Docs

STV Studios, BBC team for Hannah Fry doc about COVID vaccine refusers

Mathematician and BBC presenter Hannah Fry is fronting a new documentary for the pubcaster, Unvaccinated, that seeks to root out the reasons why so many people in the UK (and ...
July 8, 2022

Mathematician and BBC presenter Hannah Fry is fronting a new documentary for the pubcaster, Unvaccinated, that seeks to root out the reasons why so many people in the UK (and beyond) have refused to be vaccinated against COVID-19 despite the virus’ clear and present danger to public health.

Commissioned from STV Studios by BBC Factual, and slated to premiere on BBC Two and BBC iPlayer on July 20, the 60-minute doc special brings together seven unvaccinated individuals in a group setting, where they will unpack the opinions, beliefs, and fears that have led them to refuse to receive even a single dose of any COVID-19 vaccine. Fry (pictured) will then introduce them to leading experts in health, science, and statistics to confront them with the cold, hard facts of the pandemic crisis, and also explore how social media is used to spread misinformation about it.

At the conclusion of the encounter session, the participants will be asked whether they will now be willing to take the COVID vaccine, and prospective vaccines for new pandemics that scientists have said we can likely expect in the future.

“With COVID infections on the rise again, there couldn’t be a more important time to examine the reasons why so many adults are still not getting the vaccine,” said Tom Coveney, BBC commissioning editor, science. “It’s an issue that has torn families and workplaces apart, arguing over the science, the misinformation and the many different ways we’ve all been affected by the pandemic. It’s an explosive debate that goes to the heart of modern life and growing mistrust in the establishment.”

Craig Hunter, STV Studios’ creative director of factual, added: “The COVID vaccine is one of the most divisive health debates of recent years, and this documentary explores a range of viewpoints in an open and sensitive way. Moving beyond the often misrepresented debate, this program reveals why some people remain vaccine-hesitant and, equally, what advocates of the vaccine can learn from those who’ve rejected it.”

Unvaccinated was commissioned from STV by Jack Bootle, BBC head of commissioning for science and natural history. Craig Hunter and Jo Roe are executive producers, and Rob McCourt serves as producer and director.

About The Author
Andrew Jeffrey joined Realscreen in 2021 as its news editor. Here, he helps to oversee assignment, reporting and editing for Realscreen's daily newsletter. Prior to his work covering documentary and non-fiction film and TV, he worked as a reporter and associate producer for CBC Edmonton, and as a reporter for The Star Calgary, where he covered daily news on beats such as local and provincial politics, health care and harm reduction, sports and education. His work has appeared in other Canadian news outlets such as TVO, the Edmonton Journal and Avenue Magazine.

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