EDSA: To Vaccinate or Not to Vaccinate: It’s not a Question by EXPLORE Data Science Academy
Analysing social media sentiment towards vaccines
204 data scientists enrolled, 194 on the leaderboard
South Africa
2 July—11 October
Ends in 22 days

This is a private hackathon whose primary purpose is for the members of the EXPLORE Data Science Academy to apply what they have learnt. If you are part of EDSA contact your mentor for the secret code.

Work has already begun towards developing a COVID-19 vaccine. From measles to the common flu, vaccines have lowered the risk of illness and death, and have saved countless lives around the world. Unfortunately in some countries, the 'anti-vaxxer' movement has led to lower rates of vaccination and new outbreaks of old diseases.

Although it may be many months before we see COVID-19 vaccines available on a global scale, it is important to monitor public sentiment towards vaccinations now and especially in the future when COVID-19 vaccines are offered to the public. The anti-vaccination sentiment could pose a serious threat to the global efforts to get COVID-19 under control in the long term.

The objective of this challenge is to develop a machine learning model to assess if a Twitter post related to vaccinations is positive, neutral, or negative. This solution could help governments and other public health actors monitor public sentiment towards COVID-19 vaccinations and help improve public health policy, vaccine communication strategies, and vaccination programs across the world.

About EDSA (explore-datascience.net):

EDSA is an academy which teaches and uses data science to solve real world problems. Founded by three actuaries who discovered that their passion for pedagogy could address a fundamental skills shortage, EDSA has grown in leaps and bounds; going from a single campus within Cape Town in 2017, to three physical campuses across South Africa, as well as an ever-growing online presence.

In teaching aspects of data analysis and machine learning, EDSA aims to support and use local data platforms like Zindi; exposing students to a vibrant community seeking to make a difference with data, while enabling them to practice and apply their skills within real world scenarios.