Monitoring and Addressing Challenging Risks, Rumours and Reputations Across the GCRF Vaccinology Networks
Led by Prof Heidi Larson (LSHTM, UK)
Staff on the project: Emilie Karafillakis, Sara Dada
In 2018 three of the GCRF Vaccinology Networks, VALIDATE, HIC-VAC and IMPRINT, joined together to co-fund an 18-month long project based at the Vaccine Confidence ProjectTM at LSHTM.
In the context of the current communication environment, where online content about vaccination can rapidly be created and shared across the world, media monitoring has become an important tool to listen to public sentiments, beliefs and concerns around vaccination. The growing negative sentiments around vaccination are not only targeting routinely available or new vaccines, but are also increasingly questioning the research and science behind the development of safe and effective vaccines. While negative information about vaccines online often reflects the worries of parents looking for the best ways to safeguard their children’s health, it feeds into a growing challenging environment of misinformation, fake news and a distrust of experts and science more broadly. Public trust in vaccines is facing growing scepticism and questioning from both individuals and highly organized networks. In an effort to better respond to possible public concerns around vaccine trials, listening to the digital and social media is key.
The Vaccine Confidence ProjectTM, housed in LSHTM’s Vaccine Centre, is setting up a resource to monitor and address concerns and rumours circulating around the GCRF Vaccine R&D networks. A digital and social media monitoring strategy will be developed to continuously monitor online content around relevant vaccine trials (Milestone 1). Any signals detected will be investigated further and will be written-up as case studies. These case studies, together with experiences in monitoring digital and social media around vaccine trials will be used to develop an online course on media monitoring and a practical guide, that may be used by the networks as a training resource (Milestone 2). Finally, an internal web-based resource will be developed to share any lessons learned and results from the media monitoring system, post any news, issues arising and create a space for network partners to message the Vaccine Confidence ProjectTM team for rapid response (Milestone 3).
VALIDATE members can take advantage of this project's online media and communications resources at https://mrcnetwork.wixsite.com/website.
A free webinar linked to this project took place on 30 July with over 400 delegates joining. Discussing how to monitor and track vaccine hesitancy, and with insights, challenges and solutions from the field, 'Vaccine confidence in the context of trials' is available for viewing here for those of you who missed it.
A second free webinar 'Vaccine confidence in the time of COVID-19' is also available for viewing here.