2011 MARCE Conference Scope and Objectives

January 26th, 2011

The environment and social acceptance of vaccination is constantly shifting. Recently, however, a number of high profile events have made the landscape even more tumultuous.

Events including the Whooping Cough outbreaks in California, the challenges in both logistics and acceptance in delivery of the H1N1 vaccine last year, the recent court deliberations in New York, the Supreme Court and elsewhere that impact public perception about vaccine safety and efficacy, recent headlines associated with the studies that initially linked vaccines and autism, and the ethics of vaccine distribution including decisions to respect international commitments over national self interest and selecting “priority” groups have all helped to evolve the discussion.

Often, scientists even at the highest academic levels will struggle to find a voice that appropriately counters the anti-vaccine movement. Conversely, public health responders are challenged to understand and explain the complexities of vaccine manufacturing, formulations and other technical issues that they receive from the communities they serve.

Most recently, these issues were in the H1N1 vaccine delivery program throughout the United States. In an effort to help bridge the divides between research and practice, the 2011 MARCE conference will get both sides into a common environment to discuss the gambit of issues. While a single day is completely insufficient to adequately address the issues, we believe it would help in furtherance of the discussion primarily through helping the participants better understand the underlying areas we intend to discuss.

We expect a significant portion of the benefits of such conference to be gleaned from the conversation, discussion and questions that arise. CHHS will help to drive the conversation in a constructive direction, but we also value the flexibility of allowing the public health responders and scientists to ask questions and discuss issues relevant to their backgrounds.

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