September 1, 2022

IAVI launches toolkit to build vaccine literacy knowledge

Covering HIV, TB, and Lassa virus vaccines, from basic science and clinical trials to social and ethical issues related to vaccine development and testing, as well as future access.

IAVI Vaccine Literacy Library

IAVI has launched the IAVI Vaccine Literacy Library (VaxLit) to build vaccine literacy knowledge among stakeholders involved in HIV, tuberculosis (TB), and Lassa virus vaccine-related research. The library intends to provide accessible science to communities, media, policymakers, and staff working in clinical trial settings with basic information about HIV, TB, and Lassa virus vaccines.

The VaxLit, divided into eight modules, presents an understanding of basic science, clinical trials, social and ethical issues related to vaccine development and testing, as well as future access to and use of vaccines. While all the modules can be adapted for use at the local community level, they are generally written for individuals who provide education and information related to HIV, TB, and Lassa virus. This release marks the third iteration of the library, following the inaugural edition in 2005, and a revised version in 2009.

“This new edition has improved upon its previous versions that focused solely on HIV vaccine development to include TB and Lassa virus vaccine development in alignment with IAVI’s expanded research portfolio,” said Gaudensia Mutua, M.D., medical director at IAVI. “IAVI recognizes that scientific research is moving very fast with new knowledge and tools to address old and new global health challenges, hence the need to provide an accessible and scientifically accurate manual to support our engagement with stakeholders,” she added.

The VaxLit is an essential resource in IAVI’s careful and informed approach to community engagement. It acknowledges that successful community engagement relies on well-informed clinical staff who are able to explain complex science in a simple but accurate way. The library is designed for multiple uses to serve a variety of needs of the entire HIV, TB, and Lassa virus vaccine field, such as background reading for training workshops or as a reference document to develop educational materials or tools. The library can also be used directly for recruitment of trial participants or may be used to engage communities or national-level stakeholders to build understanding of and support for clinical trials and future vaccines. Each module in the library can be used as a standalone resource, with supporting materials including individual module slide decks, a list of abbreviations, and a glossary of definitions of key terms.

“Communities are at the heart of what we do. This library will help bridge the knowledge gap between communities and the scientists working to develop the vaccines,” said Jauhara Nanyondo, associate director, community engagement at IAVI. “The library will go a long way in eliminating misconceptions around vaccine research while building trust with end-users and fostering acceptance of future products.”

The library has been developed through extensive consultation with subject matter experts within and outside of IAVI; community engagement experts from our clinical research center partners; and community advocates.

“It has taken over 300 hours of work to update and expand the IAVI Vaccine Literacy Library to serve as an accessible and scientifically accurate manual. With a fresh look, new content, and a modular format, we hope the new manual will facilitate broad and effective engagement with all those contributing to IAVI’s clinical research in Africa and elsewhere,” said Roger Tatoud, the lead consultant for the development of the VaxLit.

The VaxLit exists as a public resource, designed primarily as a reference on HIV, TB, and Lassa virus vaccines. New tools or materials based on the IAVI Vaccine Literacy Library are welcome. After review, they may be added, with proper credit, to the library.

The VaxLit is made possible by the support of the American People through the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The contents of this library are the sole responsibility of IAVI and do not necessarily reflect the views of PEPFAR, USAID, or the United States Government.

Use of the IAVI Vaccine Literacy Library

All information in the library may be reproduced or copied without permission, provided IAVI is acknowledged as the source. However, reproduction of substantial portions of the manual, or any use of the material other than for education or non-commercial purposes, requires explicit permission, prior in writing.

Requests for permission and inquiries should be directed to

The IAVI Vaccine Literacy Library can be found online in the News & Resources section of the IAVI website.


IAVI would like to acknowledge the contribution of Doreen Asio, Monica Bagaya, Vincent Basajja, Kundai Chinyenze, William Dekker, Evanson Gichuru, Nyokabi Jacinta, Sarah Joseph, Dagna Laufer, Sharon Lipesa, Miliswa Magongo, Blossom Makhubalo, Shelly Malhotra, Roselyn Malogo, John Mdluli, Ireen Mosweu, Juliet Mpendo, Gaudensia Mutua, Vincent Muturi-Kioi, Conwell Mwakoi, Jauhara Nanyondo, Gertrude Nanyonjo, Jacinta Nyakobi, Faith Ochieng, Fred Otieno, Daisy Ouya, Gayle Patenaude, Hilda Phiri, Lewis Schrager, Nicole Sender, Elana Van Brakel, Anja Van der Westhuizen, Kelvin Vollenhoven, Jeffery Walimbwa, and Mathias Wambuzi for reviewing the content of the IAVI Vaccine Literacy Library.

Lead consultants: Roger Tatoud and Rebekah Webb.

Design and illustration: Anthea Duce.