(Daily News Scan - DNS English) "TEAM HALO" Initiative

(Daily News Scan - DNS English) "TEAM HALO" Initiative

The United Nations has joined hands with the Vaccine Confidence Project at the University of London to set up ‘Team Halo’.

In today’s DNS program, we will talk about the ‘Team Halo’ initiative and will also have a look at the other aspects of it.

Infodemic implies too much information, including false or misleading information, especially on social media. It has resulted in confusion, risk-taking, and eventually mistrust towards governments and the public health response.

Now, under this ‘Team Halo’ initiative, over 100 scientists from across the world have joined hands to tackle the threat of misinformation around Covid-19 vaccines. This initiative is supported by scientists across the world, those who are involved in the race of the Covid-19 vaccine. It is aided by the United Nations Verified Initiative, the Vaccine Confidence Project and GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, Luminate, IKEA Foundation, Global Challenges Foundation, and UN Foundation. Team Halo has the support of scientists from the world’s top institute like Imperial College London, Harvard Medical School, University of Sao Paulo, and the University of Barcelona among others. ‘Halo’ indicates the ring of connected science that spans the globe.

The team would develop creative, social media-friendly videos on topics including Covid-19 vaccine science, personal experiences, etc. They will also try to bust certain myths and share information about the safety and effectiveness of vaccines. Team Halo wants to highlight the work of scientists from India, the UK, the US, South Africa, Qatar, UAE, France, Spain, Peru, Canada, and Brazil. It also wants to produce a platform for communication between scientists working on Covid-19 and citizens belonging to various countries. Collectively these scientists are eager to emphasize the global nature of their work and acknowledge the contribution of many around the globe.

From India, around 22 scientists have joined the ‘Team Halo’. They all are from various reputed institutions. Team Halo of India will also interact with the public or directly counter vaccine misinformation and rumor spreading on the internet.

Apart from this ‘Team Halo’ initiative, social media websites are themselves actively fighting this misinformation and fear-mongering. The social media platforms – for a welcome change – have taken several steps in busting the myths about coronavirus. For example, Facebook has promised to ban ads that promise “cures” for the Covid-19 virus.