STRIVE: Sustainable Translations to Reduce Inequalities and Vaccination hEsitancy


Can translation reduce vaccination hesitancy among migrants?

In June 2021, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control warned about “emerging evidence of low COVID-19 vaccination rates in some migrant and ethnic minority groups in the EU/EEA”. The STRIVE project brings together experts in translation, intercultural communication, and crisis management, to investigate cultural and linguistic gaps in the Italian COVID-19 vaccination campaign. The project explores migrant attitudes towards the COVID-19 vaccine, the (un)availability of translated information about COVID-19, and the organisations that are working to bridge the gaps and include migrants in the vaccination campaign.

The project is funded by the British Academy and hosted at University College London in partnership with the Dipartimento di Interpretazione e Traduzione of the Alma Mater Studiorum, Università di Bologna and the British School at Rome. The project team works with migrants, refugees, NGOs, and health authorities in Rome and in the region of Emilia Romagna, to compare regional approaches to including migrants in the COVID-19 vaccination campaign.

STRIVE contributes to the achievement of goals set by the World Health Organisation in 2017, concerning the importance of providing people with accurate information in languages that they can understand in a health crisis.


a. What are the linguistic and cultural barriers that may prevent migrants from getting vaccinated against COVID-19?

What do migrants living in Italy think about the COVID-19 vaccine and the local vaccination campaigns?

Was the COVID-19 vaccination campaign inclusive, or could it do better?

b. How can translation overcome these barriers?

Where could you get information about COVID-19 in languages other than Italian?

Who translated the information about the COVID-19 vaccine? What role did non-professional translators like doctors and social workers had in it?

c. What can we learn from the COVID-19 vaccination campaign?

How can translation be used to reduce health inequalities between migrants and locals in the future?

What tools and expertise can be used to create a sustainable, inclusive approach to health translation?


Between October 2021 and January 2022, the STRIVE team will use a questionnaire to collect migrant attitudes and perspectives on the COVID-19 vaccine, and on the vaccination campaign. STRIVE also includes interviews with doctors, activists, social workers, volunteers, and community interpreters who are working in different capacities to reduce inequalities in the vaccination campaign and break the barriers that condition vaccine engagement among migrants.


Emilia Romagna