Title : Implementing the Covid-19 vaccination programme in the Southwest of England: Lessons from a normalisation process theory perspective
Background: Vaccination remains one of the most successful public health interventions in preventing severe disease and death. The roll-out of Covid-19 vaccination programmes has helped protect billions of people around the world against Covid-19. Most of these programmes have been unprecedented in terms of scale and resources, and have been implemented at times of significant humanitarian crisis. This study aims to outline the lessons learnt from the implementation of a regional Covid-19 vaccination programme. These will help inform emergency preparedness and future crisis management.
Methods: This qualitative study sought to explore the key drivers to the successful implementation of the Covid-19 vaccination programme in a region in the Southwest of England, applying the Normalisation Process Theory lens (NPT) to examine multi-stakeholder perspectives. Data collection involved semi-structured interviews with 75 participants. Document analysis was also used to corroborate the findings emerging from the interviews. Inductive thematic analysis of the data was used to identify the key drivers for the successful implementation of the programme. The NPT lens was then applied to map the themes identified to the domains and constructs of the framework.
Results: Ten key drivers to the successful implementation of the Covid-19 vaccination programme locally were identified. These include the clarity and consistency of the programme’s goal; the diverse representation of stakeholders within the programme leadership team and the mechanisms created by this team to ensure psychological safety, autonomy, operational flexibility and staff empowerment; Communication and data specialists’ input, and collaboration with local communities to maximise the reach of the programme; and allocating funding to tackle health inequalities.
Conclusions: This study highlights the lessons learnt from the implementation of the Covid-19 vaccination programme at a local level, and the mechanisms that can be used in future crises to respond efficiently to the needs of individuals, communities and governments.