Fake news are like pandemics, they spread

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This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Karina Frandzen Andreotti, 22 years old and in her third year of medical school in Maringá (PR) and Ms. Laura A. Martinhago, in the third year of medical school in Brazil. They are affiliated with the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writers and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.


In November of 2019 was identified at Wuhan a new type of coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) responsible for COVID-19. The transmission of this virus is contact with a person or object infected in a smaller time and that’s why it was transformed in a pandemic situation (BRASIL, 2020)1. Besides had a variable clinical spectrum – first of all was respiratory system such as sore throat, dyspnea, coryza and anosmia, but now we have discovered mental confusion and cardiovascular involvement – and the disease by the same time can be asymptomatic while in other people leads to death. 

To solve the emergency, vaccines were developed which meant a glimmer of hope during dark times. In Brazil the vaccines AstraZeneca, CoronaVac, Pfizer and Janssen were approved because the research showed efitivity in the mechanism to induce antibodies against the spike protein in virus membrane preventing the activation of angiotensin II (OLIVEIRA, 2021)3.

Ritchie (2022)4 informed that in Brazil 163 millions of people are vaccinated representing 76,7%, but in Europe where has quadruple of population has more of 70% too of fully immunized videlicet as more than one dose depending the type of vaccine – for example, two doses of CoronaVac and a buster is accept in Brazil, while in some countries of Europe don’t. That said, a question is formed: why is the biggest country in South America still in a fight for Brazilian adhesion of COVID-19 vaccine?

The model of “3Cs” is intimately related with the success of the National Vaccination Program in Brazil, relying on: confidence, complacency and convenience (FRUGOLI, 2021)2. The first one is the efficacy and safety of the vaccines used. The second one reflects the misconception that vaccination isn’t necessary. For example, there was the case of Measles which was eradicated so the citizens stopped getting vaccines and a few years ago there was a boom of new cases. Finally, the third one includes the conditions to have the vaccines like materials disponibility and geography accessibility.

Increasingly the information is viralized with the advent of the internet and unfortunately the veracify isn’t checked. Fake news of modifications on DNA, a liquid chip or Human Immunodeficiency virus in your composition were spread in social media. By the way, we can affirm this contributed to the vaccine movement in Brazil affecting drastically the trust of move on with safety vaccines.

Therefore, to mitigate fake news of COVID-19 vaccination and increase the numbers of immunization is necessary health education with the help of Basic Units of Health (primary service in Brazil) and the students from all health courses to inform the citizens about the truth (evidence based), importance and advise the vaccines by clear and accessible language in order that the community understand and have more adhesion.

References

1 BRASIL. Coronavírus. Disponível em: https://coronavirus.saude.gov.br/ Acesso em: 20 de abril de 2022

2 Frugoli, Alice Gomes et al. Fake news sobre vacinas: uma análise sob o modelo dos 3Cs da Organização Mundial da Saúde. Revista da Escola de Enfermagem da USP [online]. 2021, v. 55 [Acessado 21 Abril 2022] , e03736. Disponível em: <https://doi.org/10.1590/S1980-220X2020028303736&gt;. Epub 26 Maio 2021. ISSN 1980-220X. https://doi.org/10.1590/S1980-220X2020028303736.

3 Oliveira, A. M. de ., Santos, B. G. R. dos ., Gomes, K. J. dos R. M. ., Rocha, L. K. S. da ., Arruda, V. M. A. ., Saliba, W. A. ., Bacelar Júnior, A. J. ., & Paro, M. de O. . (2021). MECANISMO DE AÇÃO DAS VACINAS UTILIZADAS PARA A COVID-19 ATUALMENTE COMO USO EMERGENCIAL NO BRASIL. Revista Ibero-Americana De Humanidades, Ciências E Educação, 7(11), 1087–1106. https://doi.org/10.51891/rease.v7i11.3147

4 RITCHIE et al. (2022). Coronavirus Pandemic (COVID-19). Published online at OurWorldInData.org. Retrieved from: ‘https://ourworldindata.org/coronavirus’

About the authors

Karina Frandzen Andreotti is 22 years old and in her third year of medical school in Maringá (PR). She is part of IFMSA Brazil Unicesumar as a local coordinator and  a member of Academic League of medical forensic science since her first year of college.

Laura A. Martinhago is in the third year of medical school in Brazil. In her first year she was part of the local team of exchange and in the second research and published (nupec) and local exchange officer in IFMSA Brazil Unicesumar.  Now she is still the local coordinator but part of the National Exchange Team. Last year she was a member of the Academic League of Pneumology and Cardiothoracic Surgery and the Academic League of Infectology. Nowadays she is only part of the Academic League of Transplant.

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