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Addressing the Gap – Trust in Vaccines and Online Discourse


H.E. José Manuel Barroso, Former President, European Commission; Leadership Council Member, Concordia
T.H. Budi Gunadi Sadikin, Minister of Health, Republic of Indonesia
Dr. Andrew “Drew” Otoo, President, Global Vaccines, Merck


with LEAD Programming SPONSOR

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“We saw the power, both positive and negative, of social media on vaccination rates, vaccination confidence, and overall health literacy over the course of the pandemic.”

– Dr. Andrew Otoo

“We are speaking about very concrete things and in some cases the difference between being alive or dying. So it’s a very serious issue. That’s why we need to win that battle against misinformation.”

– H.E. José Manuel Barroso

“I think if we can increase the digitalizations and the transparency of the health sector, that will also reduce inequality.”

– T.H. Budi Gunadi Sadikin Sadikin

Key takeaways & next steps:

  • Social media plays a significant role in healthcare, as it is widely used by billions of individuals to seek health-related information and engage with relevant content. This makes it a valuable tool for promoting vaccination and healthcare programs.
  • Social media’s impact on healthcare is dual-edged, capable of influencing both vaccination rates and confidence positively, but also susceptible to spreading misinformation and fake news, potentially obstructing public health efforts.
  • When it comes to digital understanding and standardization, the healthcare sector lags behind the financial sector. Enhancing transparency and standardizing healthcare data can contribute to reducing disparities and enhancing access to healthcare services.
  • Merck and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance launched Advancing Health Online and its VaxSocial initiative to advance public understanding of how social media platforms can be used to increase the health and resiliency of communities globally.
  • Collaborations between the public and private sectors, exemplified by the partnership between GAVI and private entities like Merck, can harness technology and social media to address healthcare challenges and enhance vaccination rates.