Freedom Fear and Quest for Vaccine
Compulsory vaccination is a difficult policy issue. Should they be mandatory, in the interests of wiping out a pandemic?
Vaccination policy is the health policy a government adopts in relation to vaccination. Vaccination policies have been developed over approximately two centuries since the invention of vaccination, with the purpose of eradicating disease from, or creating a herd immunity for, the population the government aims to protect.
Compulsory vaccination is a difficult policy issue, requiring authorities to balance public health with individual liberty. Should they be mandatory, in the interests of wiping out a pandemic? Opposition to vaccines began with the first vaccinations, has not ceased, and probably never will – so how should the medical authorities approach the anti-vaccination movement?
Trust in vaccines and in health systems is an important element of public health programs that deliver lifesaving vaccines; a lack of trust can lead to vaccine refusal. Trust in vaccination and health care is an important indicator of government work and the effectiveness of social policy. How can governments earn the public’s trust?
Should the research and creation of a new vaccine be government-funded, and if so how should the costs be spread world-wide? Should a new vaccine be delivered first to major country-sponsors of the vaccine, and last to the poor countries? And within countries, who should receive the vaccine first?
Chair: Professor Devi Sridhar, Head of the Global Health Governance Programme, Usher Institute of Population Health Sciences and Informatics, Edinburgh Medical School, University of Edinburgh.
Panel member: Professor Rowland Kao, Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies and Roslin Institute, University of Edinburgh.
Panel Member: Dr Brian Deer, multi-award-winning investigative reporter, best known for inquiries into the drug industry, medicine, and social issues for The Sunday Times of London.