EXPERTS praised The Sun’s front page vaccine story last night — calling our clear-minded graphic illustrating the very minor risks “brilliant”.
Fiona Fox, chief executive of the Science Media Centre, said: “When I first heard that the Oxford/AZ vaccine might be linked to fatal blood clots my heart sank.
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“The Science Media Centre was set up 20 years ago after a media frenzy on the MMR jab damaged public trust in a safe and effective vaccine – trust which took over a decade to return.
“I need not have worried. Ever since the reports emerged The Sun’s brilliant science and health team have steered clear of any fearmongering.
“Waking up to a statistic splashed on the front page of The Sun was glorious when the press are always accused of misunderstanding statistics.
“Even more glorious because the number, 0.000095%, summarises the absolute risk of dying from the jab.
“The paper was not downplaying the risks of these ‘Killer Clots’ but was putting them into context by also spelling out the benefits of getting a vaccine which scientists agree is incredibly effective and has already saved thousands of lives.
“The public need for accurate and accessible science reporting has never been greater. Yesterday The Sun gave us a great example of just that.”
We also won praise from the New Scientist deputy news editor Jacob Aron who tweeted: “The Sun, making a sensible point using absolute (not relative) risk figures, on its front page? This is science journalism Christmas.”
Owen Meredith, chief executive of the Professional Publishers Association called our splash a “great example of UK press doing a brilliant job of communicating the importance of getting your jab”.
Meanwhile, Times2 deputy editor Alice-Azania Jarvis described it as the “perfect combination of cheeky tabloid humour and public health messaging”.
Thinktank director Matt Kilcoyne praised Britain’s best paper for “doing its duty to reveal truth and explain real risk in simple terms”.