented Malay language. The study is currently collecting the following data: 1) vaccine-related narratives on social media platforms that predominantly use Malay language from 2019 till 2022 and, 2) the current perceived risk and benefits of vaccines among vaccinated Malay social media users. The study will only focus on social media narratives that are publicly available on Reddit, Facebook, and Instagram. This qualitative data will be used to guide a human-centered design thinking-based workshop, through which stakeholders will co-design a social media content as the intervention tool. The tool will be tested for its effectiveness using a two-arm randomized controlled trial. Based on the preliminary qualitative evidence through video interviews and social media content analysis, having received at least two doses of COVID vaccines does not necessarily confer confidence in the global and local public health response relating to vaccines.
Bio: Wan Nurul Naszeerah (she/her) is a second year Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) student and a Research IT domain consultant at the University of California-Berkeley. Born and raised in Brunei in Southeast Asia, the Yale-trained infectious diseases epidemiologist is interested in using social media data to understand and address the effects of misinformation on vaccine confidence in Malay-speaking communities. She is currently exploring how Natural Language Processing (NLP) can be used to conduct 'social listening' on vaccine misinformation in the underrepresented and diverse Malay language, which is spoken by at least 225 million people around the world.