Medical expert available to comment on effective vaccine communication with patients

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,