Announcement: Annie Lab joins WHO’s vaccine safety information network
ANNIE's fact-checking project is the first website to be included in Hong Kong
In November 2023, Annie Lab became a member of the Vaccine Safety Net (VSN) established by the World Health Organization.
The VSN is a global network of websites that provides quality information on vaccine safety. It consists of a diverse group of member institutions that are located in various countries around the world.
Annie Lab received WHO's invitation in mid-October and was granted a membership the following month. In its assessment, the United Nations agency said it was impressed by Annie Lab's "strong focus on public health" and its "commitment to fact-checking."
Annie Lab is the first member to be included in Hong Kong. Other members include the National Immunization Programme under the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention as well as the Institute for Vaccine Safety at Johns Hopkins University's School of Public Health.
"This accolade acknowledges Annie Lab's commitment to providing reliable, science-based information about vaccines," said Ruby Yang, the interim director of the Journalism and Media Studies Centre (JMSC) at the University of Hong Kong, where Annie Lab operates. "[It is a] remarkable achievement," she added.
Annie Lab is a student-driven, fact-checking newsroom on campus. Established in 2019 by JMSC and an educational, not-for-profit organization, ANNIE (Asian Network of News & Information Educators), Annie Lab investigates a wide range of topics.
Since the early stage of the COVID-19 pandemic, its student reporters and faculty editors have looked into various misleading claims and inaccurate news reports about vaccine safety.
Annie Lab is also a verified signatory of the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN). It is committed to political non-partisanship, fairness, accuracy, transparency, and professional rigour required by IFCN.