How can you tackle misinformation around vaccines?

To find out answers to it, Pluc Tv organised a tweet chat to address vaccines related misinformation

The panel of experts included Quint Fit, IPA (International Pediatric Association, ISRC (Indian Scientists' Response to COVID19), Sandhya Koushika (Biologist - TIFR Science and Volunteer - ISRC), Health Analytics Asia...

...Dr Naveen Thacker (Executive Director, IPA), Jisha Krishnan(Consulting Editor,Health Analytics Asia) and S Krishnaswamy (Institute of Mathematical Sciences, Chennai and Volunteer at ISRC)

Here's a recap of the tweetchat:

Q1: What goes into making a vaccine and how is it made publicly available?

According to ISRC, vaccines are made from the weakened/killed virus or specific molecular parts derived from them

Health Analytics Asia says it takes 12 to 15 years to develop a vaccine. A vaccine has to go from discovery, development, testing, through to an evaluation of the evidence from that testing, which results in licensure, and a regulatory process

Q2: What myths or misconceptions do people have about vaccines?

Myth: Vaccines are not 100% not safe and have side effects ; Fact: Nothing is 100% safe, but the overall benefit very much outweighs the risk of minor side effects

Myth: Vaccines have harmful effects, not effective or not needed ; Fact: Historically, vaccines have successfully eradicated or reduced disease burden Rigorously tested vaccines in well designed clinical trials have led to many successful vaccines

Q3: Have we seen a moment where the demand for vaccines was put to test like during Covid19?

According to IPA, the history of anti-vax movements is old as the vaccine itself.

"The H1N1 vaccine research - started just nine days after the initial detection as the genetic sequences of the virus were uploaded to a public database - is a great example of how the process of vaccine development can be augmented"- Health Analytics Asia

Q4: How has the vaccine misinformation travelled during previous outbreaks?

According to ISRC, global connectedness and pervasiveness of social media has caused the wildfire misinformation and conspiracy theories.

"Not as fast as this time because of Social Media reach and also because of uncertainty as there’s no cure nor no"- International Pediatric Association

Q5: What is the state of vaccine development for COVID-19?

According to Health Analytics Asia, there is some phenomenal work happening!

"Currently, there are three vaccines in trial phases"- IPA

Emergency authorisation is given for one in Russia and in China" - ISRC

Q6: What are your tips to fact-check information around vaccines?

"Go to verified and trusted sites for information" - ISRC

"We need to empower people with fact-checking tools to fight it" - Health Analytics Asia

Q7: How can people like us help in fighting vaccine related myths?

"Do not forward information without verification" - Sandhya Koushika