Today, at the European European Health Forum Gastein (EHFG), ECDC organised a workshop on vaccination and social media. The speakers were the Director of ECDC Dr Marc Sprenger, John-F Ryan (European Commission), Dr Marjon Huibers (National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) and panellists Robb Butler (WHO Regional Office Europe), John McConnell (Lancet Infectious Diseases), Christine Mosler (Cision Top Ten Mum Blogger).
The objectives of the workshop were to explore the untapped potential of social media in raising awareness of the importance of vaccination and discuss a common approach of how to advocate childhood vaccination through the engagement of health care professionals via social media.
The workshop was an opportunity to explore what the main obstacles are, and possible solutions, to improve support to the vaccine preventable diseases’ elimination effort using social media channels and debate about what are the current the discussions on the web about vaccination uptake.
“There are several players that need to be actively involved in communicating the benefits of vaccination. Health professionals have a crucial role to play, but also national health-care institutions and policy makers at the national and the European level. Strong support to vaccination programmes is crucial to prevent common childhood diseases. Together, we need to find new and innovative ways to provide access to evidence-based information about vaccines and vaccine safety using all possible channels and networks. In this context, we see an added value to engage in social media”, said Dr. Marc Sprenger, Director of ECDC.