WHO’s Vaccine Safety Net (VSN) project is calling for volunteers to assist the VSN secretariat in reviewing candidate websites against criteria for good information practices as defined by the Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety (GACVS).
Qualified candidates will be students, academics or professionals in a related field, such as medicine, immunology, or virology, with native language skills in the language of a candidate website. Languages of particular interest include but are not limited to: Arabic, Bulgarian, Chinese, Czech, Dutch, Farsi, German, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish, Thai and Turkish.
Interested candidates will be placed on a roster of reviewers and asked to review a website in the relevant language as the need arises. The reviewing task will be based on a detailed reviewers’ guide and is expected to take approximately 3 hours per website. The reviewer will report his or her findings and recommendations to the VSN secretariat, which will then decide whether to invite the website to become a member of the network or suggest required changes as a prerequisite for joining.
Benefits for the reviewer
As token of appreciation, each reviewer will receive a letter of appreciation from the VSN coordinator, acknowledging his or her contribution to this WHO project.
Due to the success of immunization worldwide, several vaccine-preventable diseases have been contained and are no longer perceived by many as a threat. However, certain groups have questioned the utility of vaccines in spite of their proven success in controlling diseases. Moreover, a number of websites have been established providing misleading and alarming vaccine-safety information, causing undue fears, particularly among parents.
The Vaccine Safety Net (VSN) was established in 2003 by the World Health Organization, following the request from governments, non-governmental organizations and UNICEF to promote balanced and science-based information about vaccine safety. VSN is continually evolving and currently comprises member-websites from 30 countries providing information in 15 different languages. The websites are run by governmental agencies, grassroots organizations, academic institutions, professional organizations, private non-profit entities as well as specific information repositories/platforms.
VSN aims to facilitate easy access to reliable, understandable, evidence-based information on the safety of vaccines for internet users, regardless of their geographic location and language and to foster international collaboration among stakeholders to:
- increase awareness about vaccines, reduce vaccine hesitancy and strengthen confidence in vaccines by seeking to better understand internet users’ needs, behaviours and preferences;
- provide reliable information tailored to users’ needs; and
- communicate vaccine safety information through a diversity of digital channels.
If you are interested in volunteering your time to this important project, please send your CV and contact details to: gvsi(at)who.int