A European dashboard for monitoring vaccine conversations on the web and social networks Introduction The European Joint Action on Vaccination (EU‐JAV) is a European project that aims at spurring long‐lasting European cooperation against vaccine‐preventable diseases. In the context of the EU-JAV’s Work Package 8, the Italian National Institute of Health, in collaboration with the Bambino Gesù Children’s Hospital (Rome, Italy), developed a web platform designed to monitor vaccination discourse on the web and on social media. Materials and methods We collected data on vaccine-related content from Twitter, Reddit, Wikipedia and Google Trends, through validated keyword filters, in Italian, French and Spanish. The platform’s analysis layer included two machine learning-based algorithms: the influencer analysis, aimed at identifying the most influential users involved in the vaccine discourse; and the early-signal detection, used to identify new hashtags emerging in the conversation. Results The web and social media monitoring platform has been online for the EU-JAV members since July 2020, and displays trends of vaccine-related tweets, most used hashtags, influencer maps, clicks on Wikipedia vaccine pages and Google searches on the vaccine topic. From November 19th, 2019 to April 30th, 2021, we downloaded a total of 6,963,162 tweets. The number of vaccine conversations increased dramatically with the beginning of the pandemic (from 300 to around 3,000 daily tweets) and continued to increase, reaching its peak around the European Vaccine Day in December, 2020 (95K tweets) and during European Medicine Agency assessment process of the trombosis cases after receiving Vaxzevria. Conclusions The EU-JAV’s web and social media monitoring platform represents a model tool that could be used to integrate traditional systems for surveillance of vaccine coverages and the evaluation of vaccination programmes in Europe. Key words: vaccine-preventable diseases; social media monitoring; vaccine stance.
Caterina Rizzo, Francesco Gesualdo , Barbara Lanfranchi , Roberto Armeni , Maria Cristina Rota , Antonietta Filia
aOspedale Pediatrico Bambino Gesù, IRCCS, Roma
bDipartimento di Malattie Infettive, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Roma