COVID-19 Journalist Guidance: How to Report Accurately on COVID-19 Vaccines

The global toll of the COVID-19 pandemic is enormous. As at 27 October 2020 more than one million lives have been lost, more than 43 million people infected with the coronavirus, hundreds of millions out of work, and trillions of dollars of wealth gone – and the numbers keep growing. With evidence in many countries of new surges in infections the virus has by no means run its course, and hundreds of thousands more people are likely to be infected and could die.

While developing a safe, effective and affordable vaccine is a key step to ending the pandemic, prevention behaviour such as social distancing and wearing of masks remains of critical importance to stemming the tide of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. According to the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine’s vaccine pipeline tracker there are, as of 14 September, 243 COVID-19 vaccine candidates, in various stages of development.

This guideline provides terminology and the most recent scientific research and progress on COVID-19 vaccines to assist journalists reporting on the issue.

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