Home https://server7.kproxy.com/servlet/redirect.srv/sruj/smyrwpoii/p2/ World https://server7.kproxy.com/servlet/redirect.srv/sruj/smyrwpoii/p2/ The “fake news” about the Covid-19 vaccine has become a second pandemic, says the head of the Red Cross

The “fake news” about the Covid-19 vaccine has become a second pandemic, says the head of the Red Cross

This second pandemic: “fake news” about these same vaccines.

Francesco Roca, president of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, said at a virtual briefing to the UN Correspondents Association on Monday that governments and institutions must implement measures to combat growing mistrust and misinformation.

“To defeat Covid-19, we must also defeat the parallel distrust pandemic, which is constantly hampering our collective response to this disease and which could undermine our overall ability to vaccinate against it,” he said.

The leader of the world’s largest humanitarian aid network said his organization shared the “sense of relief and optimism”

; that Covid-19 vaccine developments bring. But governments and institutions “need to build trust in communities” where disinformation has taken root, he added.

There is growing hesitation about vaccines around the world, especially the Covid-19 vaccine, Roca said. He cites a study by Johns Hopkins University in 67 countries, which found that vaccination intake decreased significantly between July and October this year.

Distrust is growing around other health measures

At the same time, there is growing distrust of other public health interventions that must continue during the pandemic.

“This high level of mistrust has been evident since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic and has clearly facilitated the transmission of the virus at all levels,” he said.

The most obvious example, he added, is how many people in the Western world do not want to wear face masks. Still, he said, mistrust and misinformation are a global problem.

“It’s not just a matter of mistrust. It’s a matter of information,” Roca said. “Surprisingly, there are still communities around the world that are unaware of the pandemic.”

Such communities are usually vulnerable and marginalized and live outside the reach of typical communication channels, he said. He gave the example of Pakistan, citing a federation survey that found 10% of respondents did not know about Covid-19.

“We believe that the enormous coordinated efforts that will be needed to introduce the Covid vaccine in a fair way must be matched by an equally massive effort to proactively build and protect trust,” Roca said.

Roca’s comments echoed the words of scholars from around the world.

Last month, British researchers warned that the United Kingdom may not reach the vaccine threshold to protect the community due to misinformation, mistrust and public hesitation to get a coronavirus vaccine.

CNN’s late Rahim contributed to this report.

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