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COVID-19 Vaccine Media Hub

A global resource for journalists and fact-checkers, providing a hub for the latest scientific information, expert opinion and evidence-based research on COVID-19 vaccines.

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How does a virus become a variant? Is it a bad thing?

Several variants have emerged since the outbreak of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 disease, Professor Walter Jaoko explains more on how this happens.

How is the Novavax vaccine technology different from that of vaccines previously authorized in the US?

SciLine reaches out to our network of scientific experts and poses commonly asked questions about newsworthy topics. Reporters can use these responses in news stories, with attribution to the expert.

How does the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine fit into the US and the global strategy to combat disease?

SciLine reaches out to our network of scientific experts and poses commonly asked questions about newsworthy topics. Reporters can use these responses in news stories, with attribution to the expert.

Are there any particular benefits or drawbacks of the Novavax vaccine compared to other COVID vaccines?

SciLine reaches out to our network of scientific experts and poses commonly asked questions about newsworthy topics. Reporters can use these responses in news stories, with attribution to the expert.

Vaccine Safety Net

The Vaccine Safety Net is a global network of websites, established by the World Health Organization, that provides reliable information on vaccine safety.

Does flying increase the risk of blood clots in people who have been vaccinated?

Flying does not increase the risk of blood clots in people who have been vaccinated. Though the risk of blood clots increases in people who are flying, this is not related to COVID-19 vaccines and these types of blood clots are different than the blood clots that have occurred in very few cases of people who have received the AstraZeneca or Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

「新冠病毒感染13-24天後BNT162b2疫苗第一劑效力研究」之專家意見

今(2021)年6月7日台北時間23:00,國際期刊《美國醫學會雜誌期刊》(The Journal of the American Medical Association,JAMA)最新刊登了BNT疫苗的相對有效性(comparative effectiveness)研究報告。該研究測試在真實世界中的人,施打第一劑BNT疫苗的有效性。該研究使用351,897人施打完第一劑BNT疫苗後的追蹤資料來評估,發現施打後第13-24天相對於施打後第1-12天的確診率,有效地降低。該結果也與BNT疫苗第三期隨機臨床試驗結果相符。新興科技媒體中心特邀專家回應。

Oxford AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine and idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), a condition that affects the blood

Expert reaction to study looking at the Oxford AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine and idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), a condition that affects the blood, as published in Nature Medicine*

How is Midazolam being used for COVID-19? Is it dangerous?

Midazolam is a sedative primarily given to patients before a surgery or medical procedure, to help with seizures, and to critically ill patients in hospital settings. The medication has not been linked to premature deaths in patients that were purposely mislabeled as deaths caused by COVID-19.

Vaccine Insights: Gain mastery over misinformation

A flexible online learning course, designed and run by First Draft, will help you stay one step ahead of those spreading conspiracies and false claims about vaccines. The online workshops are available in eight languages, as well as English, on a special YouTube channel. | عربي | Português | 漢語 | Français | Deutsch | हिन्दी | Italiano | Español |

How are COVID-19 vaccines developed?

There are various potential approaches to developing a Covid-19 vaccine, as Professor Walter Jaoko explains.

What is known about the safety and efficacy of using different technologies for the first and second doses of COVID vaccines?

SciLine reaches out to our network of scientific experts and poses commonly asked questions about newsworthy topics. Reporters can use these responses in news stories, with attribution to the expert.

What is known about the safety and efficacy of using different technologies for initial vaccination and subsequent booster shots?

SciLine reaches out to our network of scientific experts and poses commonly asked questions about newsworthy topics. Reporters can use these responses in news stories, with attribution to the expert.

Efficacy of Pfizer vaccine against COVID-19 variants including Delta

A lab study from the UK has looked at blood neutralising antibody levels from people vaccinated with one or two doses of the Pfizer vaccine, against different variants of SARS-CoV-2 including the B.1.617.2 delta (Indian) variant, as published in the Lancet*

What do we know about the toxicity of spike proteins made from COVID-19 vaccines?

The spike proteins from mRNA vaccines are not known to harm our bodies. Vaccines go through very rigorous standards set by the U.S. FDA to meet safety and efficacy criteria. Thousands of people underwent clinical trials over several months to understand if there were any side effects or risks associated with the vaccines. The vaccines are still being monitored for any safety concerns or patterns that could risk human well-being.  So far, there is no scientific evidence available that suggests that spike proteins created in our bodies from the COVID-19 vaccines are toxic or damaging organs of our body, as is being claimed on some social platforms.

Antibodies found that enhance SARS-CoV-2 infection - what does this mean for vaccines?

Research from Japan has found that infection with SARS-CoV-2 can generate both neutralizing antibodies that protect against infection and infection-enhancing antibodies. The research analysed antibodies derived from COVID-19 patients.

Reporting the Science of Covid-19: Free Online Course

A free self-paced online course introducing journalists to credible COVID-19 news sources and empowering them to spot the news and report to their audiences. The course is intended for journalists who report on the coronavirus but have little or no experience in science journalism.

Do COVID-19 vaccines cause antibody-dependent enhancement?

Do COVID vaccines cause antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE)? ADE occurs when a virus or vaccine causes the production of antibodies that can make a viral infection worse.

What’s the future of vaccines linked to rare clotting disorders?

The AstraZeneca vaccine—or Covishield as it is also known—is the cornerstone of the global scheme aimed at vaccinating billions in the developing world. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is expected to provide hundreds of millions of doses to this effort as well. But both have been tarred with reports of serious but very rare cases of blood clots. So what are the implications for vaccine efforts in the developing world?

AZ疫苗與血栓事件專家意見

自2021年3月,歐洲地區出現接種AZ的ChAdOx1-S疫苗後發生血栓的事件,數個歐洲國家暫停接種AZ疫苗。根據歐洲藥品管理局(European Medicines Agency, EMA)的聲明,截至3月10日,接種的500萬人通報有30例血栓事件。 研究人員收集丹麥和挪威所有自2021年2月9日至2021年3月11日首次接受ChAdOx1-S疫苗接種的18-65歲人群,並以丹麥(2016-18)和挪威(2018-19)的總人口數做比較。結果顯示,接種ChAdOx1-S疫苗者的靜脈血栓事件(包括腦靜脈血栓形成)發生率增加,而血小板減少/凝血功能障礙和出血的發生率略有增加。

物體表面傳播與環境消毒研究專家意見

今年(2021)1月29日,澳洲醫藥記者Dyani Lewis撰寫一篇刊載在《自然》(Nature)期刊的新聞〈COVID-19 rarely spreads through surfaces. So why are we still deep cleaning?〉,提到新冠病毒雖然在不同材質的物體表面有不同的停留時間,但藉由被污染的物體表面傳播(fomite transmission)的風險都很低[1],報導中引述一篇由美國羅格斯大學微生物學戈德曼(Emanuel Goldman)教授發表在《刺胳針傳染病》(Lancet Infectious Diseases)的評論文章指出,幾乎沒有證據支持SARS-CoV-2會透過一個受污染的表面從一個人傳染到另一個人,認為觸碰物質表面的傳播形式(Surface transmission)風險相對較低[2],報導中也討論到現行各地區環境消毒是否有效阻隔病毒傳播。 另外,美國疾病控制與預防中心(CDC)也在今年(2021)4月5日更新了SARS-CoV-2傳播形式與暴露風險的科學摘要[3],說明主要感染的方式為「暴露在帶有新冠病毒的飛沫(respiratory droplets)」,但指引中仍特別強調現行所有的建議措施都能有效預防新冠肺炎的傳播,包括:標準的洗手流程、環境清潔與消毒[4][5]。

How are vaccines and masks different when it comes to protecting against COVID-19?

Masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE) like gloves, gowns, and face shields provide protection by preventing the coronavirus from coming in physical contact with us and entering our bodies.  Vaccines, on the other hand, build our immune system to fight the virus should it somehow enter our bodies. With external and internal protections, we can improve our chances of being safe from the impact of coronavirus.

What do the efficacy rates of COVID-19 vaccines mean, and do the efficacy rates impact a population’s herd immunity?

Vaccine efficacy rates tell us how well the new COVID-19 vaccines prevent people from COVID-19 infection in clinical trials. They do not tell us the exact vaccine effectiveness rates that can be expected once the vaccines are used for the public.

Data on blood clots associated with the AstraZeneca vaccine

The Winton Centre for Risk and Evidence Communication at the University of Cambridge in the UK has published updated graphics on the risks and benefits of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine and specific blood clots, in different age groups, and with different virus exposure levels, and also by gender.

How do antibodies work against diseases?

Most COVID-19 vaccines, just like natural infections, produce substantial antibodies in people who have received them. Antibodies help the immune system fight infections by latching onto antigens and marking them for destruction.

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About the Hub

The COVID-19 Vaccine Media Hub is a dedicated resource for journalists and fact checkers wanting access to evidence-based information on COVID-19 vaccines. The Hub brings together multiple sources of evidence-based information on vaccines, including explainers, expert commentary, the latest research and online press briefings, with material soon to be available in multiple languages.

If you’re a fact checker or a journalist, we’re here to help you find the information and experts you need for your story.

If you’re a member of the public and would like help finding information on COVID-19 vaccines, feel free to browse the site. You might also like to explore other evidence- based vaccine information sites such as the WHO's COVID-19 vaccine page.

This project is a global effort with contributions from Science Media Centres in Australia, the UK, Germany and New Zealand plus technology not-for-profit, Meedan. Other contributors are based in North America, Africa, Latin America and the Asia Pacific region.

The COVID-19 Vaccine Media Hub is supported by the Google News Initiative.

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Australian Science Media Centre

The Australian Science Media Centre works to enhance the media’s coverage of science, for the benefit of the public. We provide the evidence and experts when science hits the headlines.

Health Desk

Information equity is a public health issue. Health Desk provides rapid responses to health questions from fact-checkers and journalists. We host content about COVID-19 vaccine created by Science Media Centres around the world.

Science Media Center Germany

A non-profit and editorially independent institution that supports journalists in reporting on science-related topics.

UK Science Media Centre

The SMC’s mission is to improve the public understanding of science by ensuring that the news media has easy access to the very best experts and evidence when science hits the headlines.

Science Media Centre NZ

When science meets the headlines, the SMCNZ is there to promote accurate, evidence-based reporting on science, health and technology by helping the media work more closely with the scientific community.

SciLine

SciLine is a philanthropically funded, editorially independent, free service, whose primary mission is to connect U.S. journalists to knowledgeable, articulate scientific experts and science-based resources.

Science Media Centre of Canada

The Science Media Centre of Canada is an independent non-profit that helps journalists and science writers cover science, medical and technology stories that impact the lives of Canadians.

Africa Science Media Centre

AfriSMC was established by ScienceAfrica and Partners in September 2020 in Nairobi, Kenya, to improve the credibility of media reporting of emerging scientific issues, such as the Coronavirus pandemic.

Science Media Center Taiwan

SMC Taiwan was established in 2017, as one of the international SMCs. SMC Taiwan is the only SMC in Asia connecting journalists and scientists to provide evidence-based information through the media. Please contact us if you require any assistance with reporting COVID-19. 關於疫情若需要任何進一步的專家意見,以協助民眾判讀各式科學資訊,都歡迎隨時聯繫我們。 SMC Taiwan是國際科學媒體中心的一員,唯一的亞洲科學家媒體媒合平台,會持續提供專家意見與相關研究討論,給各位媒體朋友們參考。