With lockdowns and restrictions increasing across the country and cases on the rise as we head into winter, you'd be forgiven for feeling the gloom.
But there is a light in the dark. 💡
Scientists across the world are working hard on a COVID-19 vaccine. 🔬
And a group of these top scientists and clinicians have joined forces with TikTok to tell their incredible stories, showing the public what they are up to as the global community seeks to develop a vaccine. Meet #TeamHalo.
From the UK, to South Africa, India, Brazil, the US and beyond, scientists all over the world will be posting video updates on TikTok, to show the world the progress being made. 👩🏾🔬👨🏼🔬👩🏻🔬
Tune in to #TeamHalo for a behind the scenes look! Scientists and researchers will be sharing their educational stories in their own unique ways across TikTok, making the complexities of their day jobs accessible to us all.
This team of public health heroes will be answering all kinds of questions from the public, from what steps go into building a vaccine to how they tests them for safety - helping you stay in the know.
We are delighted that #TeamHalo are coming to TikTok and we can't wait to see what they have in store for us! 😇
Matthew Harris, Head of CSR and TikTok for Good, Europe said, “At a time when doctors and scientists around the world are working tirelessly to inform the public about the dangers of COVID-19 and their progress towards a vaccine, we welcome the use of #TeamHalo as a way to share content on the subject through TikTok. TikTok allows for positive and creative expression and can help these everyday heroes educate and reach people in an engaging way while also helping our community stay safe and informed during these challenging times.”
Talking about the new initiative, let's meet some of the #TeamHalo team...
Dr. Anna Blakney, a bioengineer at the frontline of COVID-19 vaccine development at Imperial College in London, explains what RNA is, how it differs to DNA and how important it is in the fight against COVID-19.
Speaking about #TeamHalo, she said; “We are pioneering a new type of vaccine against COVID-19 in human clinical trials, and I'm excited to share some of the incredible science and people involved in my work. I'm used to spending time pipetting samples and analysing data. TikTok is a new frontier for me but I'm enthusiastic about demystifying our work and making it accessible to the world.”
In South Africa, Dr. Vicky Lynne Baillie, Ph.D (Wits) is a senior researcher at the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Analytics (VIDA) researcher unit, part of WITS University. She's saying hello from sunny SA to give us an update on her vaccine progress...
Speaking about the project, our other experts have said..
Melissa Fleming, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications, said; “Rampant misinformation has undermined public trust in vaccines. Team Halo is about reclaiming that trust. These are incredible people doing exciting science as part of a global collaboration. We should be celebrating them helping us get to the end of this awful pandemic.”
Heidi Larson, Founder of the Vaccine Confidence Project, and an expert in building trust in vaccines, said; "Creating confidence in the vaccine requires building empathy and trust with people who may have concerns over the safety of the vaccine and the speed at which it has been developed. Team Halo allows scientists to explain the latest cutting-edge science that will lead us out of this pandemic, while showing them to be normal, caring human beings like the rest of us.”
Dr Shiv Pillai, Professor of Medicine and Health Sciences & Technology at Harvard Medical School, said; “Science is a universal endeavour. We hear a lot about the efforts of individual countries to find a vaccine, but the reality is that this has always been a global effort. Whether it’s the international teams working in any given laboratory or the collaboration across borders since the first days of this crisis, we have been trying to stop this virus together.”
We're committed to keeping our community safe and informed during these challenging times. Over the past few months, we've introduced several initiatives as part of our efforts to tackle misinformation related to COVID-19 as part of our mission to empower our community with a safe and positive in-app environment and experience.
You can read more about TikTok's global COVID-19 relief efforts here.