Why We Need a Global Vaccine Misinformation Strategy

TThe development of effective vaccines has given life to one of the worst epidemics in world history. However, the use of technology to support vaccination and to combat the spread of false information will be crucial to keeping it more accurate in the rearview mirror.

To drive that point home, World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director Hans Klugue visited a conference on Health Information Systems Management (HMSS) in Las Vegas on Tuesday to discuss the need for global strategies to combat misinformation and improve AI. – And help quickly – Low immunization communities.

“Many policy decisions are still being made,” said Cluge, who has set up a World Health Organization (WHO) unit that focuses on cultural and cultural awareness to understand drivers and develop programs to combat it. “Increasing digital literacy, and reliable sources of information can save lives. This is very important. ”


In a wide-ranging discussion with STAT, Klugge spoke of the need for a more integrated technology strategy, expanding the reach of modern communication platforms — and especially social media — in the context of public health policy, prolonging the epidemic. And resulted in further deaths.

But he emphasized that technology could be a huge asset, even an antidote, to fight the cellular social and political virus. This interview has been slightly modified for length and clarity.


What are the pillars of the world’s technology strategy to fight Covi-19?

There is a lot of polarization in our society. We see this worldwide, in the United States and in Europe, and there are many doubts about vaccination. So it is very important that we use digital technologies to find out first, who is vaccinated, who is not and who only got the first dose. Because the Delta variant, for example, is breaking the original size. Second, we need an electronic copy certificate.

Digital technologies help us standardize such certification standards and requirements. But it is very important to measure the coverage and effectiveness of vaccines to know if people have the vaccine.

What can be done to combat misinformation and hold the perpetrators accountable?

We need to work with governments and legal authorities to create a framework for how to deal with this. The context we face around the world is a lot of mistrust among public officials [and] Public administration, and endless sources of information. This will change the way we communicate with people. What should we do? Identify Religious Communities, Youth Communities, Media Communities, and Champions Work with Communities. People are worried, so we can’t point the finger at them.

What role does artificial intelligence play in supporting a more effective public health response?

We must use digital health and artificial intelligence. First, we need to be a good listener. And second, we need to better anticipate public concerns. I want to give an example of what the World Health Organization is taking in the future. It’s called EARS (formerly II-supported response with social media).

It is a mining tool for public blogs, news articles and online forums. So far, we are doing this in 41 different narratives, in 20 countries and in four languages, to listen to what is there and to dispel the spread of misinformation. [and its effects]. My experience is that once people feel it, the evidence is no longer helpful. So we need to be one step ahead. Only artificial intelligence can help us in this regard.

How do you balance individual rights and privacy with the most important public health efforts?

It really depends on your country. This is one of the main topics I discuss with the doctor. [Anthony] Fausi. For example, suppose there are still 440,000 people who think they are lying. We must address this glorious freedom of speech, even on social media. So we don’t have to be defensive, but do some of the things I mentioned to challenge and speculate.

Should policies be more aggressive in a public health response where vaccines may be needed to reach public places and other freedoms?

I have a mandatory vaccine in my mind. Vaccination of health workers is mandatory in many countries, but again this measure is considered a last resort to protect public health. I mean, we now have tools to prevent infections, but at least in most cases serious illness and death. Vaccines save lives. And if there are unvaccinated health workers, we will not survive the epidemic.

So maybe we should think more about doing this – not a top-down approach, but a discussion. We have French President Macron, who made a televised public speech in Europe to make the vaccine mandatory [to gain access to entertainment venues]. At the same time we have [Chancellor] In Germany, there is no direct answer to Merkel’s claim. We need to work with people and be compassionate.

What are the most effective technology and public policy uses to encourage vaccination?

In Denmark, where the World Health Organization’s regional office is located in Europe, people have a lot of confidence in the government and there is no satisfaction in passing the VV. If you want to go to a disco, a restaurant or a cinema, show your digital certificate. There is no mandatory vaccine. No one will force you to get vaccinated in Denmark. But if you want to return to social life, you must show a negative test for covi in ​​the last three days or show evidence that you have recovered from a viral-19 infection in the last six months. People are very happy and appreciative of the government, realizing that this is a price to pay for freedom. The economy is booming.

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