Public Health Professor Chris Bullen saw first-hand the potential reach of The Conversation, a not-for-profit publisher that teams academics with journalists for research-driven news articles and commentary.
“New Covid variants have changed the game, and vaccines will not be enough,” the article said, arguing for a global strategy of “maximum suppression”.
The piece was republished by more than 28 other media outlets around the world, including The Guardian, Australia’s ABC and the South China Morning Post. It has received more than 1.1 million views so far.
The article arose from Professor Bullen’s position as co-chair of the public health task force of the Lancet Commission on Covid-19, and responded to concerns that vaccination could be perceived by governments and the public as a magic bullet. The experts in the task force stressed the need to maintain public health measures such as distancing and masks.
“We anticipated the need for the piece and wrote it in a matter of days,” says Professor Bullen. “The Conversation editors agreed and pushed it through to publication quickly.”