Platform launched to “immunize” the population against vaccine misinformation

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Contributing so that the population becomes “immune to misinformation” about vaccines is the main objective of a new digital platform launched today by the Institute of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine of the Universidade Nova de Lisboa (IHMT-Nova).

The Imune.pt project intends to “guarantee the entire population access to correct, factual and authoritative information on vaccines and immunization that can be easily understood by anyone, regardless of their level of prior knowledge on this topic”, said the Lusa agency the director of IHMT-Nova.

According to Filomeno Fortes, this project, also aimed at Portuguese-speaking countries, appears “in a context of proliferation of disinformation and fake-news” about the pandemic, with the issue of vaccines “marking the media agenda” in recent months.

“In view of a huge volume of information from various sources, citizens were in a position of not understanding the quality of the vaccines, what safety these vaccines could have, what their effectiveness could be and which vaccine they could trust”, said the expert. in public health.

Although not limited to vaccines against Covid-19, Imune.pt “will pay particular attention to the issue of the pandemic”, added Filomeno Fortes, for whom this is the time to launch a “literacy campaign on health and vaccination to make this public less vulnerable to misinformation”.

According to the epidemiologist, the provision of correct and scientifically-based information on vaccines and immunization will also be relevant when Portugal achieves good vaccination coverage against the SARS-CoV-2 virus, when it will be verified what “already is happening in the United States in relation to Covid-19”.

“A certain vaccination coverage will be achieved and it is absolutely certain that the Ministry of Health will be faced with a vaccination coverage threshold that will then be very difficult to surpass. The 10%, 15%, 20% of citizens will appear. starting, they do not want to be vaccinated, because they are not properly sensitized and informed”, said Filomeno Fortes, adding that the platform could make a “contribution to this increase in coverage”.

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Assuming itself as a “linking institution between Portugal and Portuguese-speaking countries”, the IHMT-Nova, since the beginning of the pandemic, has reinforced its role as a privileged interlocutor in the clarification and dissemination of knowledge about the pandemic, especially in African-speaking countries Portuguese official (PALOP), he said.

“We have a special connection with the PALOP and we thought, when the pandemic broke out, that we should have a more proactive role”, now moving towards the creation of Imune.pt, explained the former national director for the control of endemic diseases in Angola.

The platform includes a menu on “vaccination”, which provides information on the topic of vaccines in general, their benefits, contributions to global health and approval and safety mechanisms.

It also has an area reserved for “covid-19”, where it is possible to access detailed information on specific vaccines to prevent infection, on how the virus is transmitted, which variants exist and what are the most effective prevention measures.

It also provides a “direct answers” area, with clarifications on Covid-19 vaccination and vaccination in general, an area called “discovery”, where news and trivia about vaccination are available and, finally, an area entitled ” Epidemics in Picture” which shares an insight into the history of epidemics and immunization. .

Imune.pt is produced by an editorial board, with the support of a specialized editorial commission, made up of the institute’s own scientific team.

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Source: Renascença – Noticias by rr.sapo.pt.

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