Christopher Morse, Ph.D., Professor and Chair of the Department of Communication at Bryant University, was recently featured in ABC News, NBC News, and USA Today for his unique perspective on risk, health, and crisis communication during the COVID-19 pandemic.
When discussing COVID-19 vaccine messaging for college-ages adults, Morse told ABC News, "The typical kind of guilt, you know, 'it's your duty to do this or if you don't do this, bad things will happen' that we've kind of been using so far, it doesn't work on that group."
"They're more motivated by, 'Remember this? We can get back to that if more people get vaccinated,” said Morse.
"The government officials want to give people hope and tell people that things are improving. But the minute they start doing that, there's a fear people might swing back to having parties and going back to the way things were circa 2019,” Morse told NBC News.
"Instead of walking towards the light at the end of the tunnel," he added, "they might run towards it."
To create effective vaccine messaging for those who think it’s a hassle, Morse told USA Today, “You want to tell them it's free and how easy it is to get an appointment. Something like, 'In the time it takes you to order a cup of coffee, you could be vaccinated against COVID-19.'
“The message should not be ‘we've got tons of vaccine; because then people will be convinced they can put it off for longer.”
About Professor Morse
Christopher Morse, Ph.D., is Professor and Chair of the Department of Communication at Bryant University and Executive Faculty Fellow of the Center for Health and Behavioral Sciences (CHBS). He is an expert in risk communication, crisis communication, and health communication and has been featured in top national media including ABC News, NBC News, and USA Today. Morse is also a member of the Academy of Communication in Healthcare. He earned his Ph.D. and bachelor’s degree at Pennsylvania State University and his master’s degree at Illinois State University.