JITSUVAX, Jiu Jitsu with misinformation in the age of Covid | Horizon 2020

Using refutation-based learning to enhance vaccine uptake and knowledge among healthcare professionals and the public.

JITSUVAX is an EU Horizon 2020 funded project coordinated by the University of Bristol working with five other EU institutions as well as one in Canada. The project will run from April 2021 until March 2025.

The JITSUVAX team consists of psychologists, epidemiologists, behavioural scientists, clinicians and others. Together we are investigating misinformation around vaccines which may lead to people being less likely to accept vaccination. We will be testing ways of combatting this misinformation and helping healthcare professionals to communicate with patients. The individual groups are based at the University of Bristol and the University of Cambridge in the UK, the Turun yliopisto in Finland, the L'Observatoire Régional de la Santé in France, the Universität Erfurt in Germany, the Universidade de Coimbra in Portugal and the Université de Sherbrooke in Canada.

The WHO SAGE Working Group on Vaccine Hesitancy defines vaccine hesitancy as 'delay in acceptance or refusal of vaccination despite availability of vaccination services'. It is a behavioural decision to delay or reject some or all vaccines.

The first steps are to identify and analyse the anti-vaccination arguments that circulate on social media and elsewhere. We will also develop and trial a questionnaire that measures attitudes and behaviours around vaccination in healthcare professionals. Later steps will include using this questionnaire to measure and compare results across our six countries as well as developing and trialling methods of combatting misinformation, such as training, apps, and computer games.

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