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Local CommuniVax teams are involved in rapid ethnographic assessments of Black and Hispanic/Latino communities across the country. To facilitate similar research by others, we offer copies of our data collection instruments including an environmental scan, semistructured interview guide, focus group guides, diary study protocol and template, PhotoVoice protocol, and social mapping protocol.
Primary Instruments
Environmental Scan

The environmental scan is a tool that provides researchers an opportunity to capture basic information on their local communities. The information from the scan can inform the development of tailored research strategies and provide opportunities for local researchers to connect directly with local/state organizations responsible for COVID-19 vaccination efforts.

Semistructured Interview Guide

Conducting semistructured interviews gives researchers insights into individual community members’ experiences, including how COVID-19 has affected their lives, what they think about COVID-19 vaccines and why, and how they believe recovery from the pandemic can best take place.

Focus Group Guides

Focus group discussions provide researchers an opportunity to understand a group perspective of a community’s willingness and ability to accept COVID-19 vaccines, the role vaccination can play in recovery from the pandemic, and the changes needed to improve confidence in COVID-19 vaccines and long-term trust in authorities. CommuniVax local teams are using this method with 3 distinct groups: community members, community leaders, and vaccination campaign planners and operators.

Diary Studies 


Diary studies are being used by the CommuniVax project to collect details about the sources community members use to look for or receive information about COVID-19 vaccines. The method involves having participants write daily “diary” entries about what COVID-19 vaccine information they were exposed to that day, where this information came from, and what they thought about it.


PhotoVoice is a method that involves community members taking photos, submitting their photos to researchers, and then discussing—individually or in groups—the meaning of their photos with the research team. In the CommuniVax project, PhotoVoice is being used to better understand how COVID-19 has impacted community members’ lives and what would make these individuals want to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

Social Mapping

Social mapping is specifically being used by the CommuniVax project to understand where community members go to for healthcare and where they would feel comfortable receiving COVID-19 vaccines. The method involves asking community members to draw maps of their local area, marking places on that map, and then discussing the map and the places they marked with researchers.

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