Sure - Canadian Substance Use Resource and Knowledge Exchange Centre

As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, People Who Use Drugs (PWUD) may continue to be at greater risk for COVID-19 infection and complications due to social and structural marginalization, barriers in accessing essential harm reduction services, challenges with self-isolation or socially distancing, or housing in crowded shelters. COVID-19 vaccines and boosters may therefore be an effective way to reduce potential harms of COVID-19 among PWUD. However, PWUD report lower vaccination uptake than the general population and concerns about the vaccine development process, side effects, and distrust towards healthcare and government agencies involved in vaccine distribution.

Trusted individuals such as healthcare and service providers can play an important role in addressing vaccine confidence through engaging in motivational interviewing (MI). MI is defined as a conversational approach that seeks to enhance an individual’s motivation for behavioral change. It is participant-centered and goal-oriented, focusing on exploring individuals own desire, ability, and reasons for change. MI was originally developed to treat addictive behaviors and has been shown to be successful in addressing illicit substance use, suggesting that it may be an appropriate strategy in working with PWUD.

This video presents motivational interviewing tools and strategies for service providers working with PWUD, so that they may work together to improve COVID-19 vaccine confidence. Although this video was developed for COVID-19, it can be applicable for any current or future vaccines.