The COVID-19 pandemic has unleashed a flood of numbers that news consumers are left to try to wade through. Vaccine efficacy stats, coronavirus case counts, survey breakdowns of attitudes toward the vaccines. It’s a lot to keep straight. Plenty of people might find themselves wondering if they’re completely getting what these numbers are trying to say.

Ellen Peters is a decision psychologist at the University of Oregon. She studies how people understand and use numbers when they’re figuring out risks and making choices. She’s pulled four examples from the news to help readers gain some confidence around the kinds of statistics that come up in COVID-19 coverage.

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Senior Science + Technology Editor

Understanding vaccine effectiveness stats can help you weigh the risks of travel. AP Photo/Rick Bowmer

Numbers can trip you up during the pandemic – here are 4 tips to help you figure out tricky stats

Ellen Peters, University of Oregon

Understanding numbers in the news or social media can empower you to figure out risks and make good choices. Here's what to look out for to make sure you aren't misled by COVID-19 coverage.

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