Principles and guidelines for reporting on Covid-19 vaccines

Here are ten useful principles for anyone reporting on Covid-19 vaccines, from communications experts new to this topic to experienced journalists.

10 Principles for reporting on Covid-19 vaccines

The following ten principles have been gathered from respected media organisations around the world and Wellcome’s own experience in vaccines. They are designed to support anyone new to this topic, but can also act as a timely reminder to those closer to it and can sit safely alongside existing industry codes of practice and policies.

Vaccines are still huge news and the agenda and conversation will continue to evolve, from a focus on vaccine development, to the global vaccination rollout. Each new development and stage of this journey brings new challenges and prompt new questions, and the role of communicators and writers in helping the public understand and navigate this highly complex subject will continue to be critical if we are to successfully vaccinate the world's population.

1. Manage expectations 

2. Remember vaccination is a social norm 

3. Understand genuine concerns 

4. Beware the implications of 'false balance' 

5. Avoid triggering fear or shame 

6. Make the science accessible and relatable 

7. Be sensitive to vested interests 

8. Verify with experts when reporting data 

9. Be clear about what is not known 

10. Consider imagery 

More resources 

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