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New web portal launched to help people dispel myths about Covid-19 vaccines

How to have a constructive conversation with someone who is unwilling or hesitant to be vaccinated against Covid-19? A new web portal has been launched in Sweden to help ordinary people challenge vaccine myths and misconceptions, using evidence-based advice and support. It is currently available in Swedish and English, with Arabic and Somali versions soon to be added.

Pratavaccin.se (Talk vaccines) was developed by the Swedish non-profit organization VA (Public & Science) in consultation with a number of organizations and public authorities in Sweden.

The website provides concrete advice on how to talk to a friend, colleague or family member who is skeptical about getting the Covid-19 vaccine. “

Cissi Askwall, VA general secretary

A little cat can make a big difference

It’s easy to believe that people’s reluctance to get vaccinated is only due to a lack of knowledge about the effectiveness and safety of vaccines, and the solution is simply to provide them with more factual information. This is partly true, but emotions, values, and social factors, such as your trust in the person providing the information, are just as important.

“A person’s reluctance to get vaccinated is often due to fear or lack of confidence, which means that factual information provided by public authorities is not enough. In fact, having a conversation with someone they trust can be more effective in reducing anxiety, increasing knowledge, and in the long run, getting more people to decide to get the vaccine, ”said Gustav Bohlin. , researcher at VA.

The challenge of dispelling myths

Engaging in vaccine discussions with someone who has a different opinion from yours can be difficult, especially if their opinion is based on a myth or conspiracy theory. On the Pratavaccin.se website, you can find a number of common vaccine myths along with a simple, scientifically-based guide on how to counter them in conversation.

“The guide is based on research on how best to counter conspiracy theories. Using these results, we have developed concrete tips on how to have a constructive conversation with someone who, for example, thinks that the vaccine contains an electronic chip, ”explained Gustav Bohlin. . “To be successful it is important to use a respectful tone and be sensitive to the other person’s opinions and feelings. Pratavaccine.se guides you through the process,” he added.

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