With the World Health Organization listing vaccine hesitancy as one of the Top 10 threats to global health this year, Self magazine has launched an in-depth coverage package called “Vaccines Save Lives.” And while it includes the kind of articles and advice you might expect on the topic, the project also includes an extension that will help others write about the same topic.
Partnering with the American Academy of Pediatrics, Self has launched a stock art photo gallery available for anyone to download via Flickr or the AAP website and use for free under Creative Commons licensing. The magazine says that, unlike most of the options available on major stock art services, the images are medically accurate, inclusive and lacking in hyperbolic visuals about scary needles.
“The stock photography commonly used in stories about vaccines are often medically inaccurate in a range of ways, from showing the wrong syringes to showing shots being administered incorrectly,” writes Self executive editor Casey Gueren. “In addition to that, you typically see a lot of crying babies, anxious-looking patients, and close-up shots of oversized needles. While it’s no secret that getting a shot isn’t usually a fun experience, imagery that’s frightening and inaccurate only further perpetuates the idea that vaccines are just scary, painful, and something both parents and their children dread.”
While mainstream stock art options around immunization have gotten notably better in recent years in terms of dialing back the histrionics, you can still find quite a few photos with terrified children and ominous angles. And almost all, as Gueren notes, are inaccurate in terms of showing how a vaccine is administered.
Self’s photo collection, shot by photographer Heather Hazzan on location at primary care provider One Medical and featuring the office’s real doctors, shows each step of the vaccination process, along with a range of patients reflecting a diversity of ages and ethnicities.
You can read more about Self’s “Vaccines Save Lives” content” package on the magazine’s website. Below are more examples from the stock art collection.