ECDC report on how to tackle online misinformation about vaccines

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ECDC launched a report on how to tackle vaccine misinformation online, Spain was included in the study.

On June 29, the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) released the report ‘Tackling online misinformation about vaccines in the EU’, with a focus on misinformation related to vaccination against measles, human papillomavirus, influenza and Covid-19.

“Misinformation about vaccines poses risks to national immunization efforts because it can lead to increased reluctance to immunize which, in turn, reduces uptake. Tackling the root causes of the spread of disinformation requires new approaches to improve critical appraisal of the public, and these should involve a wide variety of actors, including social scientists and experts in the field. communication, ”said Mike Catchpole, Chief Scientist at ECDC.

Reluctance to immunize has been recognized as a major global health problem. In December 2018, the European Council called for enhanced European cooperation against the risks posed by misinformation about vaccines; and in 2019, WHO included vaccine reluctance on its list of the top 10 threats to global health.

“The current pandemic offers unique insight into how quickly vaccine misinformation can spread and why it needs to be addressed quickly and effectively. Timely actions are needed to respond to emerging and evolving narratives that may undermine the prevention and control of COVID-19 and hamper efforts to achieve high immunization coverage, ”ECDC said in a statement on June 29.

The research for the study included a review of the literature, interviews with representatives of national public health authorities from six EU Member States – Estonia, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and Romania – and organizations organizations involved in tackling vaccine misinformation, as well as social media analysis in the six participating countries.

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