Investigating the Vaccine Resistance

Nov 30th, 10:00 – 16:00 EET

Online seminar

Language: English, with a translation to Russian

Vaccine resistance has become a major challenge in the fight against Covid-19 worldwide, not the least in the Baltic countries and Russia. Disinformation about the safety and efficacy of the vaccines incites the resistance. The result is many needless deaths.

The situation makes the demand for investigative journalism even more apparent. This seminar will provide you with tips and tools, inspiration and knowledge to help you make the evidence-based journalism the public need.


November 30th


Welcome address

Nils Hanson

programme director

10:10 - 11:10

The Vaccine Warriors

The Swedish journalists infiltrated the anti-vaccine movement in Scandinavia and the USA before the pandemic broke out. By going undercover for 1,5 years, they could tell a story about the anti-vaxxers that had never been told before. The documentary serial reveals who the most influential persons in this movement are, how their hidden motivations look like and which secret methods they use to convince parents to risk their kids’ lives by not vaccinating them.
The team will share their experience and answer questions such as how it was to go undercover for such a long time, the pros and cons of an undercover operation and how the reactions were when they finally disclosed themselves.
The lecture will also provide you with some handy research advice and undercover tricks.

Malin Olofsson and Johanna Torshall Svensson

Swedish Television (SVT)


11:10 - 11:30

Coffee break

11:30 - 12:30

The Vaccine Warriors, cont.

Malin Olofsson and Johanna Torshall Svensson

Swedish Television (SVT)

12:30 - 13:30

Lunch break

13:30 - 14:30

The disinformation

The COVID-19 infodemic, the overabundance of information (including false or misleading) proved to be a significant issue when it comes to preventing unnecessary deaths from the virus.
Digital engagement spaces, powered by attention-driven algorithms, provide fertile ground for sowing confusion and misbeliefs about the virus which we then observe not only in social media comments, but also in physical environments – dinner tables, shops, hospitals, and city squares.
Evidence shows that false and misleading facts about the virus, facemasks and vaccination are used and abused by individuals seeking financial, political objectives or just enjoying their influence.
How to identify such activities, individuals behind them, their goals and tactics? What can we learn from COVID-19 disinformation campaigns so far?

Nika Aleksejeva


14:30 - 15:00

Coffee break

15:00 - 16:00

The Lessons learned

What means of communication did the Latvian government adopt to encourage the public to book an appointment at a vaccination site and persuade the vaccine-sceptics? Lessons learned and the future of vaccine communication with real-life examples from the past eleven months.

More effective science communication by the media will be discussed and its role in helping the government achieve high vaccination levels. How to talk about side effects? Was the focus on herd immunity ill-sighted? How to translate vaccine effectiveness numbers into simple language?


Nikita Trojanskis

National Health Service of Latvia

Apply here!