Research by the Vaccine Safety Initiative (VIVI) has shown that an intact physician-patient relationship is the number one factor for trust in vaccines and immunization. Solid physician know-how is critical to improving and sustaining trust in vaccines.
Vaccine consultations are more effective when the doctor is well-trained on the subject matter, and when there is mutually respectful dialogue where the expert will listen to concerns, answer questions truthfully. The current healthcare system allows only limited time for vaccine consultations. The better trained the clinicians are, the more likely they will be able to make the best of the little time they have.
Training opportunities are often scattered, and reliable up-to-date information on new vaccines, indications and contraindications is not always easy to find. With new vaccines and scientific data emerging constantly, it may be difficult for busy healthcare professionals to keep up. For busy medical students and physicians, it will be critical to have educational materials easily accessible and available.
Already in 2011, the Vaccine Safety Initiative (VIVI) partnered with the School of Design Thinking at the Hasso Plattner Institute in Potsdam, Germany to develop innovative ways to improve the important dialogue between healthcare professionals and patients/citizens. Their common goal is to prevent infectious diseases, or at least to diminish their impact on everyday life.
What we need is a systematic, life-course approach to training doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and all healthcare providers involved in the prevention of infectious diseases. This includes most medical specialties: general practitioners as much as hospital staff, midwives as much as specialists for the elderly.
An intact patient–provider relationship and open, well-informed, non-threatening communication are key to building trust. All specialists involved in the care of individuals and families need adequate training to provide adequate protection from vaccine preventable diseases for individuals, families, and society.
In 2019, the Vaccine Safety Initiative (VIVI) joined forces with the European Academy of Paediatrics to launch the SEKI Program in order to Strengthen Education and Knowledge on Immunization among healthcare professionals. From the get-go, SEKI collaborates closely with the EU Coalition for Vaccination allowing all healthcare professionals (including nurses, midwives, pharmacists and all medical specialties) to access quality vaccine education and training, and to build a knowledge base, step by step.
SEKI carefully selects and features curated quality training content on its website. SEKI allows healthcare professionals to sign up, set up a personal profile, take trainings and begin collecting educational credits towards becoming a well-balanced, well-informed vaccine expert.
SEKI constantly screens training content and identifies gaps in training to be addressed. The goal is to improve equality and access to high quality vaccine information in Europe and beyond.
SEKI invites healthcare professionals to search for curated training content from verified providers and to pre-register free of charge for SEKI credits. Curated content may include videos, podcasts and other teaching formats that facilitate continuing vaccine education ’on the go’. For those who practice regularly and successfully, the SEKI credit system incentivizes progress. As SEKI users advance through training modules and collect credits, they will be able to print out a personal certificate at any time providing proof of completed training activities. A simple evaluation form will be added to provide standardized user-feedback.
Over time, SEKI will help users to cover all significant areas of vaccine-related education, e.g.:
The European Board of Paediatrics (EBP) has ample experience in harmonizing training content across Europe and will help to develop the long-term trajectory for SEKI training credits. A panel of experts at VIVI, EAP and EBP will jointly review training content and evaluate based on Continuing Medical Education (CME) criteria such as: neutrality, state of the art, absence of commercial bias, source verification (including CME mission), articulation of expected results, and regular program analysis and improvement. On a policy level, the SEKI team will advocate for structured vaccine training in medical school and during residency training, and ultimately, pathways toward board certification for vaccine specialists.
SEKI partners with European institutions to identify training needs and new ways to meet these demands. SEKI actively participates in EU-funded projects and initiatives such as IMMUNION, RIVER_EU and ImmuHubs providing sustainability for these important initiatives.
SEKI collaborates with professional associations such as: the European Federation of Nurses Associations, the Standing Committee of European Doctors (CPME), the European Medical Students Association (EMSA), the European Pharmaceutical Students Association (EPSA), the European Junior Doctors Association (EJD), the International Pediatric Association in the Project Advisory Group, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and their Global Immunization Project Advisory Committee.
SEKI partners with educational content providers such as WebMD and MedScape. SEKI actively supports high-quality training content provided by the ECDC, WHO, ADVAC, UNICEF, Sabin, and select academic institutions. SEKI disseminates curated training content via the SEKI and partner websites, as well as our social media channels.
If you wish to partner with SEKI, suggest educational topics or content, or if you are looking for trained vaccine experts, please fill out our contact form.
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