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Give It Your Best Shot: Reaching the Vaccine-Hesitant Young

Event Date:

October 14, 2021 | 1:00 PM EDT
Hong Kong has been successful at fighting COVID-19. Image by PBS NewsHour. Hong Kong, 2020.

In this two-part series, viewers are given an inside look at the heart-pounding race for a...

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Free virtual event. Give it your best shot: reaching the vaccine-hesitant young.

Nearly 25 percent of young adults are hesitant about the COVID-19 vaccination, putting them at risk for severe disease.

  • How can public health officials reach adolescents and young adults?
  • What messages in social media and elsewhere resonate with them?
  • How are journalists reaching younger audiences?

For this online event, the Pulitzer Center and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health convene journalists from the CNN/BBC documentary Race for the Vaccine and public health experts to discuss opportunities and pitfalls in this pandemic communication challenge.

Speakers include:

  • Medical journalist Caleb Hellerman, director of Race for the Vaccine.
  • Award-winning filmmaker Janet Tobias, executive producer of Race for the Vaccine.
  • Johns Hopkins experts:
    • Rupali Limaye, director of Behavioral and Implementation Science, International Vaccine Access Center
    • Nick Moran, associate director of Audience Development, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health  

The speakers also will share examples of successful communication to young people from news articles, documentaries, and social media. Aneri Pattani and Quiana Lewis, public health graduate students with backgrounds in journalism or adolescent health, will lead the post-discussion Q&A.

The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health is part of the Pulitzer Center’s Campus Consortium network. The Global Health Reporting Center and Wingspan Productions produced CNN/BBC’s Race for the Vaccine in association with HHMI Tangled Bank Studios, which was also a scientific adviser for the documentary. This film, which followed leading scientists developing the COVID vaccine during the pandemic, also was supported by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.


About the speakers:

Caleb Hellerman is a medical journalist and documentary filmmaker. Since 2015, he has covered science for PBS NewsHour, where he co-developed the Leading Edge series with correspondent Miles O'Brien, and helped to produce films for PBS’ NOVA and PBS’ Frontline. Hellerman was supervising producer of the CNN Medical Unit, where he directed and oversaw the weekly medical program. He was director of the CNN/BBC documentary Race for the Vaccine.

Janet Tobias is an Emmy Award-winning filmmaker. Tobias started her film and television career at CBS' 60 Minutes as Diane Sawyer's associate producer. After working at the networks for a little over a decade, she moved to PBS, where she created and executive produced the Emmy Award-winning PBS program Life 360. Tobias made her theatrical debut in 2012 with the documentary feature No Place On Earth, which debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival and was released by Magnolia Pictures in the U.S. and Senator in Europe. She was executive producer of the CNN/BBC documentary Race for the Vaccine.

Rupali J. Limaye, Ph.D., MPH, MA, serves as a full-time faculty member at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, in the Departments of International Health, Epidemiology, and Health, Behavior and Society. Widely seen as an expert in vaccine behavior and decision-making, including vaccine hesitancy and acceptance, she serves as the director of Behavioral and Implementation Science at the International Vaccine Access Center, as well as the associate director for Behavioral Research at the Institute for Vaccine Safety. 

Nick Moran manages social media and digital marketing for Global Health NOW, and also works as the digital media manager at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, where he oversees certain digital communications and marketing initiatives. He has served as a multi-platform content writer for the school’s website as well as Hopkins Bloomberg Public Health Magazine. Moran received a bachelor’s in English literature and Russian history from the University of Miami.


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