Video Library

The sociology of the anti-vaccine movement

Video, Dec 02 2020

Biochemistry Focus Webinar Series

70 minutes

In this webinar, we heard from Professor James Cherry who discussed a longer-term approach for physicians and other health care workers to introduce epidemiological education in school and college, as well as Helen Bedford, who discussed factors affecting vaccine uptake including anti vaccine sentiment along with interventions to improve uptake.

Scepticism and misinformation relating to vaccines is not new and the benefits of all current 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. In the UK, uptake of childhood vaccines is high overall but there is still considerable variation between and within areas. Social scientists have presented the problem of the anti-vaccine movement quite well but mechanisms for addressing it are far from clear. 

Invited speakers:

  • Professor James Cherry, Professor of Pediatrics at the David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California.
  • Helen Bedford, Professor of Children’s Health Population in the Policy and Practice Research and Teaching Department at the UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health.

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