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As a part of the ASSET project, the European Institute of Women’s Health were tasked with liaising with local schools to disseminate the activities of the ASSET project. The schools were to have received funding under the Erasmus Plus programme, which is the programme that combines all the EU’s current schemes for education, training, youth and sport in Europe.

Gender is considered a main issue in Horizon 2020, the largest ever EU Research and Innovation programme, with €80 billion worth of funding available over seven years. The European Commission has identified seven priority areas of societal challenges, with the goal targeting investment in research in these fields. They are:

As reported in the ASSET Strategic plan, the three Summer Schools on Science in Society related issues in Pandemics (2015, 2016, 2017) pose the main challenge of the collaborative project overall that is dealing with the intersectoral approach required by the management of Public Health Emergencies of International Concern (PHEIC), like epidemics and pandemics.

Some things just do not want to die. In public health, anti-vaccination movements keep sizzling debates, just as they did in the XIX century. At the same time,  the “deficit model” of science communication – the myth that the “public” is just ignorant and that it would support science, if spoon-fed information from the ivory tower – still haunts the relationship between health, science and the community, despite having been repeatedly debunked. The two zombies are more related than one could believe. Vaccine hesitancy and anti-vaccination movements grow in the cracks between trust and knowledge, and these are the fault lines that communication should heal – or rip apart, if it fails.

​Abraham T. Eur J Public Health. 2013 Oct 1;23(1).

Post SARS, the WHO and other organizations charged with public health in different parts of the world began to focus on the task of refining emergency risk communication strategies and principles. Based on the experience of communication during SARS, as well as earlier infectious diseases such as Nipah and Ebola, the WHO identified five critical best practices for effective outbreak communication.

Link to full text

May 13, 2017

Mandatory vaccinations for both healthcare workers and the public can obtain a rapid improvement in immunization rates, but in the end have high cost, especially in term of litigation. The same results can be achieved putting resources into better organization and communication programs. This is the opinion of Darina O’Flanagan, previous Director of Health Protection Surveillance Centre Ireland and a member of the Advisory Forum of the European Centre for Disease Control since its inception in 2005 up to 2016. She was also one of the founder partners of the European Vaccine Network VENICE and is participating to Pandem project, on behalf of the WHO Regional Office for Europe.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017 (All day)

Members of the ASSET projects will present the results of the citizen consultation that took place in eight countries on September 2016 at the European Parliament. Such an event is part of the science-in-society approach performed by the project within the framework of Research and Innovation related to pandemic preparedness. ASSET citizen consultation is an innovative method of engaging citizens on complex issues, providing them with information before asking questions.

During the period between October and December 2016, we used our algorithm to find out the most relevant Twitter influencers about vaccines. We performed a multilevel study to categorize the accounts and to identify the most relevant hashtags.

We analysed 869 accounts and categorized 373 of them:

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MMLAP and other EU Projects

Health system analysis to support capacity development in response to the threat of pandemic influenza in Asia
Making society an active participant in water adaptation to global change
Public Participation in Developing a Common Framework for Assessment and Management of Sustainable Innovation
Effective communication in outbreak management: development of an evidence-based tool for Europe
Developing the framework for an epidemic forecast infrastructure
European monitoring of excess mortality for public health action
Modelling the spread of pandemic influenza and strategies for its containment and mitigation
Cost-effectiveness assessment of european influenza human pandemic alert and response strategies
Bridging the gap between science, stakeholders and policy makers
Promotion of immunization for health professionals in Europe
Towards inclusive research programming for sustainable food innovations
Medical ecosystem – personalized event-based surveillance
Public Engagement with Research And Research Engagement with Society
Computing Veracity – the Fourth Challenge of Big Data
Transparent communication in Epidemics: Learning Lessons from experience, delivering effective Messages, providing Evidence