ECDC report on how to counter online vaccine misinformation

Covid booster jabs could be administered in September. Image: Wikimedia

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

On June 29, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) published the report ‘Countering online vaccine misinformation in the EU’, with a focus on misinformation related to vaccination against measles, human papillomavirus, flu and Covid-19.

“Vaccine misinformation poses risks to national vaccination efforts as it can lead to increased vaccine hesitancy which, in turn, reduces vaccination uptake. Addressing the root causes for the spread of misinformation needs new approaches aimed at enhancing the public’s critical assessment, and these should involve a wide variety of actors, including social scientists, and communications experts”, said Mike Catchpole, ECDC Chief Scientist.

Vaccine hesitancy has been recognised as a major global health problem. In December 2018, the European Council called for stronger European cooperation against the risks posed by vaccine misinformation; and in 2019, WHO put vaccine hesitancy on their top 10 list of global health threats.

“The current pandemic offers a unique insight into how rapidly vaccine misinformation can spread and why it is necessary to counter it quickly and effectively. Timely actions are needed to address emerging and evolving narratives that can adversely affect the prevention and control of COVID-19 and hamper efforts to achieve high vaccination coverage,” the ECDC said in a statement on June 29.

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

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Written by

Deirdre Tynan

Deirdre Tynan is an award-winning journalist who enjoys bringing the best in news reporting to Spain’s largest English-language newspaper, Euro Weekly News. She has previously worked at The Mirror, Ireland on Sunday and for news agencies, media outlets and international organisations in America, Europe and Asia. A huge fan of British politics and newspapers, Deirdre is equally fascinated by the political scene in Madrid and Sevilla. She moved to Spain in 2018 and is based in Jaen.


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