The decision to take a vaccine not only impacts our own health, but the health of our community. Unless a certain percentage of the population gets vaccinated, it doesn’t provide community-wide protection. So it’s important we all have access to information that can help us make informed choices about vaccines.
Professor Heidi Larson from The Vaccine Confidence Project works with people around the world to understand the questions that people have about vaccines and help build confidence in vaccination.
In today’s video she explains how it’s natural to have questions and concern and says that the best way to encourage people to trust vaccines is to listen and answer their questions honestly.
Often, the conversations around vaccines can become politicised and polarising. Professor Larson reminds us that it’s natural to have questions or concerns about important health issues such as vaccines. She encourages us all to be an ear and listen to those with different opinions, so that people don’t become more entrenched in their positions.
Today’s round-up on misinformation brings news of how countries around the world are tackling vaccine misinformation as the global rollout of the COVID-19 vaccines continues.
1. The Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention has urged African Union members to fight COVID-19 vaccine misinformation and encourage uptake of the vaccine. The head of the health body said that vaccines plus vaccination equals lives saved and economies saved.
2. In Papua New Guinea, the government is working with Facebook to launch a new public education campaign to help users identify and stop the spread of health and vaccine misinformation.
3. Community and faith leaders are joining the fight against vaccine misinformation in the United Kingdom, urging communities to get tested for the virus and take the vaccine when it’s offered.
4. The United Nations has cited vaccine misinformation as one of the challenges facing the effective rollout of the COVID-19 vaccines around the world, explaining that fake news and rumours about the vaccines can lead to people becoming hesitant to take the lifesaving vaccine.
We can all help to stop the spread of harmful misinformation. Remember to Pause and take care before you share anything online.
Have a good weekend.
Thanks to many of you who joined us last night for a virtual call with Dr. Vivek Murthy, Andy Slavitt, and Mina Hsiang. It was an important conversation on our work to get America vaccinated using our new tools. If you missed the event, no worries – you can watch it here.
As we work to vaccinate more people and reach those who may still be deciding whether or when to get vaccinated, we want to make the process as convenient and easy on them as possible.
Access to a vaccine should not be an obstacle for someone to get vaccinated. Here are three vaccine tools to bring to your communities right now:
- Visit vaccines.gov (English) or vacunas.gov (Spanish) to search and find a vaccine near you.
- Text GETVAX (438829) for English or VACUNA (822862) for Spanish to receive three vaccine sites on your phone within seconds.
- Call the National COVID-19 Vaccination Assistance Hotline at 1-800-232-0233 for those who prefer to get information via phone call.
Use these tools as resources for any conversations you’re having with patients, friends, or even family members. You can also remind them that many pharmacies and other vaccination sites are now offering walk-in appointments and that vaccinations are free of cost and do not require ID.
Our goal is for 70% of American adults to receive at least one dose of the vaccine by July 4th. Your leadership is helping this light at the end of the tunnel grow brighter and brighter.
So much is in the news right now about the different COVID-19 vaccines – but what is the difference between them?
There are currently 4 types of vaccine in use. All the vaccines train the body to recognise and fight Coronavirus if you get infected, but they do this in different ways:
Approved COVID-19 vaccines offer a high level of protection from the disease, especially when it comes to preventing the most serious illnesses. This means that if we have had the vaccine, we are less likely to be hospitalised and die from COVID-19. It’s important to share this information with your networks to help others understand the difference between the vaccines.
Over 1 billion vaccine doses have been administered around the world so far. The lifesaving vaccines are our best chance to end the pandemic. But there are over 7 billion people in this world, and we need to make sure they reach everyone, everywhere. #OnlyTogether can we end the crisis.
How are you… really?
For many of us, the pandemic has created higher levels of anxiety and new stressors that can be hard to cope with. Talking about our feelings with people we trust can be a good first step to dealing with these types of emotions, and can help us all feel less alone with negative feelings we are experiencing.
Sometimes starting the conversation is the hardest part. Today, on #MentalHealthAction day, you could offer support to a friend by asking them – how are you… really? Asking that simple question can help our friends and family open up about how they are feeling.
And if you want to talk to someone you trust about your feelings, here are a few ways you could start the conversation.
You can find more information and resources on how to look after your mental well-being on the WHO website here. And if you have children or young people in your life, they might want to check out these helpful resources from UNICEF.
We all need someone to talk to sometimes.
The World Health Organization estimates that 115,000 healthcare workers have died treating COVID-19 patients. Right now, health and care practitioners around the world continue to risk their lives to care for those suffering from the virus.
At last week’s World Health Assembly, United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres paid tribute to these health workers, whom he described as the “heroes of this pandemic.” And he once again called for the urgent need for vaccines to be made available to everyone, everywhere.
Until that happens, we must continue to take the steps we can to help stop the spread of the virus. Following COVID safe behaviours such as wearing a mask and washing hands does help save lives. And when we can, taking the COVID-19 vaccine will protect not just us, but our communities too – lessening the strain on our healthcare workers.
We each have the power to help save lives.
In some countries where COVID-19 vaccinations are widely available, the rate of vaccination has slowed. This means that some people are choosing not to get the COVID vaccine when it’s offered. Why does this matter? Because the more people who take the vaccine around the world, the more chance we have of stopping the spread of COVID-19 and ending the pandemic.
Today we are sharing our top three reasons why we should all take the vaccine when it’s offered:
1. You’ll protect the people you love
Getting vaccinated doesn’t only protect us – it protects the people around us. COVID-19 is highly contagious – meaning it passes easily between people. Someone who is fully vaccinated is less likely to carry the virus and pass it on, which means we are less likely to infect those around us.
2. You’ll help end the pandemic
The more of us that get vaccinated, the less COVID-19 can spread. This reduces the number of new infections and means the virus has less chance to mutate and create new variants.
3. Approved COVID vaccines are safe
Before a new vaccine is approved, it goes through four stages of testing from pre-clinical tests through to human trials. At each stage, scientists measure its effectiveness and safety. If a vaccine causes harmful side effects, the trial is cancelled. The COVID vaccines that pass these tests are then assessed by international regulators such as the WHO, and / or national health bodies before they are approved for public use. All the approved COVID vaccines have been shown to be safe and effective. You can read more about the COVID-19 vaccines on the WHO website.
Today’s video has more information about why we should get vaccinated against COVID-19. Share it with your friends and family so they understand why it’s important to get the vaccine too.
#OnlyTogether can we end the pandemic.
Today we invite you to join us in the fight against misinformation and post a Pause symbol on your social accounts.
We are asking our network and the whole world to Pause to spread awareness and encourage a new action of pausing before sharing online. Below you will find a pause symbol you can download and share on your social media alongside the hashtag: #PledgetoPause
Right now, misinformation is spreading faster than the virus itself, prolonging the pandemic, disrupting public health efforts and ultimately costing lives.
Verified’s Pause campaign asks people to stop and think for a moment before sharing online. Research shows that this simple action can reduce the spread of harmful misinformation.
Today we ask you to share the Pause symbol across your social platforms and #PledgetoPause before you share online.
Thank you for your support and efforts,
Last week, many of you shared our important message to Pause before sharing online. Thank you.
Now, a study from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology shows that sharing the Pause message can bring about the change needed to stop the spread of harmful misinformation.
The study, conducted in the UK and the US, found that the simple act of pausing to question the origin, credibility, relevance and accuracy of any information significantly reduced people’s likelihood of sharing misinformation. You can read more about the study here.
But there is a long way to go. Misinformation about the virus and about the COVID vaccines is threatening our ability to end the pandemic. Share the Pause message today with your friends and family and encourage them to #PledgetoPause
Thank you for being part of Pause. Together, we are helping stop the spread of misinformation online.
At a recent summit, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres told the world “COVID-19 cannot be beaten one country at a time.”
But some nations are still awaiting their first vaccines. And just 0.4% of doses given so far have been administered in lower-income countries.
Cases are surging. Africa has recorded a 43% week-on-week rise in COVID-19 deaths. A worrying and deeply unfair situation which we can all help to change.
What can you do to help?
- If you can, make a contribution to the WHO’s Go Give One campaign, funding vaccines for lower-income countries.
- Use your social media platforms to share #OnlyTogether messages, such as today’s video, and tell world leaders the pandemic is only over when everyone, everywhere has access to COVID-19 vaccines.
We can all play our part in achieving fair access to vaccines. Your voice, your support and your donations make a huge difference.
We are in a race against the clock and nobody can be left behind.
#OnlyTogether can we end the pandemic