Aarhus Universitets segl

SHAPE Lunch Meeting: Marie Louise Tørring and Torben Esbo Agergaard

The CAVA-project: Comparing Adverse Vaccine Event Reporting – an interdisciplinary study of early 21st Century digital health citizenship in Denmark

Oplysninger om arrangementet


Tirsdag 18. april 2023,  kl. 12:30 - 14:00


AIAS (1630-301)


The CAVA-project asks the overall question: What is stimulated reporting of vaccine adverse events and how does it relate to 21st century digital health citizenship? Briefly, the idea of ‘stimulated reporting’ rests upon the assumption that reporting of adverse events may burst into self-oscillation when vaccinated subjects are prompted or triggered by feral vaccine risk communication in the media. A central working hypothesis to the CAVA-project is that adverse vaccine event reports are tied to digital health citizenship in the sense that every report is essentially made possible by digital health communication and surveillance technologies that sensitize and responsibilize citizens for the care of themselves and others.

We aim to explore the changing configurations and social meaning of health rights and responsibilities by identifying and comparing historical cases of stimulated reporting related to the MMR, H1N1, HPV og Covid-19 vaccination programs in Denmark. The project will focus on three contexts: 1) The role of “near-real time statistics” in the formation of pharmacovigilance and new hyper-responsive public health systems and practices. 2) The presumably old role of legacy media in the formation of health scares. 3) The novel role played by social media upon the schismogenetic formation of health identities that push people to increasingly side with either pro- or anti-vax attitudes.

In this presentation, we invite participant to discuss the usefulness of digital health citizenship as a theoretical framework for the project. And we welcome critique of our empirical approaches by openly asking: What are the potentials and challenges of studying stimulated reporting over time by combining data from health registries, legacy media archives, and social media platforms?

Mini biographies

MARIE LOUISE TØRRING is trained as an anthropologist and epidemiologist, and she holds a position as associate professor and research program director in the Department of Anthropology of Aarhus University. For the past decade she has conducted epidemiological and anthropological research on contemporary cancer transitions, focusing on the shaping of the Danish cancer control plans of the 2000s. She is coordinator of the master’s degree Program in the Anthropology of Health, and currently steers the interdisciplinary and SHAPE-funded research project CAVA: Comparing Adverse Vaccine Event Reporting – an interdisciplinary study of early 21st Century digital health citizenship in Denmark.

TORBEN ESBO AGERGAARD holds a BA-degree in math and a master’s degree in science studies. As a research assistant at the Centre for Science Studies, AU NAT, he has previously done research on the Danish HPV vaccine controversy in legacy media and on Facebook. Currently, he is working as a teaching assistant at the Centre for Science Studies and as the project manager on the CAVA-project where he is assisting the work of project development.

About the SHAPE Lunch Meetings

The purpose of these cross-disciplinary lunch meetings is to meet up across disciplines and faculties to exchange knowledge and discuss different research projects related to digitization and democracy. We plan to host yet another cross-disciplinary lunch meeting this semester, preferably in May - if you are interested in presenting your project at our next meeting, please feel free to reach out to us (kb@cc.au.dk). This lunch meeting (and the coming ones) will be in English.