Hand in hand with a good number of researchers from the IDIBELL and ICO Infections and Cancer research group, and coordinated by the Communication Unit, VacunAcció has returned to the classroom. For the third year, the educational project has challenged students to fight against misinformation and fake news, and learn more about what vaccines are, how they are obtained, what group immunity is, how vaccination schedules work, where we can find reliable information and how the anti-vaccine movements have negatively impacted global health.
This 2022/23 academic year, the activity has been carried out, over two months, with 1st year Baccalaureate students from the Escola Pia of Igualada. During this period, three work sessions, dialogues and gamified dynamics have been organized with the involvement of researchers Raquel Ibáñez, Beatriz Serrano, Laura Asensio, Maryam Choulli, Joan Valls and Ginesa Albero.
The final works resulting from the project, consisting of campaigns to raise awareness about the benefits of vaccination and to counter fake news and anti-vaccine movements, have focused on various age groups of the population and have proposed different channels for disseminating messages . This year, the students have created a radio spot for mothers and fathers of children of vaccination age, a TikTok video against false messages, an informative illustrated poster for hospital waiting rooms and CAPs, and some cartoons about the action of vaccines for primary school students. After working on them as a team, the students have presented them in public during the final session of VacunAcció.
As a whole, the activity has been based on project-based learning and has sought, ultimately, to enhance the critical spirit of the students and equip them with tools that allow them to differentiate between alarmist, conspiracy or “alternative” messages, which defend ideas that have not been proven, and facts and evidence on the efficacy of vaccines. In this way, the aim has been to contribute to training citizens with their own criteria, capable of identifying and refuting messages without scientific foundation.
VacunAcció is organized within the framework of the Escolab program of the Barcelona City Council. The educational project is structured in a series of activities based on reflection and discovery, the autonomous work of the students, the formation of groups of experts for debate, the design of a study to find out if their immediate environment has a negative perception of vaccines and their effects, the acquisition of tools to search for reliable information and, finally, the elaboration of a clear and defined final product with a direct impact on the society to which they belong: an awareness campaign against anti-vaccination movements, or in favor of vaccines.
The Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL) is a biomedical research center created in 2004. It is participated by the Bellvitge University Hospital and the Viladecans Hospital of the Catalan Institute of Health, the Catalan Institute of Oncology, the University of Barcelona and the City Council of L’Hospitalet de Llobregat.
IDIBELL is a member of the Campus of International Excellence of the University of Barcelona HUBc and is part of the CERCA institution of the Generalitat de Catalunya. In 2009 it became one of the first five Spanish research centers accredited as a health research institute by the Carlos III Health Institute. In addition, it is part of the “HR Excellence in Research” program of the European Union and is a member of EATRIS and REGIC. Since 2018, IDIBELL has been an Accredited Center of the AECC Scientific Foundation (FCAECC).