Vaccines: Warriors and worriers

7.00pm to 8.30pm, Thursday 25 February

The Royal Institution of Great Britain GB United Kingdom W1S 4BS 21 Albemarle Street London

This event has already taken place

  • A vial of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine

    Credit: U.S. Secretary of Defense via wikimedia commons


Suggested donation £10

Event description

In early 2020, when coronavirus engulfed the globe, we dared not hope that vaccines would be produced and approved by the end of the year. The fastest any vaccine had previously been developed was four years, for mumps in the 1960s. But many people are unsure about the safety of this, and other vaccines, despite overwhelming clinical evidence of the millions of lives they save.

Join Marianna Spring, Zania Stamataki and Abigail Thorn (PhilosophyTube) to discuss how vaccines work, why people are sceptical despite the evidence, and how disinformation about vaccines spreads online. The discussion will be chaired by journalist Anjana Ahuja.

This event is organised in partnership with journalist Angela Saini and the 'Challenging Pseudoscience' group at the Royal Institution.

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About the speakers

Zania Stamataki is a senior lecturer and researcher in viral immunology at the University of Birmingham. She studies neutralising antibody responses to coronavirus infection and vaccination. Her team also studies immunity in liver infection, inflammation and cancer. 

Marianna Spring is the specialist disinformation and social media reporter for BBC News and World Service. Previously, she worked for BBC Newsnight and on the Guardian news desk.

Abigail Thorn (PhilosophyTube) is a British YouTuber that discusses philosophical topics, often through the lens of current events. She has amassed over 800k subscribers and has raised over £100,000 for charity.


The live stream will go live at 6.55pm, and the introduction will begin at 7.00pm. If you register but miss the live stream, the video will be available to you via the same link for up to a week after the event date.

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