Can Technology Increase COVID-19 Vaccination Rates?
The WHO Digital Health Flagship initiative has stated that digital technology could play a critical role during the COVID-19 pandemic by improving communications between people and health services, empowering individuals and patients, and strengthening critical public health functions including disease surveillance. The authors of this article ask whether technology also help build trust and promote vaccination within communities that are most at risk.
The most common reason for vaccine hesitancy amongst minority groups is concern about adverse effects. Rapid and transparent reporting on potential adverse effects could go some way to improve communication and potentially reduce hesitance among minority populations. One such technology, V-safe, employed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is a smartphone tool to track side-effects of COVID-19 vaccines directly from patients.
A similar tool has been developed in the UK, the Yellow Card app, to enable close monitoring and real-time reporting of the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out. V-safe and the Yellow Card app have empowered individuals to provide real-time information of side-effects and help establish a trusted, public-led vaccine safety monitoring programme.
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