In recognition of the role the media plays in informing the public about Covid-19, a free online course on the pandemic’s vaccines is on offer to help journalists report on the subject with confidence.

The course is offered by Internews, providing tools journalists need to cover what organisation referred to as the most important news story of 2021.

Titled Let’s Talk Vaccinesthe course is interactive e-learning divided in five parts. “Each of these handles a distinct facet of the story: vaccine science, access to the vaccine, the logistics of rollout. The course also addresses how journalists can build vaccine confidence through their reporting. A final module guides journalists through the resources and sources to trust and use as they continue to follow this story.

“COVID-19 dropped into journalists’ lives and demanded their urgent attention. At a certain point it was clear there was a vaccine on the horizon – an equally challenging story – but there was time to be thoughtful and to proactively map out the elements of the story,” says Ida Jooste, Internews’ Senior Health Media Advisor. “This is how Let’s Talk Vaccines came about.”

The course is designed to provide journalists with helpful information on navigating vaccine terminology, tips on managing looming deadlines and fast-tracking research, and exercises to help test course knowledge and improve skills, said Internews.

Internews cites Professor Salim Abdool Karim, Columbia Mailman School of Public Health epidemiologist and director of the Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA), saying that journalists played a pivotal role in the global vaccine roll-out. “It is a humanitarian imperative to the media and beyond, that all populations are inoculated if we are to control and hopefully eradicate this deadly infectious disease,” emphasises Karim.

Click here to register and complete the course.