The sociology of the anti-vaccine movement

Time: 17:00 – 18:00

Scepticism and misinformation relating to vaccines is not new. The benefits of all our present routinely used vaccines outweigh any risks. In relatively recent times there has been a ‘war on science’ and, relating to this, is the present anti-vaccine movement. Today, social media is a major contributor to vaccine misinformation. A recent Gallup poll noted that public support for vaccines today is significantly lower than it was in 2001. Social scientists have presented the problem of the anti-vaccine movement quite well; but mechanisms for addressing it are far from clear.

Professor James Cherry from UCLA will speak at this webinar, discussing a longer-term approach for physicians and other health care workers, to introduce epidemiological education in school as well as in college.

As a distinguished research Professor of Pediatrics at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Professor Cherry has been involved in research related to vaccine preventable diseases for over 50 years. Following his infectious diseases fellowship training, Professor Cherry established one of the first formal pediatric infectious diseases fellowship programs in the world of which numerous trainees have gone on to be leaders in pediatric infectious diseases in the US and in other countries. He is also the senior editor of Feigin and Cherry’s Textbook of Pediatric Infectious Diseases which is now in its 8th edition.

Our second invited speaker is Helen Bedford, Professor of Children’s Health Population, Policy and Practice Research and Teaching Department at the UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health. With a nursing and health visiting background, Helen joined UCL in 1986 to work on The Peckham Report a national study of the determinants of childhood vaccine uptake; vaccine acceptance has continued to be her main focus.

In the UK, uptake of childhood vaccines is high overall but there is considerable variation between and within areas. In this presentation, Helen will discuss factors affecting vaccine uptake including anti vaccine sentiment along with interventions to improve uptake. In particular, the issue of mandatory vaccination will be addressed.

This webinar will be chaired by Professor Rosalind Smyth, Director of the UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health.

Invited speakers:

– Professor James Cherry, UCLA
– Helen Bedford, UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health


Dec 02 2020


5:00 pm - 6:00 pm


Biochemical Society


Biochemical Society
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