As far as the vaccine hesitancy is concerned, people have been hesitant since 1798 when vaccines came into existence
To gauge the degree of infodemic, which has turned like a pandemic, HEAL Health organized an Infodemic Pandemic eSummit – HEAL-Thy Samvaad, Episode-19 in knowledge partnership with HEAL Foundation, Indian Public Health Association, DPU, and Makhanlal Chaturvedi National University of Journalism & Communication (MCNUJC) wherein experts deliberated on understanding of the infodemic pandemic.
Speaking during the eSummit, Prof KG Suresh, Vice-Chancellor, Makhanlal Chaturvedi National University of Journalism & Communication (MCNUJC) said, “Infodemic is as dangerous as Pandemic because the WHO, the UNESCO & the Indian PM have shown concerns on vaccine hesitancy being created by it. Infodemic is a new terminology that includes misinformation and disinformation. Misinformation happens primarily because of the lack of information but without bad intent. However, the mischievous part of it is that when a Nobel laureate asserted that if somebody takes a vaccine, he/she will die within 2 years. This misinformation wreaked havoc and created vaccine hesitancy. To curb the infodemic, we need to train the media students as well as the common people. And there should be a penalty for spreading misinformation.”
Dr. Chandrakant Laharia, Vaccine Public Policy & Health Systems Expert said, “As far as the vaccine hesitancy is concerned, people have been hesitant since 1798 when vaccines came into existence. Although a large number of people accept vaccines, yet 30-40% of the people are hesitant. Everybody is inundated with information they are getting from the internet. Since the onset of the polio vaccination, there has been hesitancy. During COVID times, the reason behind hesitancy is misinformation. Everybody is hungry for information. Govt should include specialist health communication agencies for running coordinated behavior change campaigns and a professionally drafted centralized communication strategy, which should be followed by all stakeholders combined.”
Dr. Swadeep Srivastava, Founder & CEO said, “The COVID Fighters Public Health Safety Movement that we started after the outbreak of COVID in India last year has completed its 400 days and this is the 19th episode of HEAL-Thy Samvaad in progression. Through the series of 26 webinars, over 13.5 crore people were reached in India wherein more than 260 Medical & Public Health experts and women key inﬂuencers addressed as panelists and over 2500 queries around COVID were answered.”