News ID: 313739
Published: 0807 GMT June 09, 2021

Denmark trial uses virtual reality game to boost COVID vaccinations

Denmark trial uses virtual reality game to boost COVID vaccinations
Participants take part in an experiment, where researchers try to use virtual reality goggles to teach people about how virus infections spread, conducted in a park, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Denmark researchers are using virtual reality to encourage more COVID-19 vaccinations, through a game of maneuvering through a virus-infected crowd in a city square.

In an experiment by the University of Copenhagen, participants wear goggles to play an elderly person crossing the square while avoiding red-clothed bypassers infected with COVID-19. Vaccinated characters dress in blue, Reuters reported.

"It was fun, definitely. It felt like you were there," said Adam, a participant who got infected in the game he played in a Copenhagen park.

Adam already had decided to get a COVID-19 shot before this, he said.

"We know from similar studies that after people went through a virtual reality experience like this, their vaccination intention increases. We have observed this with COVID already," said Robert Bohm, professor of psychology at the University of Copenhagen, citing a prior online study by the researchers.

The idea can be used at doctor's offices, he suggested.

The World Health Organization estimates that immunization prevents 4 million to 5 million deaths every year.

In February-March, more than a quarter of European Union adults said they would refuse a COVID-19 shot, a survey by the EU agency Eurofound showed.



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