Broad-scale immunisation has saved millions of lives worldwide, making it the most effective form of disease prevention we have. Meanwhile, new vaccines and delivery methods continue to be discovered. Why, then, are vaccination rates at dangerously low levels in parts of Australia and overseas? What are the debates about the risks of vaccines and what are the risks to our health if vaccination rates keep falling? How do we make a difference to public opinion – and behaviour – when the science is not enough?
Presented in partnership with Science & Technology Australia, and funded by Inspiring Australia in the Australian Government Department of Industry.
Upulie Divisekera is a molecular biologist, science communicator and writer based in Melbourne. Over her research career, Upulie has worked in cancer research, developmental biology and is currently involved with nanotechnology research.
Anne Kelso is director of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Influenza, based at the new Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity in Melbourne. She also holds an honorary professorial appointment at the University of Melbourne where she contributes to a research program working on immunity to influenza.
David Tscharke received a bachelor of science (Hons) and PhD from the University of Adelaide studying viral pathogenesis and immunology. In 1997 he began postdoctoral work in the same field, first at the University of Oxford and Imperial College in the UK and then at the US National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD, USA.
Rachael Dunlop is a campaigner for science-based medicine in Australia, with a special interest in refuting the claims of the anti-vaccination movement. In her day job, she works as a medical researcher with an interest in motor neurone disease, in particular the role of blue green algae in triggering ALS/MND.