2021-02-04

As an investigative team of journalists watched the pandemic unfold in early 2020, their plans for reporting in 15 European countries were scuttled. But they began to see patterns in covid-denialism that mimicked what they had seen with anti-vaxxers. They decided to expand their project to include investigative data journalism to map this new movement.

What a journey! It started when the Lithuanian-Maltese journalist Daiva Repečkaitė posted in an online group: “Hi, I'm looking for collaborators in Germany and Romania who are interested in the antivaxx movement”, a German-American journalist Eva von Schaper replied. That's how this cross-border project started.

When the team just initiated their project “Antivaxxers",  the first cases of a respiratory illness caused by a novel virus were surfacing. As they watched the pandemic unfold in early 2020, their plans for reporting in 15 European countries were scuttled. But they began to see patterns in covid-denialism that mimicked what they had seen with anti-vaxxers. They decided to expand their project to include investigative data journalism to map this new movement.

For their investigation the journalists talked to key experts, doctors, activists, and vaccine-hesitant parents. They also pored over transcripts of parliamentary sittings, government data, surveys, and official statistics.

In addition to numerous articles they are publishing in various languages, they are sharing these stories on The Inoculation Podcast

The Inoculation, a podcast where the team tells international stories on health, misinformation, vaccines, COVID-19, public policies, and more. Daiva and Eva are looking into the politics and values surrounding public health, starting from vaccination.

You can follow The Inoculation on Twitter at @TInoculation

Photo credit:  Ehimetalor Akhere Unuabona  via Unspash

Team members

Daiva Repečkaitė

Daiva Repečkaitė is a Lithuanian multimedia journalist covering health, inequalities, and environmental issues.

Eva von Schaper

Eva von Schaper is a German-American journalist covering health, science and the pharmaceutical industry. 

Mentor

Crina Boros

Crina Boros is a London-based, award-winning, freelance data-driven investigative reporter and an international journalism trainer.

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