Vaccines are a commonly held to be a cornerstone of global public heath, preventing sickness at enormous scale and even eliminating or near-eliminating deadly or debilitating diseases. What, then, leads many people to reject or doubt the safety of a medical procedure that many easily accept?
This talk explores these issues by looking at two large-scale fluctuations in vaccine uptake. Looking at both the Nigerian polio vaccine boycott in 2003 and recent concerns over the safety of the HPV vaccine, both scenarios highlight the complexity of drivers behind different vaccine positionalities.
Dan is a second year PhD student in digital and medical anthropology studying HPV vaccination in the Republic of Ireland. His research explores the reconfiguration of knowledge, expertise and power through complex infoscapes that create the social and material life of HPV. Engaging with groups representing a spectrum of attitudes about and experiences of HPV vaccination, he is interested in the information practises and complex local and national dynamics that underpin the drop and recovery of HPV vaccine uptake across Ireland since 2015. Prior to his PhD, he gained a distinction in his MSc in Digital Anthropology at University College London and worked with the Extreme Citizen Science group as a research assistant. He has a professional background in data analytics and architecture and an undergraduate degree in Theology from Oxford University Regent’s Park College. His wider research interests focus on the gender, sexuality, politics, religion and the philosophy of science and technology.
Safety & Comfort
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