2023 Social Media Awards

Thanking all those around the world who used social media to help make sense of the pandemic

Nominee Profile
  • Job title/position Molecular Virologist
  • Organization Monash University
Dr. Vinod Balasubramaniam is molecular virologist and a senior lecturer from Jeffrey Cheah School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Monash University Malaysia. He was previously a virologist at the Icahn School of Medicine, Mount Sinai Hospital New York, specifically working on the previous Zika virus pandemic, publishing various landmark papers on its pathogenesis. The pandemic changed the course of lives for many, with the SARS CoV-2 being a novel pathogen, in earlier days we were never ready for it and thanks to vaccines we are now looking at light at the end of the tunnel. As we know, vaccines have been one of the biggest success stories of modern medicine. In the history of medical sciences, rarely has a vaccine been developed in less than five years. The vaccine against SARS-CoV2 was the fastest ever vaccine to be developed within one year of the outbreak. This posed a lot of questions regarding the safety and efficacy of the vaccine and understandably there was much resistance during the early days. With us fighting both the pandemic and 'infodemic'/misinformation in the worldwide media, Dr. Vinod took upon himself the challenge of fighting the endless myths and misinformation both in Malaysia and worldwide bridging the information between scientific community and public. Over the course of the past 3 years, He was involved extensively in world media, quelling all the infodemic regarding COVID19, making sure the public understands the pandemic and our fight against it, especially on vaccine advocacy. Some of the statistics include (verified by Monash University Media team): -mentioned more than 750 times in worldwide media (only 2021-2022 data), expected more than 1000 mentions if 2020 is taken into account. -Quoted/interviewed in majority of Tier 1 media in the world including Medical News Today, Full Facts (UK), Cosmos (Australia), Australian Science Media Centre, MSN News, Yahoo News, ABC News, Daily Mail (UK), Australian Doctor Group, BFM (Malaysia), The Star (Malaysia), NST (Malaysia), Bloomberg (US), Daily China, Newsweek, VNExpress (Vietnam), Channel News Asia (Singapore) and South China Morning Post to name a few. • Main ‘go-tos’ for tier 1 media titles • Listed infectious diseases expert in Australian Science Media Centre. • Top performing article published in Monash Lens. The news had 87.9 million reach. • Combined media value of more than RM3.5 million. • Invited for the launch of 'Sputnik V' vaccine for COVID19 as part of the roundtable discussion panel. • Certified to have contributed towards educating the public by Australian Science Media Centre by its CEO, Susannah Eliott

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