Kellogg student works with Government to bust vaccine myths

June 15, 2021

Kellogg student Dr Tasnim Jara (MSc Evidence-Based Healthcare) is spearheading a campaign to give reliable information on Covid-19 and vaccines to millions of Bangla speaking people who mostly get their news through social media.

As well as working as an A&E doctor for the NHS, Tasnim supports her patients to make decisions about COVID-19 vaccines. She has gained more than 1.7 million followers on TikTok, Facebook and YouTube.

To spread awareness offline and reach people in rural areas, Tasnim has partnered with government institutions, NGOs and telecom operators. In partnership with government institutions, her videos are played on roadside billboards and at primary healthcare centres in rural parts of Bangladesh. With BRAC—the largest NGO in the world—she produced content that was used to train more than 20,000 young volunteers who fight misinformation on the ground. Grameenphone —the largest telecom operator in Bangladesh—distributed her videos to its millions of users through apps and social media. Tasnim also worked with faith leaders to tackle misinformed concerns over COVID-19 vaccine ingredients and increase confidence. She has frequently appeared on the radio and television to share reliable information.

As part of its G7 Presidency, the UK Government convened the Global Vaccine Confidence Summit, a first-of-its-kind event, bringing together global experts from across the public and private sector to build and maintain confidence in vaccines.

During the Summit, world-leading experts at the forefront of efforts to build vaccine confidence and tackle misinformation about vaccines offered their perspectives on the critical global actions that governments and partners from across sectors can take to address the issue.

It was acknowledged that increased levels of vaccine confidence, accessibility and availability are needed globally in order to end the pandemic. One of the biggest threats to confidence in vaccines is misinformation, which can damage public perceptions of vaccine safety and efficacy.

An interactive photo mosaic created in partnership with the UK Government and the People’s Picture, titled ‘The Luminaries’, was also unveiled. Using video and images it showcases the many global ‘Vaccine Luminaries’ who are taking to social media to build confidence in vaccines, including health care professionals on the front line. The platform is available on a dedicated website with plans to feature more ‘Vaccine Luminaries’ from around the world over the next year.

Tasnim has been featured in the photomosaic created by the UK Government for the G7 Global Vaccine Confidence Summit. The photomosaic is available here 

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