A new mobile game has been created in collaboration with the World Health Organisation to raise COVID-19 vaccine awareness.
Called Antidote COVID-19, its tagline "I am the Shield" is representative of a desire to increase awareness of coronavirus vaccination and other preventative measures.
Developed by Psyon Games alongside the UN's World Health Organization WHO, the Vaccine Alliance GAVI, and UNICEF Finland, it's available for free on iOS and Android.
"Despite the fact that vaccination rates are on the rise globally, there are also alarming signs of vaccine related passivity especially among the youth," says Psyon Games CEO Olli Rundgren. "It doesn't seem to be a matter of active resistance but rather a belief that getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is somehow unnecessary. However the reality is that we need everybody on board to put a stop to this pandemic and to return to normal."
The game is a tower defence title that has you building a protective maze and improving your cell defences against an incoming horde of virus enemies, gradually increasing your research points to develop a vaccine. Extra in-game data gives information on coronavirus and preventative methods.
"Globally, including in countries where COVID-19 vaccines are widely available, misinformation is hindering vaccine acceptance and broader public health efforts," says Andy Pattison, Team Lead, Digital Channels at the World Health Organization.
"Games like the Antidote COVID-19 can help people digest complex scientific information about the virus while building up their resistance to misinformation on COVID-19 protective measures like masks and vaccines in engaging ways, in the palms of their hands."
He adds: "The game and the campaign are designed in a way to help people digest complex scientific information and build resistance against misinformation on COVID-19 vaccines and masks in an engaging way from the palm of their hand. It also aligns with WHO's strategic objectives to reach people where they are, through channels they enjoy."