We are in the midst of the worst measles epidemic since it was declared to be eradicated in 2000. There is greater vaccine hesitancy and refusal among parents, namely due to a perception that the risk of vaccine preventable diseases is low and that there are significant risks associated with vaccines. Despite data to support the safety and efficacy of vaccines, there remains a small but vocal community of activists opposed to mandatory childhood vaccination. Dr. Jennifer Needle addresses how these misperceptions came to be, the impact they are having on public health today, and address two key ethical questions: 1) do parents have a moral duty to vaccinate their children and 2) what is the appropriate response from the medical community regarding parents who refuse to vaccinate their children?
Speaker: Jennifer Needle, MD, MPH | Assistant Professor, Center for Bioethics, University of Minnesota