Health officials must do more to provide information to the public about Covid-19 vaccines to boost uptake.
That’s according to an article in a medical magazine entitled Covid-19 Vaccination – We Need More Than The ‘Mum Test’.
The piece refers to comments made by Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, England’s deputy chief physician.
The editorial published in the Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin says the public should get “clear, balanced information” about vaccines.
Providing more information could “counteract rumors, fake news, unsubstantiated scare stories and exaggerated claims of success,” the article states.
“I think the ‘mother test’ is very important here,” says Professor Van-Tam. told the Downing Street vaccine briefing in November.
“My mom is 78, she’s turning 79 soon, and I’ve already said to her, ‘Mom, get ready when you get a call, be ready to record this, this is really important to you because of your age “.”
The article’s author, David Phizackerley, said it is not yet clear how many people will need to be vaccinated to create herd immunity to Covid-19.
He cited a poll showing that 64% of UK adults are likely to receive a vaccine once it is approved.
Mr. Phizackerley, Deputy Editor of the Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin, said providing “clear, balanced information about the risks and benefits of vaccination” has an impact on uptake.
He added: “In addition to the practical elements of making vaccination easily accessible, healthcare professionals will need to be supported with information that will allow them to discuss what we do and do not know about the drawbacks and benefits of the Covid-19 vaccines.
In particular, information should address people’s concerns about vaccine safety in the context of the known risks of Covid-19.
It should describe what damage has been reported with Covid-19 vaccines, with what frequency, and what happened to those who had side effects.
“Efficacy information will have to describe how successful the vaccines have been in clinical trials and what results were assessed.”
People also need to be made aware of what is known about transmission, disease prevention, lowering the chances of people and what impact a vaccine can have on individuals and communities, he added.
Crucially, it should also indicate how vaccination affects the need for social disassociation and other preventive measures, the article adds.
The information should be tailored to different age groups and people at different risk levels for the disease.
It must also be offered in multiple languages and formats.
“While some people may not be interested in this level of detail, others will want to base their decision on more than press releases and the ‘mother test’,” the piece concludes.
“People should get this information before vaccines are made available,” he says, adding, “Such information will be essential to support national vaccination programs and to counter rumors, fake news, baseless scares and exaggerated success stories.”