Assistant Professor Ubaka Ogbogu Participates in Public Health Forum on Vaccines

Should vaccines be mandatory to protect public health?

Law Communications - 19 April 2016

On April 12 University of Alberta Faculty of Law Assistant Professor Ubaka Ogbogu - who also teaches and researches in the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences - participated in a public health forum on vaccines alongside Dr. David Evans, a virologist and the Vice-Dean (Research) for the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry.

The objective of the forum - "To Get Shot or Not: A Public Talk on Vaccines" - hosted by the Public Science Institute, was to inform the public about the basic science behind vaccines to help facilitate informed health care decisions. Professor Ogbogu and Vice-Dean Evans discussed how vaccines work, answered frequently asked questions about vaccines, and considered policy options for vaccination coverage. They also remarked on the need for the medical community to do a better job of communicating science to the public to help counter the uninformed and often inaccurate messages about science and health care that come from influential celebrities.

Professor Ogbogu argued that vaccinations should be mandatory to protect public health and prevent the return of diseases once considered extinct, but at the risk of reoccurring due to the refusal of some to vaccinate.

"You may not agree with the posted speed limit on the highway, or that you should stop at a red light in the middle of the night when there's no traffic, but because it's the law, you're inclined to follow it," Professor Ogbogu said. "I think we need to adopt the same kind of thinking with respect to vaccination."

For more from Professor Ogbogu on this topic, see his media interviews with CBC and AM 900 CHML in Hamilton.