Digital Visual Communication for Public Health: Design Proposal for a Vaccinated Emoji
Boender, Tamara Sonia
In the 21st century, the internet and particularly social media have become essential platforms for the spread of health information (including misinformation and disinformation). One of the distinguishing features of communication on these platforms is the widespread use of emojis. Though seemingly trivial emojis are now used by many if not most public health figures and organizations alongside important health updates. Much of that information has had to do with vaccination. Vaccines are a critical public health tool but one surrounded by falsehoods, phobias, and misinformation fueling vaccine hesitancy. Part of that has to do with their lack of positive representation on social media (eg, the syringe emoji is a plain needle, which for many people is an uncomfortable image). We thus argue that vaccination deserves an entirely new emoji to communicate vaccine confidence and discuss a design proposal for a vaccinated emoji that has gained traction in the global public health community.
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