The project “Rapid Response to Vaccine Disinformation” will respond to the high level of distrust of COVID-19 vaccines in North Macedonia caused by widespread disinformation on this topic.

The activities of the project will be upgraded to the existing ones that Metamorphosis already implements, which refer to fact-checking and preparation of anti-disinformation articles. The project will be implemented with a combined approach, as follows:

  • Increased production and dissemination of verified educational media content (aimed at media professionals and the general public) on the topic of Covid-19, vaccines and medically and scientifically grounded aspects of the whole process;
  • Requesting transparency from the authorities and facilitate cooperation with the media and civil society;
  • Facilitating direct collaboration between journalists, medical professionals and other stakeholders

Additionally, the project will provide an opportunity for prominent professionals from the wider community, who advocate the use of vaccination as the most effective way to combat the pandemic, to address the public and to present and debate their expert views. This comprehensive approach will provide quality information and coordinated action between institutions, the media, and respected members of the medical/health community, to fill the vacuum for proactive information and education on the need and safety of vaccination.

An innovative element in the project is the online platform that Metamorphosis provides through which direct communication, coordination and cooperation between the government, trusted health professionals, professional media with local as well as national readership is enabled, in order to counter the disinformation of the topic of COVID-19 vaccines, as well as the pandemic in general.

Metamorphosis will also activate existing local media networks; and its own local journalists – fact-checkers who will provide insight into identifying the needs of the local public regarding COVID-19 disinformation and debunking them through customized work with local sites and social media/Facebook, along with promotional activities on the national level, including instant messaging channels.

All media contents will be published in Macedonian and Albanian, with a selection of articles that will be translated into English as well, and will be shared as an in-house experience with the respective networks dealing with the same and similar issues in the Balkans and in Europe.

Fact-checking: Covid-19 is implemented from 1 June 2021 – 31 January 2022 and is realized with the financial support of the Balkan Trust for Democracy.