2021

The UOC's eHealth Center organizes research into social perceptions of vaccines to combat COVID-19

  Vaccine COVID19

Image: Pexels

28/04/2021
Teresa Bau
Take part in a survey and give your opinion on the vaccination programme

The development of vaccines to combat COVID-19 has represented an unprecedented scientific challenge. But it has given rise to many debates, ranging from supply issues and the organization of the vaccination programme to public alarm due to the potential side effects of some of the vaccines. The result is a climate of mistrust and information overload.

Against this background, the eHealth Center of the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC) is carrying out a study to find out the views of the Spanish public and health professionals on the COVID-19 vaccines. Led by researcher Francesc Saig, a member of the UOC's Faculty of Health Sciences and the I2TIC research group, the study includes an online survey designed to reveal public perceptions of the vaccines. The results will be used to draw up strategic recommendations for improving acceptance levels. The survey, which is very short and can be completed in just a minute, collects demographic information about users and asks whether they intend to be vaccinated.

“Information overload leads to scepticism about the vaccines. This type of information spreads very quickly around the world thanks to social media and mobile technology, reaching a large proportion of the population”, Saig explains.

Other participants in the research include Salvador Macip and Marina Bosque from the UOC's Faculty of Health Sciences, and Hans Eguia, course instructor at the UOC Master's Degree in E-Health and UOC doctoral Student. The aim of the study is to gain a better understanding of how the public views the COVID-19 vaccines and to prevent information overload influencing people's decision to get vaccinated, with, as Saigi says, “the consequences for their own health and for the healthcare systems which we know only too well”.

 

The impact of social media on the vaccination programme

The eHealth Center researchers are concerned that the lack of control over the quality of the information published on social media “could mean some users make inappropriate decisions based on scientifically unfounded information”. Saigi would like to see social media “display the source of any information published there in order to confirm its quality and help the public separate it from other news items”. He also recommends that public authorities act “quickly and decisively” to combat fake news.

 

Take the survey

This link allows you to share your views on the COVID-19 vaccines. Please share this survey so the eHealth Center study includes as many people as possible.

This is not the first study carried out by the UOC of public perceptions of the COVID-19 vaccines. The results of research assessing healthcare professionals' intentions about getting vaccinated were published recently in the journal Vaccines. It showed that almost 8 out of 10 healthcare professionals were willing to be vaccinated against COVID-19. The results also showed that the level of acceptance is greater among doctors than among nurses.

#UOCexperts

Photograph of Professor Salvador Macip

Salvador Macip i Maresma

Professor at the Faculty of Health Sciences

Expert in: Cellular and molecular basis of cancer, ageing, age-related diseases, senescence, bioethics, scientific dissemination.

Knowledge area: Cancer and ageing.

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Marina Bosque

Professor of Health Sciences at the UOC and researcher at the GRESP group (University of Vic/Manresa-UOC)

Expert in:

Knowledge area: Cancer and ageing.

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Hans Eguia

Course instructor at the UOC Master's Degree in E-Health and UOC doctoral Student

Expert in:

Knowledge area: Cancer and ageing.

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