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New statewide study launches to understand public and provider attitudes toward COVID-19 vaccine

PSA campaign aims to help public understand vaccination

RENO, Nev. — Researchers at the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine (UNR Med), in partnership with the University of Nevada, Reno School of Community Health Sciences, Immunize Nevada and the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services, are conducting a study to learn what Nevadans think about COVID-19 vaccines and their acceptance toward taking the vaccine once one is available to the public.

The study involves two surveys: a public survey to assess Nevadans’ attitudes, understanding and utilization of the COVID-19 vaccine, and a survey of health care providers, medical students and trainees’ attitudes toward making patient recommendations for the COVID-19 vaccine.

Both surveys come as Nevada received its first allocation of COVID-19 vaccine doses on December 14. As of that date, there are more than 190,000 total cases and 2,548 people have died from COVID-19 in Nevada.

The purpose of the study is to understand Nevadans’ risk perceptions about COVID-19 and the acceptance of a vaccine in order for the state’s public health leaders to provide information for people to make informed decisions about vaccination against the virus.

“The research is designed to ensure that we understand how our key audiences in Nevada view the COVID-19 vaccine,” said Mark Riddle, M.D., Dr.P.H., associate dean of clinical research and professor at UNR Med’s Department of Internal Medicine and Medical Research, and a lead investigator on the study. “It’s critical that we ask Nevadans and Nevada health care providers what they truly think about the vaccine and what their knowledge and attitudes are in order to provide the most helpful information about the safety and efficacy of getting one of the many vaccines that are becoming available in the coming weeks and months.”

Public and provider surveys

The public and health care providers are invited to participate in the research study by taking one of the two surveys.

The surveys are completely anonymous, but ask questions about who you are and what you know and think about COVID-19, COVID-19 vaccines, and information sources. The survey will take less than 10 minutes to complete. Participants may pick and choose what questions they answer. The survey can only be completed online and is anonymous.

Interested participants can also find links to the surveys at UNR Med’s Medical Research website at:

Survey responses will be accepted through the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic, and people can take the survey multiple times as researchers want to measure how knowledge and attitudes may change.

COVID-19 PSA campaign videos

Immunize Nevada is producing a series of public service announcements (PSAs) as part of a statewide public health COVID-19 communications campaign to inform the public about the vaccine. The PSAs feature a diverse group of Nevada health care professionals who provide scientific, evidence-based information about the COVID-19 vaccine in order to address public skepticism and encourage people to get a vaccine when they have one available to them. The PSAs are being released on the Immunize Nevada YouTube channel, addressing topics related to the vaccine and will also be accessible to the public through various websites and social media platforms.

The PSAs feature Nevada health care leaders and researchers presenting science-based information about the COVID-19 vaccine, including Dr. Riddle; Trudy Larson, M.D., dean, School of Community Health Sciences, University of Nevada, Reno; Bayo Curry-Winchell, M.D., medical director, Urgent Care, Saint Mary’s Medical Group; Jose Cucalon Calderon, M.D., pediatrician, Renown Health and assistant professor, Pediatrics, UNR Med; and Diana Sande, communications manager, Nevada Public Health Training Center, School of Community Health Sciences.

“These vaccines are literally life-changing, and we want to be sure Nevadans have the information they need so they can make informed decisions once they become available to them,” said Immunize Nevada Executive Director Heidi Parker. “We know there are so many questions out there, which is one of the reasons we’re sharing information from a variety of health care experts with years of experience. And it will be valuable for us to know whether we’re addressing their concerns and helping them make informed decisions about the COVID-19 vaccines." 

Media Contacts:
Julie Ardito, APR                                           
Senior Director                                                 
Advancement and Engagement                                  
University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine         
Office: (775) 784-6006                                             
Cell: (775) 846-8445                                                                                       

Tessa Bowen, MPA
Communications Manager
Advancement and Engagement
University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine
Office: (775) 682-9254
 Cell: (402) 617-0120