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How Reuters is helping customers track the race for a COVID-19 vaccine

FILE PHOTO: Vials with a sticker reading, "COVID-19 / Coronavirus vaccine / Injection only" and a medical syringe are seen in front of a displayed Pfizer logo in this illustration taken October 31, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic//File Photo

As the global race to create vaccines against the novel coronavirus enters a critical stretch, Reuters dedication to speed, accuracy and innovation has put clients ahead when it comes to delivering crucial updates on the fight against COVID-19.

When news broke that the UK had become the first country to approve the Pfizer vaccine and that Moderna was hot on its heels having applied for regulator permission in the US and Europe, more than a thousand broadcast channels used Reuters footage to tell the story.

On the day coronavirus cases in the U.S. topped 200,000 a day, Reuters went inside a Chicago hospital to tell the story behind the numbers, showing how families were keeping in touch with severely sick relatives using tablet computers and Facetime in a piece that was widely used by media outlets worldwide.

Comprehensive text and video footage was bolstered by a Wider Image piece looking at how COVID-19 upended life as we know it in a matter of weeks, detailing the journey from the first cases in Wuhan to the rapid global spread through a series of striking images, showing the impact of the pandemic around the world.

In addition, a series of innovative Reuters graphics allows users to track the latest news on cases and vaccines progress around the world. Data on the outbreak from 240 countries and territories, including new cases and deaths, is updated daily to track the latest trends. Reuters ‘Tracking the vaccine race’ graphic makes sense of the most important information on the race for a vaccine and offers readers a comprehensive roundup of leading candidates, new technologies to watch and all the latest developments through graphics and clear visuals.

Reuters Data Visualization Developer Travis Hartman explains the process behind the new vaccine graphic: “I’d say the main challenge in getting the piece together was to refine what information was most important to surface from the massive amount out there on all the vaccines available.  The project went through many iterations before it came to its final presentation and has both an “at-a-glance” summary at the top and a sortable set of cards for each vaccine at the bottom, which hopefully provides our many types of consumers with the information that they need.”

Reuters Medical News Editor, Christine Soares says “The visual theme of a “Scorecard” and little individual “baseball cards” was a great solution to the editorial challenge of tracking what is perceived as a “race,” but without us appearing to pick winners and losers, or even appear to be calling them that. Rather, the idea is to define some of the important criteria to think about with regard to the vaccines and then just show in a neutral way which “boxes” a specific vaccine “checks,” as well as where it stands objectively in its progress toward reaching the market. Then readers can judge which aspects are most meaningful to them.”

Get access to all the latest news on the race for a vaccine on Reuters.com and Reuters Connect.

Media Contact:

tumshie.smillie@thomsonreuters.com

[Reuters PR Blog Post]

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