Individuals and parents have become increasingly wary about vaccines and confidence in them has dropped to an all-time low. During this crisis of trust, vaccination and infectious disease scientists and academics are struggling to reach parents and reassure them that vaccines are safe and effective.
Katy Peters, a nurse and authority on immunisations and travel health, has taken on the task of gathering vaccination experts to share the latest research with parents and health professionals in a free online Global Vaccination Summit starting on 14th October.
Katy Peters; “I am deeply concerned about the lack of quality information available to parents and health professionals about vaccinations, add that to the sensationalism of the anti-vaccination movement, and we’re looking at a very serious situation for our communities.
“Parents have lost trust and become understandably hesitant about vaccines. Bombarded by celebrity opinions, emotive social media feeds and clickable news stories, they’re seeing the message of a vocal few, not the latest, factual data,” Katy continued.
In the Global Vaccination Summit, Katy interviews a selection of the top minds on vaccination to gather their views, explore the research and provide better information to parents and health professionals.
One of the main takeaways from the interviews was that this distrust in vaccines stems from a disconnect between scientists and parents, plus a media focus on a few unfortunate, adverse events instead of the successful majority.
As parents look for information online, they see a stream of misinformation which causes further confusion, amplifies fear and increases vaccination hesitancy.
“Parents and patients don’t know what to believe. They’re confused and anxious. With one side dominating the conversation about vaccines, people have questions. And, although the vaccine community is passionate, we’ve been silent. We need to join the conversation parents are having,” Katy Peters advises.
An emerging theme from the interviews obtained for the Global Vaccination Summit is that parents and patients need transparent, open communication from the vaccine community to make an informed choice for their families.
At the Global Vaccination Summit, scientists and experts will share their findings without judgement and answer questions so parents feel safe, secure and confident about vaccines.
Katy adds, “I am pro-vaccination for myself and my family, but I’m also pro-choice. And I’m not attached to the final decision parents make for their families about vaccinations. My priority is that parents make their decision based on solid, grounded information, that the responsibility is shared and that the result is positive for all involved.”
The Global Vaccination Summit starts on Monday 14th October and is free, online and open to parents, interested citizens and health professionals to attend. Katy interviews many of the world’s leading minds on vaccinations to include: Dr. Robert Steffen from the University of Zurich’s Department of Epidemiology and Prevention of Infectious Diseases, Dr George Kassianos from the National Immunisation Lead Royal College of General Practitioners, Dr. Katie Attwell from the University of Western Australia, Dr. Kathryn Edwards of the Vanderbilt Vaccine Research Program, Journalist and Penguin Random House author of, “The Informed Parent: A Science-Based Resource for Your Child’s First Four Years,” Tara Haelle, and James Moore, the Director of The Exeter Travel Clinic, the Travel Health Consultancy, and a specialist in travel and expedition medicine.