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Razlikujmo činjenice o cjepivima od laži i izmišljotina

Pročitali ste nešto i niste sigurni je li to točno? Ovo su činjenice:

S obzirom na razmjer aktualne krize, EU nastoji osigurati da cjepiva protiv bolesti COVID-19 koja ispunjavaju EU-ove visoke standarde sigurnosti i djelotvornosti budu što prije dostupna svima kojima su potrebna.

Cjepiva su jedan od najvećih uspjeha javnog zdravstva. Zahvaljujući njima svake se godine u svijetu spasi najmanje 2 – 3 milijuna života. Ti su brojevi puno veći ako se uzme u obzir da cjepiva sprečavaju invaliditet i doživotna oboljenja. EU nastoji osigurati da javnosti budu dostupna samo cjepiva protiv COVID-a 19 koja ispunjavaju EU-ove visoke standarde sigurnosti i djelotvornosti. Komisija je sklopila nekoliko ugovora o predviđenoj kupoprodaji s proizvođačima cjepiva i osigurala dovoljno doza cjepiva za cijepljenje svih građana EU-a. Sva cjepiva koja Europska komisija odobri nakon ocjene Europske agencije za lijekove (EMA) bit će objavljena na internetskoj stranici o sigurnim cjepivima protiv bolesti COVID-19 za Europljane, gdje možete vidjeti i koja cjepiva EMA trenutačno ocjenjuje ili koja se cjepiva trenutačno razvijaju.

Cjepiva pomažu u zaštiti od bolesti. Tijekom pandemije koronavirusa neki su pojedinci širili znanstveno neutemeljene tvrdnje o štetnosti cjepiva. Te tvrdnje potiču strah i mogu ugroziti javno zdravlje. Obmanjujuće informacije, znanstveno nedokazane teorije i neosnovane tvrdnje da se cjepivima mijenja DNK ili truju osobe koje ga prime uzrokuju nepovjerenje u cjepiva i navode ljude na to da se ne cijepe.

Dosad nezabilježen angažman znanstvene zajednice pokazao je i nastavlja pokazivati obećavajuće rezultate. Koronavirus je iznimno opasan i utječe na naš način života. Stoga je svjetska istraživačka i medicinska zajednica radila na razvoju sigurnih i djelotvornih cjepiva te ih uspjela proizvesti u rekordnom vremenu. Unatoč hitno potrebnom rješenju, kandidati za cjepiva moraju se podvrgnuti strogoj procjeni Europske agencije za lijekove kako bi se javnosti nudila samo djelotvorna, sigurna i visokokvalitetna cjepiva. Zahvaljujući ogromnoj mobilizaciji resursa i stručnog znanja u svim fazama, ubrzani su procesi razvoja, ocjenjivanja i odobravanja.

    EU digitalna COVID potvrda omogućava svim Europljanima da sigurno putuju u EU-u i u inozemstvu iz poslovnih ili osobnih razloga.

    Europska komisija predstavila je zakonodavni prijedlog za uvođenje EU digitalne COVID potvrde. Ta je potvrda dokaz da je osoba cijepljena protiv bolesti COVID-19, preboljela COVID-19 ili dobila negativan rezultat testa. Tako se građanima olakšava sigurno i slobodno kretanje u državama članicama EU-a. Potvrda sadržava samo osnovne informacije kojima se potvrđuje nositeljev status u pogledu cijepljenja, testiranja ili preboljenja. Ta besplatna potvrda izdaje se u obliku digitalnog ili papirnatog QR koda.

    Kod će sadržavati digitalni potpis kako se potvrda ne bi mogla krivotvoriti. Kod pregleda potvrde QR kod se skenira i potpis provjerava. Europska komisija uspostavila je pristupnik putem kojeg će se moći provjeriti svi potpisi na potvrdama u cijelom EU-u. Osobni podaci nositelja potvrde neće prolaziti kroz pristupnik.

    Postoje brojne krive predodžbe o EU digitalnoj COVID potvrdi. Neke od njih temelje se na pogrešnim informacijama o opravdanim pitanjima, ali neke proizlaze iz teorija zavjere. Jedna od njih je da će potvrda ograničiti mogućnost putovanja osobama koje nisu cijepljene. No jedno od glavnih načela EU digitalne COVID potvrde je načelo nediskriminacije: države članice koje zahtijevaju dokaz o cijepljenju moraju pod istim uvjetima prihvaćati negativan rezultat testa ili potvrdu o preboljenju bolesti COVID-19. Zbog uvođenja potvrde ne postrožuju se ograničenja niti zabranjuju putovanja, nego se putovanje u EU-u olakšava.

    Važno je napomenuti da je EU digitalna COVID potvrda privremena mjera, čiju će primjenu Komisija obustaviti čim Svjetska zdravstvena organizacija objavi kraj pandemije bolesti COVID-19.

    Ako ih ima, nuspojave cjepiva obično su vrlo blage i kratkotrajne.

    Nuspojave nisu fenomen koji se povezuje isključivo s cjepivima. Poznato je da hrana i drugi lijekovi mogu uzrokovati manje ili više ozbiljne nuspojave, ali u većini slučajeva ne dođe ni do kakve reakcije. U rijetkim slučajevima u kojima su zabilježene nuspojave su gotovo uvijek blage i kratkotrajne. Isto vrijedi i za cjepiva protiv bolesti COVID-19. Najčešće nuspojave cijepljenja uključuju blagu i privremenu bol ili oticanje na mjestu primjene injekcije, umor, zimicu, mučninu, povraćanje i vrućicu. Manje od desetine osoba može razviti osip, urtikariju ili crvenilo na mjestu primjene injekcije. Svrbež na tom mjestu iskusi tek svaka stota osoba. Popis svih mogućih nuspojava javno je dostupan za cjepiva koja su razvili BioNTech-Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca i Janssen, a za više informacija možete se obratiti svojem liječniku.

    Iako bi svaki sumnjivi slučaj koji ukazuje na ozbiljne nuspojave kao reakciju na cijepljenje protiv bolesti COVID-19 trebalo shvatiti ozbiljno, nemojte donositi ishitrene zaključke. Čak i ako se ubrzo nakon cijepljenja pojavi neki simptom, to ne znači automatski da je riječ o posljedici cijepljenja. Uzroci mogu biti nepovezani, a pojava simptoma tek nesretna slučajnost. Pouzdano se može utvrditi je li uzrok cijepljenje tek kad zdravstveni djelatnici detaljno pregledaju sve cijepljene osobe i izdvoje stvarne slučajeve nuspojava od nepovezanih slučajeva.

    Ako smatrate da ste nakon primanja cjepiva protiv bolesti COVID-19 razvili nuspojave, prijavite to svojem liječniku.

    Sudionici kliničkih ispitivanja cjepiva protiv bolesti COVID-19 predstavljaju populaciju koja će biti cijepljena tim cjepivima ako ona budu odobrena.

    U skladu s EU-ovim visokim standardima sigurnosti i djelotvornosti sva nova cjepiva, kao što su cjepiva protiv bolesti COVID-19, moraju proći stroga klinička ispitivanja. Proizvođač mora dostaviti podatke iz tih kliničkih ispitivanja Europskoj agenciji za lijekove, koja zatim preispituje te podatke i odlučuje hoće li Europskoj komisiji preporučiti upotrebu cjepiva. Među ostalim, Europska agencija za lijekove provjerava na kome su provedena klinička ispitivanja. Kako bi se kliničkim ispitivanjima provjerilo je li cjepivo protiv bolesti COVID-19 sigurno i djelotvorno, sudionici ispitivanja moraju predstavljati populaciju koja će biti cijepljena ako se cjepivo odobri. Ispitivanja su se stoga provodila na vrlo raznolikoj skupini sudionika (različite etničke skupine, dobi i spola). Sudionici su predstavljali i visokorizične skupine, a rezultati su pokazali da je u svim skupinama zabilježena visoka razina sigurnosti i djelotvornosti.

    Mnogo se pogrešnih informacija odnosilo na sumnje da cjepiva izazivaju nuspojave kod trudnica. Točno je da su podaci o upotrebi cjepiva protiv bolesti COVID-19 tijekom trudnoće vrlo ograničeni jer trudnice obično ne sudjeluju u ispitivanjima zato što trudnoća utječe na njihove imunosne sustave. Međutim, ispitivanja provedena na životinjama pokazala su da tijekom trudnoće nisu zabilježeni štetni učinci pa stručnjaci ne predviđaju nikakve štetne nuspojave. Ipak, odluku o cijepljenju trudnice bi trebale donijeti uz savjetovanje sa zdravstvenim djelatnikom nakon razmatranja prednosti i rizika. Proizvođači cjepiva nastavit će pomno pratiti cijepljene osobe kako bi utvrdili jesu li cjepiva dugoročno djelotvorna i sigurna.

    Prirodni imunitet na COVID-19 nakon zaraze je privremen, a prethodno zaraženi bi se trebali cijepiti nakon što im to potvrdi njihov liječnik

    Dostupni znanstveni dokazi o prirodnom imunitetu na COVID-19 nakon potvrđene zaraze pokazuju da nije dugotrajan. Prema većini procjena prirodni imunitet osobe koja se zarazila i oporavila od COVID-a 19 traje otprilike pet mjeseci. Budite oprezni kad čitate neprovjerene tvrdnje o prirodnom imunitetu na COVID-19 nakon zaraze i nastavite se pridržavati mjera kako biste se zaštitili od moguće ponovne zaraze: držite fizički razmak, nosite masku za lice i često perite ruke. Ako ste se nedavno oporavili od COVID-a 19, trebali biste se savjetovati sa svojim liječnikom ili lokalnim zdravstvenim djelatnicima o tome kad biste trebali primiti cjepivo.

    Cijepljenje se provodi onoliko brzo koliko to dopuštaju svjetski proizvodni kapaciteti.

    Stope cijepljenja u državama članicama EU-a ovise o mnogim čimbenicima, među kojima su proizvodnja cjepiva i njegova distribucija od proizvođača do zemalja EU-a. Budući da joj je to bilo poznato, Europska komisija ponudila je u ranim fazama pandemije financijsku potporu poduzećima koja razvijaju cjepiva kako bi im pomogla da povećaju svoje proizvodne kapacitete u zamjenu za obveznu isporuku milijardi doza cjepiva. Komisija je odobrila ugovore s nekoliko različitih proizvođača cjepiva te je naručila 2,3 milijarde doza budućih cjepiva kako bi se maksimalno povećali izgledi za dobivanje najboljih cjepiva. EU je kupio doze cjepiva čim su ih proizvođači cjepiva ponudili.

    Prve doze cjepiva isporučene su zemljama EU-a uoči Europskih dana cijepljenja koji su trajali od 27. do 29. prosinca 2020., ali distribucija cjepiva od tog trenutka ovisi o nacionalnim i regionalnim organizacijama i njihovoj razini pripravnosti. 

    Države članice oblikuju zdravstvene politike. Komisija koordinira prekogranična pitanja i pruža potporu.

    Europska komisija podupire europske zemlje i pomaže u koordinaciji u kriznim vremenima. Poboljšavanjem koordinacije među europskim zemljama, jačanjem naših medicinskih i znanstvenih agencija te pokretanjem inicijativa kao što je farmaceutska strategija za Europu Komisija se priprema za buduće prekogranične zdravstvene krize. U području zdravstva primarnu nadležnost uvijek će imati države članice, koje su odgovorne za vlastite politike.

    Cjepiva protiv bolesti COVID-19 prolaze nekoliko krugova strogog ispitivanja i stručnih pregleda prije nego što se odobre.

    Postupak odobravanja cjepiva je detaljan i transparentan. Cjepiva protiv bolesti COVID-19 moraju proći tri faze kliničkih ispitivanja i zadovoljiti visoke standarde prije nego što Europska agencija za lijekove (EMA) izda pozitivnu znanstvenu preporuku i prije nego što ih Europska komisija odobri za javnu upotrebu. Isto vrijedi i za sva druga cjepiva. Farmaceutska poduzeća provode ta klinička ispitivanja u skladu sa standardima koje je odredila EMA kako bi potvrdila učinke lijekova koji se ispituju i zaštitila dobrobit ispitanika. Sva klinička ispitivanja registrirana su u bazi podataka EU-a o kliničkim ispitivanjima (EudraCT), a informacije o kliničkim ispitivanjima javno su dostupne. Postupak je transparentan jer svatko može pristupiti podacima.

    Učinkovitost postupka razvoja cjepiva znatno je povećana, bez kompromisa po pitanju djelotvornosti i zdravstvenih stndarda, time što se klinička ispitivanja provode usporedno i s više dobrovoljaca nego inače te dodjelom većih sredstava istraživačima. Osim toga, postupak je učinkovitiji jer je subjektima koji razvijaju cjepiva dopušteno da EMA-i redovito dostavljaju rezultate ispitivanja tijekom cijele faze istraživanja i razvoja. Naime, podaci iz kliničkih ispitivanja u pravilu se dostavljaju na pregled tek nakon završetka faze istraživanja i razvoja. Stoga EMA-i sad treba manje vremena da iznese svoje mišljenje o cjepivu nakon što subjekt koji ga razvije zatraži odobrenje za stavljanje u promet jer je glavnina ocjenjivanja već provedena. Rezultati se ne postižu na račun spuštanja kvalitete.

    Cjepiva protiv COVID-a 19, baš kao i bilo koja druga vrsta cjepiva, uče vaš imunosni sustav kako se zaštititi od konkretnog virusa.

    Cjepiva djeluju tako što u naša tijela unose mrtvi oblik štetnog virusa kako bi se potaknulo stvaranje imuniteta na taj virus, a da pritom ne dođe do infekcije. To nas štiti od potencijalnih budućih infekcija stvarnim virusom.

    Stanice u našem tijelu čitaju genetski kod – našu DNK – i stvaraju privremene genetske upute u obliku RNK-a koje tijelu pokazuju kako proizvoditi proteine potrebne za rast i popravak. Nakon stvaranja proteina RNK se razgrađuje. Cjepiva koja su proizveli Pfizer-BioNTech i Moderna identificiraju određeni protein (protein šiljastih izdanaka) koji koronavirusu omogućuje infekciju zdravih ljudskih stanica. Njihovim se cjepivima u stanice uvodi modificirani RNK – mRNK – koji im daje nalog za sintezu proteina šiljastih izdanaka bez ostatka virusa. Tako naše tijelo stječe imunosni odgovor na protein šiljastih izdanaka. Sam imunitet može trajati dugo nakon prvog izlaganja. U procesu cijepljenja naše tijelo uči kako prepoznati taj protein kako bi se u slučaju stvarne infekcije moglo prisjetiti i proizvesti potrebna protutijela i tako u budućnosti puno brže uništiti virus.

    Nema dokaza da taj proces može oštetiti naše stanice.

    Farmaceutska poduzeća odgovorna su za nuspojave cjepiva kupljenih u okviru strategije EU-a za cjepiva.

    Za proizvod je uvijek odgovorno društvo koje ima odobrenje za njegovo stavljanje u promet. Poduzeća su odgovorna za sigurnost svojih proizvoda te imaju konkretne obveze. Primjerice, obvezna su u potpunosti provesti plan za praćenje rizika, izvješćivati o svim štetnim učincima proizvoda i poduzeti potrebne daljnje mjere. Točno je da je EU prilagodio neka od pravila o cjepivima kako bi u kraćem roku osigurao sigurno i djelotvorno cjepivo. Međutim, pravila o sigurnosnim standardima jednako su stroga kao i uvijek, a Direktiva o odgovornosti za proizvode i dalje je na snazi. Drugim riječima, tvrdnje da prema ugovorima koje je Komisija dogovorila proizvođači cjepiva nisu odgovorni za nuspojave jednostavno nisu istinite.

    Sigurnost i djelotvornost odobrenih cjepiva protiv COVID-a 19 strogo će se pratiti u okviru uhodanog EU-ova sustava praćenja. U kojoj će mjeri novo cjepivo imati dugoročne učinke može se potvrditi tek kad prođe dovoljno vremena. Pojava neočekivanoga zdravstvenog problema ponekad se podudara s primanjem cjepiva, zbog čega ljudi često pretpostavljaju da je upravo cjepivo prouzročilo taj problem. Novoodobrena cjepiva protiv COVID-a 19 kontinuirano će se pratiti kako bi se bolje razumjela njihova dugoročna djelotvornost, kao i to jesu li određene nuspojave zaista uzrokovane cjepivom ili su nepovezane. Proizvođači cjepiva i dalje će biti odgovorni te će se od njih očekivati da prate dugoročne učinke svojih cjepiva dugo nakon njihove primjene.

    Ako postoji dovoljno pouzdanih dokaza koji pokazuju da cjepivo protiv COVID-a 19 ispunjava EU-ove visoke standarde sigurnosti i djelotvornosti, EU će preporučiti njegovu upotrebu, bez obzira na to tko ga je proizveo.

    U proruskim dezinformacijama tvrdi se da EU potkopava rad drugih zemalja. Za stavljanje cjepiva u promet na unutarnjem tržištu potrebno je zadovoljiti visoke europske standarde sigurnosti i djelotvornosti koje je utvrdila Europska agencija za lijekove. Europska agencija za lijekove trenutačno ocjenuje rusko cjepivo Sputnik V protiv COVID-a 19 u skladu s primljenim podacima. Preporuka agencije bit će temelj na osnovu kojeg će Europska komisija odlučiti hoće li odobriti to cjepivo za primjenu u EU-u.

    Treba istaknuti da u Europi i u inozemstvu postoji duga povijest kampanja dezinformiranja koje podupire Kremlj, što je EUvsDisinfo dobro dokumentirao. Na primjer, utvrđeno je da su proruski akteri promicali cjepivo Sputnik V u Latinskoj Americi te istodobno pokušavali umanjiti vrijednost drugih cjepiva.

    Ukratko, EU bi bio voljan koristiti cjepivo iz bilo kojeg dijela svijeta, ali ono mora zadovoljiti visoke europske standarde sigurnosti i djelotvornosti, koje je utvrdila Europska agencija za lijekove.

      Razlikujmo činjenice od laži i izmišljotina o COVID-u 19

      Pročitali ste nešto i niste sigurni je li to točno? Ovo su činjenice:

      Most scientists and policy makers agree that lockdowns save lives, but also that they are not a feasible long-term option to address the pandemic.

      The EU and all its Member States will always put people’s health and livelihoods first. Throughout the pandemic, most countries across Europe were forced to implement temporary lockdown measures to manage the high number of new cases. It is in everyone’s interest to keep the lockdowns as short as possible whenever they are implemented, but this is only possible if they have the desired effect: significantly reducing the number of new infections. Stopping the spread of the coronavirus also depends on how well people follow coronavirus guidelines, such as mask wearing in public and social distancing.

      Policy-makers and scientists are aware that lockdowns are costly and not a feasible long-term option as they disproportionately affect the poor, families with young children, and workers who cannot work from home. They place a heavy burden on the economy, and are detrimental to people’s mental health and well-being. Temporary lockdown measures are necessary in some situations to give health-care services enough time to get the situation under control and avoid the worst-case scenario.

      As the coronavirus spreads through contact with liquid droplets and longer-range transmission via aerosols, especially in conditions where ventilation is poor, limiting contact between people is the most reliable way to break infection chains. Allowing the coronavirus to continue spreading uncontrolled would eventually overwhelm the health-care services, which could lead to higher mortality rates.

        Be wary of people online claiming they have found a “miracle cure”

        Following medical advice from unfamiliar or unreliable sources could endanger your health. Remember that the vaccines authorized for use by the European Commission will appear on the dedicated webpage for Safe COVID-19 vaccines. The vaccines listed there were approved after a careful evaluation by the European Medicines Agency, which is currently also reviewing vaccines made by other pharmaceutical companies. You should be skeptical about anyone claiming that they have a coronavirus treatment that has not been approved by the European Medicine’s Agency or that has not been recommended to you by your national health authorities. If you would not trust it normally, do not trust it now!

        Think twice before sharing any information that you see on social media about treatments and be sure to crosscheck information on new developments with trusted sources. One such example is the discussion around Hydroxychloroquine (a drug used to prevent and treat malaria), which has received a lot of attention, despite evidence from controlled studies so far showing that the drug is ineffective against the coronavirus. Do not self-administer this drug or any other “miracle cure”. You can stay up to date on all the potential Covid-19 treatments and medicines on European Medicines Agency’s website.

        The coronavirus can only spread from one person to another through droplets that people sneeze, cough or exhale, not via mobile networks.

        A very common myth perpetuated online is that the roll-out of 5G networks is behind the coronavirus pandemic. This is false. Conspiracy theories incorrectly linking 5G and the coronavirus pandemic are conflating the two, possibly because they are both relatively new and invisible to the human eye. 5G is simply the next generation of mobile networks and, like the current 4G networks, cannot interact with a virus. 5G uses radio waves to connect different devices and is not a vector for the coronavirus, which only survives in liquid droplets. Even more damning evidence against this myth is that the coronavirus has spread around the world, while 5G networks have not yet been deployed everywhere. Many countries that do not have any 5G networks have had large coronavirus outbreaks. There is simply no correlation between the coronavirus and 5G networks.

        Protecting people is the top priority of the EU, which is why EU exposure limits follow the “better safe than sorry” approach. In fact, EU exposure limits for the general public, including for 5G, are 50 times lower than what (according the available scientific evidence) might have an impact on people’s health. All 5G installations have to meet these incredibly high standards before being allowed to operate. If there was no way to use 5G without endangering the health and wellbeing of people in Europe, the EU would not have recommended its use and Member States would have banned it.

        The EU has a coordinated plan for Europe's recovery, by supporting people and businesses while continuing to address health concerns.

        The EU is focusing its efforts on restarting economic activity and building a fairer, greener, more digital Europe. The Recovery Plan, with its overall budget of €1.8 trillion, will help Europe recover from the crisis and support multiple European sectors coming out of lockdown. This includes major programmes like NextGenerationEU, which will ensure that the recovery is sustainable, inclusive and fair for everyone – including those in rural areas and those who were hit hard by the crisis. The NextGenerationEU instrument, which was created with input of all Member States, will increase economic activity across the EU. Receiving funds will be conditional on enacting economic reforms, but without imposing austerity measures.

        The EU is also keen on ensuring that citizens can continue traveling in Europe without putting themselves at risk of catching the virus. Re-open EU, the web platform originally launched to help Europeans travel during the coronavirus pandemic, has been turned into a one-stop-shop for information about the state of health measures, restrictions and travel possibilities across the EU. The EU and the Member States are prioritising people’s safety and well-being.

        There is no conspiracy behind the global effort to stop the pandemic - scientists seek vaccines for all

        If a theory presents you with a very convenient scapegoat that you can blame for all our problems, you should think twice before trusting it. Generally, conspiracy theories are captivating because they present you with overly simplistic and straightforward answers to complex questions. They have predictable formats and focus on a clear and easily identifiable ‘enemy’. They follow formulaic, predictable blueprints that are replicated in various scenarios, only changing to focus on different actors. Do not let these overly simplistic and false solutions to this complex health crisis fool you.

        One such theory claims – with no credible evidence to support it - that Bill Gates is the creator of the coronavirus as a part of some nefarious scheme. This is obviously not true. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has a long history of fighting to eradicate dangerous diseases around the world, like polio. In order to overcome the coronavirus, the Foundation has donated $125 million towards the independent, collective international effort to develop and deploy coronavirus diagnostics, therapies, and vaccines. The foundation also actively contributed to and supported the Coronavirus Global Response pledging marathon initiated by the European Commission on 4 May, which registered €15,9 billion in pledges from donors to help fund the development and universal deployment of diagnosticstreatments and vaccines against the coronavirus. Of course, any coronavirus vaccine will have to go through rigorous clinical trials before being approved.

          The EU has some of the strongest data protection and privacy rules in the world. The coronavirus pandemic does not change that.

          Digital technologies can protect and save lives. For example, the voluntary use of coronavirus tracing and warning apps can play a key role in all phases of the crisis and, particularly during a resurgence of new cases, complement other measures like increased testing. Such apps can help stop the virus from spreading by breaking infection chains and alerting users who have come into close proximity with an infected person. All coronavirus contact-tracing apps must voluntarily, transparent, secure, work across borders, and fully respect people's privacy.

          In order to facilitate the proper functioning of contact tracing apps, the Commission is hosting an interoperability gateway: a digital infrastructure needed to ensure national app servers can communicate information between them. This solution, covering the vast majority of tracing apps launched in the EU, will support both business travelers and tourists travel safely through Europe while the pandemic is still ongoing.

            Facemasks help keep you healthy, are completely safe, and should be used and disposed of properly.

            We all want to protect ourselves from the coronavirus, and facemasks can help to keep us safe and healthy during this pandemic if used correctly. They can severely limit the spread of the coronavirus, especially in enclosed spaces. If you are infected you might not experience any symptoms, in which case a facemask can protect others.

            Masks are complemented by other preventive techniques, like washing hands and social distancing, and cannot on their own guarantee full protection. They need to be worn and removed correctly. The proper use of a facemask itself does not lead to conditions like hypoxia (oxygen deprivation) or hypercapnia (carbon dioxide poisoning). The EU ensures that masks distributed through EU support mechanisms are of sufficient quality through tests before delivery.

            The coronavirus can infect and develop complications for anyone, even if they are in a low-risk group.

            Every generation of Europeans has faced a big challenge or a threat – our generation’s challenge is the coronavirus. What makes the coronavirus such a threat is how infectious it is. Anyone can be infected and this can lead to severe complications, even among the otherwise young and healthy.

            The EU has responded by prioritising the protection of lives and livelihoods, working closely with Member States to coordinate and share information, as well as using every tool at its disposal to slow down the spread and to find solutions. We currently do not know how the pandemic will develop in the future, but we have to be prepared for any possibility.

            Both the youth and the elderly are at risk when ignoring official advice. Moreover, we still do not know what the long-term effects of the virus are. Scientific research is still on going and we simply do not know enough about the virus to assess how much damage it can do. What we do know is that anyone could suffer from it.

            Everyone has a role to play in fighting the virus. It includes washing your hands thoroughly, avoiding touching your face and respecting social distancing in public spaces, as well as isolating if you have the symptoms.

            The lockdown measures across Europe are temporary and do not signal the end of democracy or European values.

            Respecting social distancing and following COVID-19 guidelines saves lives and stems the spread of the coronavirus. These measures are based on the latest scientific evidence and data available to decision-makers in each Member State. National governments and the Commission are also aware of the mental and economic toll these lockdowns have on the population, and are committed to getting the virus under control and reopening the EU as quickly as possible.

            Fundamental European values such as the freedom of movement and expression are integral to the EU's model and way of life, and these areas are more important than ever in this time of crisis. Lockdown measures do not signal an end or compromise on these values, but are necessary to deal with the rapid increase in new cases of Covid-19 seen during the pandemic. Each time the number of new cases falls down to acceptable level, temporary restrictions are lifted and Europeans are be able to resume their normal movements. These measures are only implemented my Member States in response to extremely dire situations. The EU is committed to ensuring that these values are upheld across the Union throughout this difficult period and beyond.

            Further investigations are needed to confirm the origin of COVID-19 pandemic.

            It is more important than ever to work together in solidarity with countries across the globe to fight the coronavirus. Disinformation and baseless accusations over the origin of the coronavirus can easily damage vital international support networks and put lives at risk. The EU supports the global efforts to identify the origins of the pandemic, such as the World Health Organization (WHO) Global Study of Origins of Coronavirus.

            The COVID-19 disease is caused by a strain of coronavirus (which is itself a type of virus) called Sars-CoV-2, and was reported to the World Health Organisation on 31 December 2019 in Wuhan, China. Coronaviruses cause respiratory illnesses and can be transmitted from animals to humans. We do not know with absolute certainty where the virus originated. However, the WHO Global Study of Origins of Coronavirus states that it is possible to likely that COVID-19 originated as a result of a direct zoonotic spillover. On the other hand, based on the available evidence, a laboratory accident at the Wuhan Institute of Virology has been classified as extremely unlikely. Nevertheless, further investigations are needed to confirm the origins of COVID-19, without excluding any possibilities.

            Important and necessary questions must be asked about the reporting and handling of the outbreak, but baselessly blaming others for this disease will not make the current situation better – only together can Europe, and the world, overcome the coronavirus pandemic. Global health is a common responsibility for all. Every omission or delay in sharing public health information can have a worldwide adverse impact.

            While the EU works cooperatively and constructively with its neighbours, we will always disclose harmful disinformation and its sources.

            Disinformation hurts our ability to make good decisions by overwhelming you with conflicting information, confusing you and making you unsure. The consequences can be serious – it can even threaten people’s safety, damage trust in governments and media, undermining our global role. We are particularly vulnerable to disinformation in moments of stress – and some people are using the coronavirus pandemic to strike when we are at our most vulnerable.

            Analysts at EUvsDisinfo find that false information and claims are being actively spread around the world to spread confusion and mistrust around Europe’s response to the coronavirus. Foreign actors including third countries, in particular in Russia and China, have engaged in targeted influence operations and disinformation campaigns around the coronavirus in the EU, its neighbourhood and globally, seeking to undermine democratic debate and exacerbate social polarisation, and improve their own image in the coronavirus context. The best response is to call out these attempts, identify those responsible and tell the truth ourselves early and often. The European Commission, the European Parliament and the European External Action Service work to identify and raise awareness about the spread of disinformation on the virus.

            Viruses do not care about where you are from. They do not care about your ethnicity or which passport you hold.

            In different parts of the world, people are trying to blame the coronavirus on different groups – calling it the European virus, the Chinese virus, the British virus, or the American virus. The fact is that this is a virus that spreads from one infected person to another through droplets that people sneeze, cough or exhale, and is not carried by any particular population or group. If you read that migrants or specific ethnic groups are purposefully spreading the virus, be assured that there is no scientific basis to such claims. In fact, the coronavirus represents a global crisis that requires global solidarity.

            The EU supports Member States’ investments in public health

            The EU supports solid investment in public health and the EU fiscal rules have never required cuts in this area. In Europe, people and their health come first and public spending on healthcare has increased in most EU states over the past decade. It is a policy that has consistently been distinctive to the European Union across the world. The EU recently launched a plan to support countries through the crisis, adjusting rules so that countries can spend more on emergency services and focus on what matters most – protecting people.

            This is not new either – since the financial crash of 2008, the EU has put multiple financial initiatives in place to support all Member States – particularly in those most adversely affected by the crisis, such as Greece, Spain and Italy. Countries like Greece did not see their healthcare systems damaged by these reforms – on the contrary, the EU Stability Support Programme has helped reinforce universal healthcare coverage and a comprehensive healthcare system. As well as supporting small businesses, research and innovation and climate-related projects, the Investment Plan has helped finance a large number of projects in the health sector, such as developing new cancer treatments and expanding and modernising hospitals. The Commission also tabled the EU4Health programme to reinforce the EU’s actions against pandemics. The programme is expected to have a budget of €5.1 billion, which will provide funding for EU countries, health organisations and NGOs.

            The EU is taking care of the things it is responsible for so governments can stay focused on their priorities.

            The ability to pass national laws and take decisions to tackle the coronavirus rests entirely with Member States and some regions within Member States. The European Commission does not have a right to interfere in national legislation and decisions on subjects such as health. On the other hand, the EU can put together European policies and coordinate pan-European initiatives to tackle the crisis together with Member States. An example of this is that the decision to go into ‘lockdown’ and to close a country’s borders is made on a national level, whilst the mobilisation of over €100 million to find a vaccine, new treatments and diagnostic tests is made on an EU level from the EU research and innovation programme, Horizon 2020. This joined the Commission's current €15.9 billion pledge to the Coronavirus Global Response initiative, launched by President von der Leyen on 4 May.

            Razotkrijte botove

            Prijavljivanje dezinformacija i pogrešnih informacija platformama

            Lažne i obmanjujuće informacije o cjepivima protiv bolesti COVID-19 koje se šire internetom ugrožavaju našu sposobnost oporavka od pandemije. Zbog dezinformacija i pogrešnih informacija o cjepivima smanjuje se povjerenje ljudi u medicinu i zdravstvene djelatnike. Stoga je važno da svatko učini što može i da se upozna s činjenicama.

            Prijavljivanjem internetskog sadržaja za koji smatrate da je neistinit ili obmanjujući možete pomoći u suzbijanju širenja dezinformacija. Kako bi vam u tome pomogla, Svjetska zdravstvena organizacija izradila je internetsku stranicu na kojoj je objašnjeno kako prijaviti neistinit ili obmanjujući sadržaj na društvenim mrežama.

            Prijavljivanje dezinformacija i pogrešnih informacija

            Identifying conspiracy theories

            The coronavirus outbreak has been accompanied by waves of dangerous conspiracy theories, spreading mostly online. These theories present pernicious, far-fetched explanations on where the virus might have originated and on who is to blame for its spread. As part of the comprehensive approach to tackle the negative impact of conspiracy theories, the European Commission and UNESCO are publishing a set of accessible educational infographics with the aim to help citizens identify – and counter – conspiracy theories.

            Learn more

            Upozorenje na internetske prijevare

            Čuvajte se internetskih prijevara kad je riječ o proizvodima koji navodno liječe ili sprečavaju infekciju koronavirusom. Nepošteni trgovci mogu oglašavati ili pokušati prodavati proizvode kao što su zaštitne maske ili sredstva za dezinfekciju ruku koji navodno sprečavaju ili liječe infekciju, no ti proizvodi mogu biti lažni a vi prevareni. Ovdje možete pronaći savjete koji vam mogu pomoći da otkrijete i izbjegnete moguće prijevare.

            Komisija je 2. ožujka 2021. objavila godišnje izvješće o EU-ovu sustavu Safety Gate za brzo obavješćivanje o opasnim neprehrambenim proizvodima široke potrošnje, koji pomaže da se takvi proizvodi uklone s tržišta.

            Dokumenti o sustavu Safety Gate

            Resursi i alati na internetu

            Pogledajte internetske resurse i alate za učenike, učitelje i nastavnike tijekom pandemije bolesti COVID-19.

            Pročitajte našu objavu na Mediumu o 5 korisnih stvari koje treba znati o koronavirusu