Health

Women In Science: 8 COVID-19 Experts You Should Follow On Social Media

From fighting COVID-19 myths to explaining vaccine effectiveness, these experts are helping separate fact from conspiracy.

A comic style illustration of a coronavirus researcher

(Illustration: iStock)

Public health officials have repeatedly warned that a dual pandemic of disease and misinformation has played out over the last year. COVID-19 has made it clear the types of challenges medical information faces in the age of social media.

Which is why I was glad to find neuroscientist Samantha Yammine, who has helped me understand everything COVID-related over the past year, while debunking the many myths out there. To her growing Instagram followers, she’s known as Science Sam, and she has used her platform to make science more accessible and easy to understand.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Samantha Yammine, PhD (@science.sam)

It’s important to highlight women working hard in the fight against COVID-19 misinformation: Recent studies have also highlighted how the pandemic has worsened gender inequality and disproportionately impacted women’s careers, and male scientists and doctors tend to get the most attention on Twitter. With that in mind, here are eight doctors, scientists, nurses and researchers who are women, that you should follow now.

@anna.blakneyAstraZeneca blood clots? ##teamhalo ##learnontiktok♬ SugarCrash! – ElyOtto

Dr. Anna Blakney

She’s become a sensation on TikTok, using the platform to explain how vaccines work – “we inject RNA into your muscle, then your cells make a viral protein” – and to debunk myths about the vaccine’s risks and effectiveness.

Amie Archibald-Varley and Sara Fung

The creators and hosts of The Gritty Nurse podcast, on which they discuss the pandemic, health equity and women’s health rights. The two nurses examine tough topics, including highly publicized cases in which patients died in hospital care and the importance of paid sick days for front line workers during COVID-19.

Vivian Stamatopoulos

A sharp critic of the Ontario provincial government’s handling of the COVID-19 crisis in long-term care. In endless tweets and media interviews, she has offered solutions on how to mitigate the crisis by hiring full-time personal support workers and ending for-profit nursing homes.

Lisa Richardson

An internist who works with the University Health Network and University of Toronto’s department of medicine, she has been using her Twitter feed to share the experience of delivering COVID-19 vaccinations to remote First Nations communities. She’s also shared that the health ministry has a vaccine consent form available in Ojibwe.

Dr. Amy Tan

A palliative care specialist and anti-racism activist in British Columbia. She doesn’t shy away from asking the important questions related to COVID-19 and speaking out about racism and misogyny she’s experienced in the healthcare sector.

Unambiguous Science

This account is run by Sabina Vohra-Miller who has a degree in pharmacology and is using it, in her own words, to “break science into easy to understand posts.” This cheat sheet she created about the vaccines approved by Health Canada is a very helpful reference.

Maria Sundaram

An infectious disease epidemiologist who has been studying respiratory virus epidemiology and influenza vaccines since 2011. Her pinned Twitter thread is a great resource about how to talk to loved ones who are opposed to getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

Dr. Jennifer Kwan

A family doctor in Burlington, Ont., she has been helping the public break down and understand complex COVID-19 data since the start of the pandemic. The graphs she posts on Twitter track publicly available data on testing, hospitalizations, ICU admissions, vaccinations and more in Ontario.

Eugenia Duodu Addy

The CEO of Vision of Science, a Toronto-based charity that aims to help the educational development of youth in STEM. Teen scientists have taken over the Instagram page, creating informative videos to show how dirty face masks can get and the importance of using a clean one every day.