Much has happened in the first six months of the COVINFORM project and good progress has been made. The consortium partners successfully finished the first phase of desk research of the project and published two bi-monthly reports on vaccination. Further, COVINFORM effectively implemented their dissemination strategy by publishing a social media campaign, multiple blog posts, as well as the first COVINFORM newsletter.
Since the project kick-off in November 2020, COVINFORM has progressed smoothly and without any delays. The consortium partners finished the first round of desk research focusing on: 1.) governmental and 2.) public health response as well as 3.) COVID-19 communication and misinformation and its impact on vulnerable groups in 15 countries within the EU27 MS, UK and Israel. In individual country reports, partners provided insights for each of the themes (government and public health response, communication and misinformation). An overarching discussion of cross-country comparison is currently under progress.
First project outcomes published
Communication and dissemination are key components of the COVINFORM project, particularly as the project also investigates misinformation in times of COVID-19. As such, the distribution of relevant and trustworthy information as well as project outcomes have high importance within the project. COVINFORM is aiming to reach a diverse audience by publishing information in various formats and through multiple channels. So far, the project produced two bi-monthly reports. Each of them broadly covered the theme of vaccination. More precisely, the first bi-monthly report engaged with the history of vaccines and provided an overview of the progress of COVID-19 vaccination development in January 2021. The second bi-monthly report published in March 2021 provided an update about the vaccination efforts and progress across the COVINFORM countries. The COVID-19 vaccination campaign of Israel has been widely recognized as one of the most effective around the world. To gain insight from the country’s efforts the report also included a written report by Magen David Adom (MDA) in Israeli as well as interview with Chaim Rafalowski, also from MDA, speaking about the Israeli vaccination campaign.
The COVINFORM team so far published ten blog post spanning topics such as the history of quarantine, the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) Facility, a meeting with COVINFORM sister projects or gender and Covid-19 response which are all accessible through the project’s website, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook pages. This was accompanied by a social media campaign in honour of the International Women’s day and the project’s first newsletter.
The first part of the COVINFORM Knowledge Repository also went online and can be found on the project’s website. The repository provides up-to- date information about a variety of topics related to COVID-19. Themes covered by the repository include: Scientific literature & other reading material, Initiatives, Projects, Events, Funding Opportunities and Communication & Misinformation. The Knowledge Repository will be regularly updated and extended.
Collaboration with other projects
COVINFORM successfully connected with its sister projects, i.e. those projects funded under the same call by the European Commission, PERISCOPE, RESPOND, SHARE-COVID and RESISTIRE. All projects are part of the same cohort focusing on behavioural, social and economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak response. After an initial meeting, COVINFORM organised a workshop where the sister projects had the opportunity to introduce their projects and discuss issues related to vulnerability, socio-economic consequences, governance and dissemination more in-depth across all five projects. The aim of the cooperation of all five projects is to increase the impact our research may achieve.
Outlook: case study design underway
In the coming months the consortium will continue to conceptualise a framework for the ten case studies that will be conducted across the COVINFORM partner countries. Here, it is key to selected case studies and indicators in a way that research outcomes will be comparable across the different case study sites. The case study design will be based on the findings of the desk research on governmental and public health response as well as COVID-19 communication and misinformation which also will be finalised and published in the next couple of months.
Covid-19 response, Communication, Dissemination, Knowledge Repository, Social Media, Pandemic