The old and the new: vaccine hesitancy in the era of the Web 2.0. Challenges and opportunities


The phenomenon known as Vaccine hesitancy (a term that includes the concepts of indecision, uncertainty, delay, reluctance) is complex and closely linked to the different contexts, with different determinants: historical period, geographical areas, political situation, as complacency, convenience and confidence towards vaccines. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends to constantly monitor vaccine hesitancy and any proxy of it. Given the growing importance and pervasiveness of the information and communication technologies (ICTs), the new media could be exploited for a real-time tracking of vaccination-related perception by the lay-people, enabling health-care workers to actively engage themselves and to plan ad hoc communication strategies. The analysis of so-called "sentiments" expressed through the new media (such as Twitter), the real-time tracking of web-related activities enabled by Google Trends, combined with online specific "surveys" on well-defined themes administered to target groups (like health-care workers) may constitute the "Fast data monitoring system", enabling to get a snapshot on the perception of vaccination in that place and at that time. This type of dashboard could be a strategic tool for public services, to organize targeted communication actions aimed at containing Vaccine hesitancy.


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