Innovative inclusion of values and knowledge of citizens and professionals in vaccination guidelines

New opportunities for entwining AI and deliberation

Through a joint funding application, the Athena Institute, and the Department of Computer Science of the VU together with the National Coordination Centre for Communicable Disease Control of the RIVM (National Institute for Public Health and the Environment) will study how experiential knowledge and values of patients and professionals can best be integrated in vaccination guidelines. Vaccination is a particularly difficult area for knowledge inclusion in guidelines: vaccination does not concern patients but citizens, who are typically not organized around this topic; those who are strongly organized are often a priori critical groups (‘vaxers’ and ‘anti-vaxers’). The more nuanced positions and practical concerns thereby typically get overlooked. Moreover, how do we organise the process of analysis of all the feedback and input of the stakeholders in an effective way? Could an AI analysis based on text mining already registered concerns and questions help include such concerns without ending up in a polarised debate? Will it prove possible to entwine such analysis with deliberation in online platforms where professionals, citizens and guideline developers come together to inform guideline development? And could such innovative methods help inform guidelines for Covid-19 vaccination guidelines in the near future?


The research team, consisting of Dr. Teun Zuiderent-Jerak & Dr. Elena Syurina (VU Athena), Prof. dr. Aura Timen (co-PI, VU Athena and RIVM), Dr. Marloes Bongers & Dr. Mart Stein (RIVM) and Dr. Florian Kunneman (VU Social AI) are committed to find out. ZonMw has funded the study within their Innovation of Guidelines call.


For more information, please contact teun.zuiderent-jerak@vu.nl