As part of the Connective Cities Covid-19 Series 2021, a virtual event took place in March on the topic Covid-19 – the local implementation of vaccination and related communication strategies in municipalities . During this event, the city of Bogotá, together with other participants, exchanged within a working group their experiences on how to improve the city´s communication strategy with the population to ensure that misinformation, fears and doubts do not affect the uptake of vaccines offered by the government..
Following this event, further virtual exchanges of expertise took place on communication strategies around Covid-19 vaccination. Connective Cities supported this process through two virtual sessions on 05 and 30 November 2021 where experts from Bogotá and Stuttgart had the opportunity to share their experiences, lessons learned and strategies. The experts presented and reviewed the experiences in both cities, including participatory processes of communication. The team in Bogotá socialized its strategy to engage the community by using tools to inform and support consciously decision-making about Covid-19 vaccination, thus providing scientific-based knowledge about the benefits of vaccination. Approach that was disseminated in urban and rural areas of Bogotá.
What was interesting about this peer-to-peer exchange was that both cities could benefit of their experiences and implementation. During the virtual event in March 2021, Stuttgart was very advanced in some aspects of its communication strategies concerning the pandemic. Bogotá on the other side started vaccination on 18 February 2021 prioritizing health works and elderly population. The good practices presented by the city of Stuttgart motivated Bogotá. During the exchange in November 2021, Bogotá had vaccinated all population reaching a higher vaccination rate than Stuttgart. This motivated Stuttgart to win more insights on what factors contributed to Bogotá’s strategy targeting the more resistant groups within its population.
Some of the topics discussed during the sessions were: