HRB Red Alert: Vaccines

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Vaccines represent the most significant scientific contribution to global public health over the past two hundred years. According to research completed by the World Health Organisation, the benefits of vaccines far outweigh the minuscule risks, yet some people might still have questions. As part of our exhibition IN CASE OF EMERGENCY, and in partnership with the Health Research Board, we have gathered a panel of experts to discuss this controversial but important subject.

The discussion will be broken into two parts — giving an opportunity to dig deeper and explore this significant scientific contribution at risk.

The panel will be moderated by features expert in the field Sylvia Thompson of The Irish Times and the panel includes Karina Butler, UCD Clinical Professor of Paediatrics, Trinity College Dublin professor Ed Lavelle from the School of Biochemistry and Immunology,  Brenda Corcoran Director of the HSE National Immunisation Office, and infection and immunity professor at Queen’s University Belfast, Bert Rima. 

If you are an attendee who would like to avail of ISL interpretation for this event, please contact

Image credit to pixabay


Bert Rima has a primary degree in biological chemical engineering, a Masters in microbiology and a PhD in bacterial/bacteriophage genetics. He has 30 years’ experience in teaching and research in all aspects of virology and, since 1993, has held a chair in molecular biology at Queen’s University Belfast.

Ed Lavelle graduated with a BSc in Microbiology from University College Galway in 1990 and a PhD in Immunology from the University of Plymouth in 1994. He carried out postdoctoral research at the University of Nottingham on nano and microparticles as vaccine adjuvants.

Karina Butler is UCD Clinical Professor of Paediatrics, Consultant Paediatrician and Infectious Diseases Specialist at Our Lady's Children's Hospital and The Children's University Hospital, Temple Street. A member of the national immunisation, the national tuberculosis, and a number of scientific advisory committees.

Brenda Corcoran is a Consultant in Public Health Medicine who is responsible for the coordination of all national immunisation programmes. She is a member of the National Immunisation Advisory Committee

This event is in partnership with the Health Research Board as part of In Case of Emergency.

Free, Register