Over 100 scientists join hands with UN to bust COVID-19 vaccine myths

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New Delhi: Under an UN initiative, over 100 scientists have joined hands to tackle the issue of misinformation around Covid-19 vaccines and build confidence by busting myths and sharing information on the safety and effectiveness of vaccines via the social media.

The UN has collaborated with The Vaccine Confidence Project at the University of London to undertake Team Halo, an initiative which aims to counter the misinformation around Covid-19 vaccines.

Globally, the initiative is supported by scientists who are involved in the race of coronavirus vaccine development across the world’s top institutes like Imperial College London, Harvard Medical School, University of Sao Paulo, University of Barcelona and many others.

In India, over 22 scientists have joined Team Halo from renowned institutes such as Institute of Medical Sciences and Sum Hospital; PGIMER, Nizams Institute of Medical Sciences, IIT Indore, Christian Medical College, SRM Research Institute, and Deep Children’s Hospital and Research Centre.

“At my institution, we are studying how Covid-19 reinfection operates and I am excited about opening up the story of the search for Covid-19 vaccines for the public,” Gagandeep Kang, Professor of Microbiology at Christian Medical College Vellore, said in a statement.

“People want to know about the science and stories behind the headlines, and I’m delighted to be experimenting with social media to make serious points in creative ways,” Kang added.

Team Halo India will also allow scientists to respond to questions from the public and directly counter vaccine misinformation and rumours spreading in parts of the internet.

Besides India, Team Halo aims to highlight the work undertaken by scientists in the UK, the US, South Africa, Qatar, UAE, France, Spain, Peru, Canada and Brazil and create a platform for communication between the scientists working on Covid-19 vaccines and the citizens of these countries.

Collectively they are producing creative, social media-friendly videos on topics such as Covid-19 vaccine science, personal experiences and reactions to COVID-19 vaccine news items.

Scientists participating in Team Halo are keen to emphasise the global nature of their work and recognise the contribution made by thousands around the world.

IANS