Recent measles outbreaks in North America, including the most recent case of an unvaccinated Niagara woman contracting the disease, have spurred debate in recent days surrounding vaccine non-compliance and the anti-vaccine movement. A Western University expert in the area of “vaccine communication” is available to media for commentary.
Dr. Thomas Freeman is a family physician, a professor in the Department of Family Medicine at Western’s Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry and a past member of the National Advisory Committee on Immunizations. His research interests include vaccine adverse events and risk communication.
“There are major health consequences that come as a result of contracting diseases like measles that are far more troubling than the very rare, relatively mild adverse effects that we see as a result of vaccinations,” says Freeman. “This is why vaccine communication is so important. Physicians must understand how to inform their patients about the safety and efficacy of vaccines in a way that is respectful of their beliefs but also provides the proper information so that they can make a rational decision.”
Commentary reflects the perspective and scholarly interest of Western faculty members and is not an articulation of official university policy on issues being addressed.
MEDIA CONTACT: Crystal Mackay, Media Relations Officer, Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, Western University, t. 519.661.2111 ext. 80387, c. 519.777.1573, firstname.lastname@example.org