Role of Technology and Academicism in combating Low Adherence to the Covid Vaccine

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This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Mr. Thiago Gurgel Regis and Ms. Ana Carolina Alves de Oliveira, two second-year medical students at the State University of Rio Grande do Norte (UERN), in Mossoró, Brazil. They is 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.


Since the announcement of the World Health Organization (WHO) of the state of a Pandemic, the expectation for the development and arrival of vaccines against COVID-19 has instigated the most diverse sectors of society. Such social outcry mobilized the WHO, governments, scientists and non-governmental institutions in the search for a vaccine aimed at global health. However, vaccination against the biggest pandemic of the 21st century faced and still faces a dichotomy: on the one hand, people who recognize the importance of immunization, and on the other, those who insist on not vaccinating.

This vaccine hesitancy has historical roots, with the publication of Wakefield’s article in 1998 touting a possible association between the measles vaccine and autism. Even after the article was verified for fraud and with scientific evidence that the vaccine is safe, opposing groups had already perpetuated themselves. In contemporary times, with the advent of the internet and social media, the dissemination of anti-vaccination ideas was easily perpetuated and guaranteed new supporters of this anti-intellectual and anti-scientific movement.

In this context of infodemics caused by the sharing of untrue information about vaccines, it is up to everyone, but especially health professionals and students, to think and use health education strategies to combat misinformation and resolve its potential damage to global public health.

In this sense, it is important to keep in mind resolute measures that apply to this reality. In addition to being essential to combat misinformation with teaching strategies, it is essential that measures are implemented that refer to the idea of ​​​​importance of the dissemination of vaccines and actions to combat fake news constantly broadcast on social networks, which are an important means of transmitting news. False and can be reverted to a lifetime of knowledge dissemination.

Another important point to be commented on is the role of academics to validate scientific thinking. Thus, it is interesting to think about the role of health professionals and medical students in extension activities outside the university that disseminate scientific knowledge, in order to generate more understanding of the general community and consolidate the university academic tripod: research, which made possible the vaccine development, education for all, and extension, taking this knowledge to the people.

References

ANDRADE, M. M. da C. de., & Santos, L. B. dos . (2022). CONTRA A DESINFORMAÇÃO, EDUCAÇÃO: A EDUCAÇÃO EM SAÚDE COMO ESTRATÉGIA DE ENFRENTAMENTO DO MOVIMENTO ANTIVACINA DA COVID-19. Revista Multidisciplinar Em Saúde, 2(4), 380. https://doi.org/10.51161/rems/3328

COUTO, M. T.; BARBIERIi, C. L. A.; MATOS, C.C. S. A. Considerations on COVID-19 impact on the individual-society relationship: from vaccine hesitancy to the clamor for a vaccine. Saúde e Sociedade [online]. 2021, v. 30, n. 1 [Acessado 21 Abril 2022] , e200450. Disponível em: <https://doi.org/10.1590/S0104-12902021200450&gt;. Epub 19 Mar 2021. ISSN 1984-0470. https://doi.org/10.1590/S0104-12902021200450.

RABELLO, R.; VIGNOLI, R. G; de ALMEIDA, C. C. INFORMAÇÃO, MISINFORMAÇÃO, DESINFORMAÇÃO E MOVIMENTOS ANTIVACINA: MATERIALIDADE DE ENUNCIADOS EM REGIMES DE INFORMAÇÃO. Encontros Bibli: Revista eletrônica de biblioteconomia e ciência da informação [Internet]. 2021;26( ): . Recuperado de: https://www.redalyc.org/articulo.oa?id=14768130004.

About the author

Thiago Gurgel Regis (thiagogurgel@alu.uern.br) and Ana Carolina Alves de Oliveira (carolinaalves@alu.uern.br) are second-year medical students at the State University of Rio Grande do Norte (UERN), in Mossoró. They are local coordinators of the Local Council of the International Federation of Medical Student Associations (IFMSA), directors of the Academic League of Applied Human Anatomy (LAANA) and participate in extension projects related to public health. Both believe that science and education are the key to building a better world and want to be part of this change.

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