Vaccine Literacy

Vaccine Literacy means enhancing the knowledge on the details, use, and importance of a vaccine. It also means developing a system that has low complexity to communicate and offer vaccines.

Key Points for UPSC Prelims

  • This concept has been developed in the same lines as that of Health Literacy.
  • Vaccine hesitancy or limited knowledge of vaccination has been an important and largely unaddressed reason for low vaccine uptake in India.
  • Vaccine literacy is vital in disease prevention since vaccination aims at preventing infectious diseases in individuals and helps to develop herd immunity in a community.
  • Before any vaccine is rolled out, it is absolutely necessary for providing information on the use, results, and clinical trials of the vaccine to enable the people to gain confidence in it.

Vaccine Development

There are three ways of effective vaccine development. The first way is to maintain complete transparency in trial data results. The second way is the surveillance through smart testing and tracing strategies as play an important role for a vaccination campaign and the third way is to finally ensure that the Data and Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) and the regulator are composed of independent persons with required technical experience having no relation to the vaccine company or anyone who can influence them.

COVID-19 vaccine initiatives

In order to curb the myths related to COVID-19 vaccines like the “Stop the Spread Campaign” and the “Team Halo” initiative.

“Stop the Spread” is a campaign that was undertaken by the UK in association with the WHO with an aim to encourage people for referring to authentic sources for information related to COVID-19 vaccines.

‘Team Halo’ Initiative was a similar initiative to counter the myths around COVID-19 vaccines to share information on the safety and effectiveness of vaccines through social media. Under the initiatives, many scientists interacted with people and provided the correct information for COVID-19 vaccine development.

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