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Childhood Immunizations: Balancing Public Health and Civil Liberties

September 26, 2019 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm PDT

Vaccine-preventable diseases are at the forefront of public health debates in 2019. The U.S. Centers for Prevention and Disease Control recently reported that the current measles outbreak – the worst in the United States in 25 years – has spread to 1,022 cases in 28 states since September 2018. More than 50 patients have been in California, but most have been in New York State. Recent laws and policies passed in both states have been the subject of debate on the limitations of public safety laws.

A panel of renowned scholars and policy-makers will engage the public health and law communities at UC Berkeley on thoughtful policies and practical applications of science, legal principles and social history using an evidence-based approach. Discussion will focus on the obligations of the public health community to children and the means of enforcement of public health laws, and the impact of immunization laws on other public health policies.

We invite students, faculty, alumni and others interested in a thoughtful evidence-based and nuanced discussion of balancing the obligations of the public health and legal communities to join us. Light refreshments will be served.

Speakers will include:
Lawrence O. Gostin, JD, University Professor at Georgetown University and the founding director of the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law. Dr. Gostin has published widely on public health law, both in the US and globally.

Dean Blumberg, MD, Associate Professor and Chief of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at the University of California, Davis. A graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, Dr. Blumberg conducts research on vaccines and advises on childhood immunization policies throughout California.

Dorit Reiss, JD, Professor of Law at UC Hastings College of Law. Professor Reiss’s research and policy work is focused on legal issues related to vaccination, including exemption laws and tort liability related to non-vaccination.

Matt Willis, MD MPH, Marin County Public Health Officer since 2013. Dr Willis uses his experience as a physician, epidemiologist, and member of the SF Bay Area community to guide public health strategies for Marin County.”

Arthur Reingold, MD, Professor and Head, Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at UC Berkeley School of Public Health. Dr. Reingold has worked for over thirty years on the prevention and control of infectious diseases, both at the national level, including at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and as an adviser to WHO on its vaccination policies.

Rohini Haar, MD MPH, lecturer at the School of Public Health and research fellow at the Human Rights Center, UC Berkeley. Dr. Haar’s research and teaching focuses on engaging legal and public communities and harmonizing public health and human rights discourse.



September 26, 2019
5:00 pm - 7:00 pm PDT


Berkeley Way West, First Floor Colloquia
2121 Berkeley Way
Berkeley, CA 94704 United States
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Berkeley Public Health