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Connect on Coronavirus: public engagement resources

Discover coronavirus public engagement resources from the BSI

Here you will find new resources from the British Society for Immunology to engage and inform the public about the immunology of coronavirus. Our knowledge of COVID-19 and vaccination is evolving and all materials are accurate at the time of publishing.


A guide to vaccinations for COVID-19 

Free, easy to read guide on vaccinations for COVID-19 for a public audience. Answers common questions and provides up-to-date information on the current approved COVID-19 vaccinations in the UK.


COVID-19 vaccination & viral variants

New infographic explaining how viral variant evade immunity and the importance of booster vaccinations for COVID-19. 


COVID-19 vaccination in pregnancy 

Informative infographic explaining the evidence around why COVID-19 vaccination is safe and effective during pregnancy.


COVID-19 immunity: Infection compared with vaccination 

Recently updated! Infographic explaining the similarities and differences in immunity against COVID-19 gained through infection with SARS-CoV-2 compared with vaccination. In collaboration with the UK Coronavirus Immunology Consortium.


COVID-19 testing explained

Recently updated! Informative infographics explaining the different types of COVID-19 tests, how they work and what they can tell us.


COVID-19 vaccine Q&A videos 

Informative videos asking public COVID-19 vaccine questions to our immunology expert scientists, Dr Megan MacLeod, Prof Sheena Cruickshank, Dr Nigel Francis, Dr Donald Palmer, Dr Ane Ogbe, Dr Louisa James, Dr Matt Taylor, Dr Anne Corcoran, Dr Bnar Talabani, Dr Dammy Pinheiro and Dr Ryan Thwaites.


COVID-19 immunology Q&A with UK-CIC 

Video with UK-CIC researcher, Prof Alex Richter, asnwering public questions about how the immune system interacts with COVID-19.


Immune response after COVID-19 vaccination 

Infographic explaining the way your immune system responds to COVID-19 vaccination. In collaboration with the UK Coronavirus Immunology Consortium.


COVID-19 vaccines & younger adults 

Short video with our early career researchers answering common questions that younger people may have about the COVID-19 vaccine.


COVID-19 vaccine Q&A: fertility, pregnancy & breastfeeding 

Engaging videos with Dr Viki Male, expert in reproduction and pregnancy immunology, taking public questions.


How have vaccines for COVID-19 been developed so fast? 

Informative infographic explaining how scientists were able to develop vaccines for COVID-19 at a much faster pace during this emergency.


Types of vaccines for COVID-19

Discover our new infographics about how different types of vaccines for COVID-19 work, including the Moderna and Pfizer BioNTech mRNA vaccines and the University of Oxford/AstraZeneca viral vector vaccine.


Why do we need multiple doses of a vaccine? 

A short accessible animation to explain why we need multiple doses of a vaccine and how immune memory is boosted by a second dose.


Immune memory and the coronavirus

A three-part animated series on the human immune system and how immune memories form in response to infections like coronavirus, developed in partnership with the Centre for Inflammation Research at the University of Edinburgh. 


What's in a vaccine? 

Engaging infographic explaining the different ingredients found in vaccines. 


COVID-19, immunity and vaccines 

Infographic and video explaining how vaccines generate long-term immunity and how an effective COVID-19 vaccine might work.


Colour In Coronavirus

Beautiful drawings based on microscope and computer models of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Add colour to these drawings to make the virus striking so it will be spotted by the immune system. 


For our members and wider research community

Discover our new campaign 'Vaccine engagement starts at home' and join us is being positive ambassadors for COVID-19 vaccination. Find out how we can all be positive role models for vaccination within our family and friendship networks and wider communities – great engagement starts at home!

Below you will also find a variety of other coronavirus public engagement resources for all ages and abilities. If you have any recommendations for more great engaging tools please contact our Public Engagement Manager, Erika Aquino, or tag us @britsocimm. ​

Public engagement resources from BSI members

  • Dr Haywood-Small, Senior Lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University, worked with CLL Support Association to create an informative video about how COVID-19 affects patients with blood cancer and latest research about COVID-19 vaccines and cancer patients. Watch the YouTube video here
  • Dr Nigel Francis, from Swansea University, has created a series of accessible videos on YouTube about the immunology of COVID-19 vaccines. Watch the short videos here to learn more.
  • Lois Mason, from the University of Glasgow, has created an interactive animation about vaccines and the immune system. Watch here to understand how vaccination saves lives.
  • Dr Daniel Patten, from the University of Birmingham, and Dr Craig Russell, from Aston University, have written an insightful blog tackling common concerns about vaccines for COVID-19, sorting fact from fiction.
  • Professor Daniel Davis featured on a COVID-19 expert panel live Q&A on The Cosmic Shambles Network YouTube channel, hosted by comedian and broadcaster, Robin Ince. You can watch again as experts answered questions sent in from the audience. 
  • Professor Sheena Cruickshank featured on the second COVID-19 expert panel live Q&A on The Cosmic Shambles Network YouTube channel and you can catch up with the show here
  • ​​​Dayana Hristova has set-up up a fun and informative science education YouTube channel Rhymes & Scribbles. Watch 'Our Guardian Immunity' for a fun and easy to understand explanation of immunity.

For younger audiences (up to 11 years)

  • My Hero is You, How kids can fight COVID-19!​ - a free storybook for children on COVID-19 from the World Health Organisation (WHO). This book has been developed to explain how children can protect themselves, their families and friends from coronavirus and how to manage difficult emotions when confronted with a new and rapidly changing reality. (6-11 years)
  • Coronavirus: A Book for Children is a free digital book for primary school aged children illustrated by Gruffalo illustrator Axel Scheffler, from children's publisher Nosy Crow. (5-9 years)
  • Investigate the coronavirus pandemic with this free child-led learning resource from The Economist Education Foundation.
  • Just for Kids: A Comic Exploring the New Coronavirus from the USA National Public Radio (NPR). Available in English, Spanish and Chinese.
  • This storybook from psychologist Manuela Molina is an introduction to coronavirus designed to support and reassure young children during a time of confusion and uncertainty. Available in multiple languages. Up to 7 years.
  • Science communicator James Soper has created this resource pack for teachers covering key coronavirus facts without any jargon or technical language - also great for parents/carers at who are currently homeschooling.
  • Lifeology Coronavirus Centre
  • This interactive video from LET'S GO LIVE with Maddie and Greg is a fun introduction to germs. Find out how germs get around and what's in our blood to keep us protected from them.
  • Viruses and you - a short video introducing viruses and how they work, from Dr. Joe Grove at UCL. (4-11 years)
  • How to talk about coronavirus - a guide from the Child Mind Institute.
  • All About Coronavirus is a beautifully illustrated and easy to read digital book from biomedicial researchers Dr. Sonia Aguera-Gonzalez and Prof. Adrian Lison.
  • Coco Virus is a series of illustrated stories that explain the coronavirus situation to children, available in nine languages. Created by Paul and Marguerite de Livron they aim to help parents reduce the impact of the situation on the development of their children. 

For a range of audiences

  • World Health Organisation:
    • Myth-busting infographics
    • Explainer videos - general advice for the public
    • Get the facts via WhatsApp - sign up for WHO Health Alerts
    • OpenWHO is an interactive, web-based, knowledge-transfer platform offering online courses to improve the response to health emergencies. Discover learning resources for health professionals, decision-makers and the public for the outbreak of COVID-19 in many languages.
  • The UKRI have created a Coronavirus: the science explained website containing a series of short articles with the evidence and the facts about the virus, the disease, the epidemic, and its control. The information is updated as new discoveries are made.
  • The Physiological Society have created an excellent and comprehensive information hub covering a wide range of coronavirus health topics.
  • The Australian and New Zealand Society for Immunology have a new coronavirus series for non-scientific audiences, including a session hosted by the BSI President, Arne Akbar, on Monday 01 June at 08:00 BST.
  • London School of Health and Tropical Medicine
    • A great podcast series focusing on the science behind outbreaks and how we respond to them
    • Short course hosted by FutureLearn: COVID-19: Tackling the Novel Coronavirus
    • An Introduction to Coronavirus - a course for young people who want to get an in-depth understanding of the COVID-19 pandemic. Designed and built by scientists at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and ARCTEC this course will help you learn about the virus, the science behind the global response, and the active research that will help us in controlling the disease. 
  • Stop the Spread is an interactive public health information website, founded by a group of student doctors, programmers, and scientists from Cambridge University.
  • Great blog on biosafety from LifeologyKeep viruses OUT by learning how scientists keep them IN the lab.
  • What is a coronavirus? How long will the pandemic last? Roger Highfield, Science Director of the Science Museum Group, rounds up the things we know and the things we don’t in this comprehensive Q&A.
  • What happens when SARS-CoV-2 infects a human and what should we all do? Learn more about the effects of Coronavirus on the human body with this explainer video from online educators Kurzgesagt.
  • How does Coronavirus spread so quickly? Learn about exponential growth in the context of an epidemic with this short video from mathematician, Dr. Tom Crawford.
  • Are you a fan of Star Wars? Immunology Wars, an educational resource which explains the basics of the immune system through Star War movies, have made a short video about COVID-19.
  • Laboratoons.comJesús Gil-Pulido from the Spanish Society for Immunology have created this great comic, available in Spanish and English, explaining how the immune system fights against SARS-CoV-2. 
  • Dr Lucy Thorne, a Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Towers lab at UCL, has produced a guide for all our non scientists - COVID-19: What are the big questions and what have we learnt?
  • Scientific American magazine has produced a A Visual Guide to the SARS-CoV-2 Coronavirus with graphics to explain what scientists know about the inner workings of the pathogen that has infected the world.  
  • The University of Oxford have created a great video to explain how they are working quickly and safely to develop a vaccine against COVID-19. Watch the 'How to make a vaccine in record time' video on YouTube.
  • The Vox YouTube channel has evidence-based explanations of why vaccine side effects are actually a good thing and how mRNA vaccines work.
  • The National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) commissioned the Theatre of Debate to co-produce the Covid and Me Monologues in partnership with Leeds University. The short videos show how people from underserved communities have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and to underline the importance of COVID-19 research in developing treatments and vaccines for all.

Coronavirus trackers

  • Coronavirus status checker has been developed to help the NHS coordinate it's response and build up additional data on the COVID-19 outbreak. It is open to anyone who thinks they may be displaying potential coronavirus symptoms, no matter how mild.
  • COVID-19 Symptom Tracker from the Department of Twin Research & Genetic Epidemiology at King's College London. Set-up to track the disease in real-time, the aim of the app is to help slow the outbreak. The app is available for both TwinsUK members and the general public.

More technical resources

  • The Coronavirus Tech Handbook from The London College of Political Technologists is a crowd-sourced library for technologists, civic organisations, public and private institutions, researchers, and specialists of all kinds working on responses to the pandemic. It is a rapidly evolving resource with thousands of expert contributors.
  • For those interested in vaccine research and development, check out this treatment and prevention infographic from SynBioBeta and Leaps by Bayer.​​