Despite the enormous success of vaccines in lowering incidences of many infectious diseases, U.S. parents increasingly are refusing to vaccinate their children. Parents who reject vaccines are most likely to be white and college educated with access to healthcare, making their decision more perplexing.
Drawing on findings from her award-winning book, sociologist Jennifer Reich examines how parents make decisions about their children’s health and specifically vaccines. Using in-depth interviews and ethnographic observations collected over a decade, the University of Colorado Denver professor looks at how parents who opt out of vaccines weigh risk and benefit, evaluate scientific claims, strategize to promote their children’s health without vaccines, and reframe this public health intervention as a series of individual choices they are uniquely qualified to make. She concludes with a discussion of implications for community health.
A Q&A and book signing follow the presentation.
Admission is free.