Tue. Jun 15th, 2021

Over 100 scientists join hands with the United Nations to tackle misinformation on Covid-19 vaccinesNew Delhi: The United Nations has collaborated with The Vaccine Confidence Project at the University of London’s School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine to undertake Team Halo, an initiative which aims to counter the misinformation around Covid-19 vaccines.

Through this 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 on social media.

“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. 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,” said Dr Gagandeep Kang, Chair of the Immunization Technical Advisory Group for the World Health Organisation South East Asian Region and a Team Halo contributor who works on vaccine development, clinical and laboratory evaluation of vaccines and vaccination policy.

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, Bhubaneswar; PGIMER, Chandigarh; Nizams Institute of Medical Sciences, Hyderabad; IIT Indore; Christian Medical College, Vellore; SRM Research Institute, Chennai; and Deep Children’s Hospital and Research Centre, Gandhidham.

Melissa Fleming, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications said “Rampant misinformation has undermined public trust in vaccines. Team Halo is about reclaiming that trust. These are incredible people doing exciting science as part of a global collaboration. We should be celebrating them for helping us get to the end of this awful pandemic.”

Besides India, Team Halo aims to highlight the work undertaken by scientists in the UK, USA, 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.

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