Can Technology Increase COVID-19 Vaccination Rates?

The WHO Digital Health Flagship initiative has stated that digital technology could play a critical role during the COVID-19 pandemic by improving communications between people and health services, empowering individuals and patients, and strengthening critical public health functions including disease surveillance. The authors of this article ask whether technology also help build trust and promote vaccination within communities that are most at risk.

Source: Can Technology Increase COVID-19 Vaccination Rates?

    Misinformation Alerts (Canada)

    These insights are based on a combination of automated media monitoring and manual review by public health data analysts. Media data are publicly available data from many sources, such as social media, broadcast television, newspapers and magazines, news websites, online video, blogs, and more.

    Public health data analysts from the PGP (The Public Good Projects) triangulate this data along with other data from fact checking organizations and investigative sources to provide an accurate, but not exhaustive, list of currently circulating misinformation.

    Recommendations are provided, organized into three categories:

    • Ignore: Focus on current communications priorities.
    • Passive Response: Be prepared to address if directly asked, and in certain cases consider updating FAQ’s and info sheets addressing common myths and misperceptions. Otherwise, continue to focus on current communications priorities.
    • Direct Response: Directly address this misinformation.

    Source: Misinformation Alerts (Canada)

    Why Vaccine Inequality is our Biggest COVID-19 Communication Challenge Yet

    This paper explores the global south’s inequity of access to COVID-19 vaccines and related communication challenges. The paper also questions how we can split our focus to, on one hand, engage with communities to ensure they understand how vaccine prioritization will be made, to also then manage expectations of access, while still addressing the perception that the pandemic is over when vaccination begins.

    Source: Why Vaccine Inequality is our Biggest COVID-19 Communication Challenge Yet

      Innoculating against COVID-19 Vaccine Misinformation

      The authors of this article state that confronting COVID-19 vaccine misinformation necessitates pre-emptive action to “immunize the public against misinformation”—a process that draws on the concept of psychological inoculation.

      Source: Innoculating against COVID-19 Vaccine Misinformation

        COVID-19 in Africa: The Nuances of Social Distancing and Handwashing

        The increasing spread of COVID-19 has necessitated enforcement of frequent hand washing, social distancing and lockdown measures as a recommended global strategy to curb community-based spread of the disease. However, pre-existing conditions in Africa impede capacity to observe hand hygiene, social distancing and lockdown.

        Compliance with social distancing and handwashing is challenging in Africa due to poor urban planning in densely populated communities, food insecurity, water shortages, inadequate healthcare infrastructure, unemployment and lack of funding. The aim of this article is to unveil current challenges with social distancing and handwashing in Africa and propose innovative solutions to prevent community-based COVID-19 transmission.

        Source: COVID-19 in Africa: The Nuances of Social Distancing and Handwashing

          Gender Implications for Extension and Advisory Services during COVID-19

          The social impacts of COVID-19 have important implications to food security and, like many other social and environmental calamities, are not gender or spatially neutral. In many regions across the world, deep-rooted gender norms that devalue women’s unpaid domestic labor burdens also marginalize the health, nutrition, and decision-making power of women and girls.

          This post highlights specific gaps in the ability of extension and advisory services (EAS) to address the needs of rural farmers, specifically women, that are increased during emergencies. For example, globally, women report lower access to extension services, as well as information and communication technology devices (radios, cell phones), risk-sharing networks outside of their communities (village savings and loan groups), household power to make decisions, and time to allocate to innovative and adaptive agricultural solutions. In addition, this post addresses the risks that such gender and place-based gaps present to rural food security and social stability, specifically in low- and middle-income countries.

          Source: Gender Implications for Extension and Advisory Services during COVID-19

            An Uncertain Public — Encouraging Acceptance of COVID-19 Vaccines

            To understand public attitudes toward taking a COVID-19 vaccine and the factors likely to affect willingness to do so going forward, the authors examined 39 nationally representative, randomized polls with publicly available tabulations that were conducted between August 2020 and February 2021.

            Source: An Uncertain Public — Encouraging Acceptance of COVID-19 Vaccines

              Who is Susceptible to Online Health Misinformation?

              This study into who is more susceptible to health misinformation and also tested four hypotheses concerning their psychosocial attributes:

              1. Deficits in knowledge or skill
              2. Preexisting attitudes
              3. Trust in health care and/or science
              4. Cognitive miserliness.

                Source: Who is Susceptible to Online Health Misinformation?

                Community Health Worker Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices towards COVID-19: Learnings from an Online Cross-sectional Survey using a Digital Health Platform, UpSCALE, in Mozambique

                This article discusses a Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices (KAP) survey concerning Mozambique Community Health Workers’ knowledge of COVID-19 symptoms, transmission routes and appropriate mitigation measures. The results from the survey were used to develop COVID-19 awareness and education materials.

                Source: Community Health Worker Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices towards COVID-19: Learnings from an Online Cross-sectional Survey using a Digital Health Platform, UpSCALE, in Mozambique

                  The CDC Says Tight-Fit Masks or Double Masking Increases Protection

                  New research by the agency shows that transmission of the virus can be reduced by up to 96.5 percent if both an infected individual and an uninfected individual wear tightly fitted surgical masks or a cloth-and-surgical-mask combination.

                  One option for reducing transmission is to wear a cloth mask over a surgical mask, the agency said. The alternative is to fit the surgical mask more tightly on the face by “knotting and tucking” — that is, knotting the two strands of the ear loops together where they attach to the edge of the mask, then folding and flattening the extra fabric at the mask’s edge and tucking it in for a tighter seal.

                  Other effective options that improve the fit include using a mask-fitter — a frame contoured to the face — over a mask, or wearing a sleeve of sheer nylon hosiery material around the neck and pulled up over a cloth or surgical mask, the C.D.C. said.

                  Source: The CDC Says Tight-Fit Masks or Double Masking Increases Protection