Episode 3

(published 12/04/2020) 

In Data we Trust: Getting Facts to the People.

“Investing in communications research is important. We need to understand who is hesitant, why they’re hesitant, whom do they trust as messengers, and what is it they really want to hear that would convince them it’s worth taking the vaccine.”


While the world watches and waits for a COVID vaccine to be reviewed and approved, Dr. Rob Breiman and Ken Berta, otherwise known as Spike and Surge, sit down with Dr. Walt Orenstein, Associate Director of the Emory Vaccine Center and Professor of Medicine, Pediatrics, Public Health and Epidemiology at Emory University and former Director of the U.S. National Immunization Program. They talk about what we should be looking for in the vaccine trial data and, perhaps more importantly, how we can persuade people to trust it.

Special Guests



  • 03:00 — The focus for the first round of vaccination. Where will you be in line?

  • 09:48 — A vaccine that stays in the vial is 0% effective.

  • 10:40 — Papers not press releases – what should we be looking for in the vaccine trial data?

  • 14:16 — Communication is key to combatting vaccine hesitancy. 

  • 16:49 — A one-size-fits-all approach to messaging simply won’t work.

  • 18:30 — The COVID-19 vaccine shows the incredible technological advance in vaccine development. We aren’t cutting corners, we’re just getting better at what we do.

  • 23:05 — What are the challenges in trying to immunize the whole world, and how can we combat them?

  • 31:12 — Global vaccination will benefit poorer countries, and richer ones too.

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