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COE researcher helps fight COVID-19 vaccine misinformation in new handbook

Doug Lombardi Headshot

An international team of experts has published The COVID-19 Vaccine Communication Handbook in a collaborative effort to improve communication and fight misinformation related to COVID-19 vaccines. The initiative was spearheaded by the University of Bristol and brought together researchers from around the world including COE Associate Professor Doug Lombardi, who’s a lead co-author on the publication.

As COVID-19 vaccines roll out, the handbook comes at a critical time. The goal is to provide accessible, detailed, and accurate information on COVID-19 vaccination to medical professionals, researchers, parents, students, and teachers—in short, anyone seeking additional information on COVID-19 vaccination. Importantly, the handbook addresses how to effectively communicate with diverse audiences regarding vaccines and how to identify and fight misinformation about COVID-19 vaccination.

“Misinformation has contributed to a false sense of balance, where pro- and anti-vaccination positions are being presented as two equal sides in an ongoing scientific debate,” Dr. Lombardi, told the University of Bristol in a press release.

 “In reality, the scientific consensus has endorsed the effectiveness of mask wearing, social distancing, and widespread administration of COVID-19 vaccines. The COVID-19 Communications Handbook is practical guide for helping people to learn the scientific facts about COVID-19 vaccines and protect themselves against the rampant spread of misinformation."

Overall, The COVID-19 Vaccine Communication Handbook aims to provide the facts about COVID-19 vaccination, stressing the importance of the role vaccines play in maintaining healthy populations and the efficacy and safety of vaccine development and delivery.

Dr. Lombardi is an associate professor in the Department of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology. Dr. Lombardi’s research focus includes scientific thinking and reasoning.