Leading the ‘Vaccines and Society Unit’ (VAS), I have been researching attitudes and policies for vaccination. In particular I have been interested in what constitutes pro-vaccine activism (through two case studies of the US and Australia) and debates about ethics, measurement and data collection concerning vaccination.

Key publications:

  • Vanderslott, S. (2023). Supporting Vaccination: Activism, Petitions, and Clinical Trials. Bern, Switzerland: Peter Lang.
  • Vanderslott, S., Enria, L., Bowmer, A., Kamara, A., & Lees, S. (2022). Attributing public ignorance in vaccination narratives. Social Science & Medicine, 115152.
  • Hill, M., Vanderslott, S., Volokha, A., & Pollard, A. J. (2022). Addressing vaccine inequities among Ukrainian refugees. The Lancet Infectious Diseases, 22(7), 935-936.
  • Martin, S., and Vanderslott, S. (2021). “Any idea how fast ‘It’s just a mask!’ can turn into ‘It’s just a vaccine!’”: From mask mandates to vaccine mandates during the COVID-19 pandemic. Vaccine. doi:10.1016/j.vaccine.2021.10.031
  • Vanderslott, S. & Marks, T. (2021). Charting mandatory childhood vaccination policies worldwide. Vaccine. 39: 30
  • Vanderslott, S. and Marks, T. (2020). Vaccine entry requirements as a disease control measure: Lessons from yellow fever. Global Public Health.
  • Vanderslott, S. (2019). Exploring the meaning of pro-vaccine activism across two countries. Social Science & Medicine, 222, 59–66.


Neglected tropical diseases

Starting with my PhD this work explores how tropical diseases of empire were repackaged as ‘neglected tropical diseases’ (NTD) concentrating on the 1970s to the present day. As part of the research, I developed a podcast and workshop series with Dr Erman Sozudogru at UCL and undertook fieldwork in Brazil and China on NTD policies. I am currently working on a book based on my PhD research and published by Routledge in the ‘Research on Ignorance Studies’ series in 2021. Key publications:

  • Vanderslott, S. (2021) Attention and Responsibility in Global Health: The Currency of Neglect (1st Edition). London, UK: Routledge.
  • Vanderslott, S. (2021) ‘Neglected Tropical Diseases: Reasons for “Neglect” in Global Health and Directing Attention Towards Neglected Issues’, ELS, pp. 1–8 (Vol. 2). Wiley. doi/10.1002/9780470015902.a0029130
  • Vanderslott, S. (2020). Neglected Tropical Diseases. Nature & Culture. 15(1):78-110. doi:10.3167/nc.2020.150105
  • Vanderslott, S. Moving From Outsider to Insider Status Through Metrics: The Inclusion of “Neglected Tropical Diseases” Into the Sustainable Development Goals. J Hum Dev Capab. February 2019:1-18. doi:10.1080/19452829.2019.1574727


Disease history

I am leading a history project ‘Child health in Oxford‘ about paediatrics and childhood disease in Oxford as part of the 50th Anniversary celebrations for the Department of Paediatrics. I am also working with medical historian Dr Claas Kirchhelle on two projects. ‘Vaccines for the World’ is an institutional history of vaccine science rooted in the wider British ecosystem of vaccine development and trials. ‘Typhoid Past, Present and Future’  tracks the history of typhoid in Oxford, Dublin, and Bangalore, and connects this to present day challenges of control and treatment for the disease. This includes a supplement publication we co-edited for the Clinical Infectious Diseases Journal and as co-curators for an award-winning multi-country exhibition ‘Typhoidland’. Key publications:

  • Vanderslott S., Phillips MT, Pitzer VE, Kirchhelle C. Water and Filth: Reevaluating the First Era of Sanitary Typhoid Intervention (1840–1940). Clin Infect Dis. 2019; 69 (Supplement_5): S377-S384. doi:10.1093/cid/ciz610
  • Kirchhelle C, Pollard AJ, Vanderslott S. (2019) Typhoid—From Past to Future. Clin Infect Dis. 69 (Supplement_5):S375-S376. doi:10.1093/cid/ciz551


I have been part of three large institutional collaborations:

  1. India case study lead for ‘How health systems response to controversies in new vaccine deployment’ for the ‘Anthropological exploration of facilitator & barriers to vaccine development’ (AViD) project funded by the NIHR: See a podcast about this project here on Sonar Global.
  2. Literature review lead on ‘Community engagement for health research during outbreaks in Sub-saharan Africa’ for The African coaLition for Epidemic Research, Response and Training’ (ALERRT) project funded by the EU. I presented my research about community engagement at the ALERRT Community Engagement workshop held in Dakar, Senegal 17-18 March 2019. The workshop report by the Nuffield Council on Bioethics produced a workshop report. Our letter about ‘The importance of community involvement in tackling Ebola’ was published in The Guardian.
  3. Social media workstream lead for Rapid Research, Evaluation and Appraisal Lab (RREAL) at UCL (University College London):

Key publications:

  • Manby, L., Dowrick, A., Karia, A., Maio, L., Buck, C., Singleton, G., Lewis-Jackson, S., Uddin, I., Vanderslott, S., et al. (2022). Healthcare workers’ perceptions and attitudes towards the UK’s COVID-19 vaccination programme: a rapid qualitative appraisal. BMJ open, 12(2).
  • Vanderslott, S. Van Ryneveld, M. Marchant, M. et al. (2021). How can community engagement in health research be strengthened for infectious disease outbreaks in Sub-Saharan Africa? A scoping review of the literature. BMC Public Health 21, 633
  • Dowrick, A., Mitchinson, L., Hoernke, K., Mulachy Symmons, S., Cooper, S., Martin, S., Vanderslott, S., Vera San Juan, N. and Vindrola‐Padros, C., (2021) Re‐ordering connections: UK healthcare workers’ experiences of emotion management during the COVID‐19 pandemic. Sociology of Health & Illness.
  • Oliu-Barton, M. Pradelski, B. Aghion, P. Artus, P. Kickbusch, I. Lazarus, J. Sridhar, D. and Vanderslott, S. (2021) SARS-CoV-2 elimination, not mitigation, creates best outcomes for health, the economy, and civil liberties The Lancet April 28,
  • Vindrola-Padros, C. Chisnall, G. Cooper, S. Djellouli, N. Dowrick, A. Martin, S. Singleton, G. Symmons, S. Vanderslott, S. et al. (2020). Carrying Out Rapid Qualitative Research During a Pandemic: Emerging Lessons From COVID-19. Qualitative Health Research. August: 104973232095152. doi:10.1177/1049732320951526

Clinical trials

I am the PI of ‘COVQUAL‘: a collaborative, interdisciplinary, and mixed-methods research project surveying and interviewing vaccine trial participants during the COVID-19 pandemic. We recruited from a purposeful sample of 770 healthy volunteers aged 18–55 years enrolled in a first-in-human COVID-19 vaccine trial in Oxford, UK. The research aimed to find out about the participants’ motivations, views, and experiences in the trial, which also involved reflections on the pandemic and a (then) future COVID-19 vaccine. For the survey, we received 349 responses, and we conducted semi-structured interviews with 102 participants.

Key publications:

  • Pilbeam, C., Anthierens, S., Vanderslott, S., Tonkin-Crine, S., & Wanat, M. (2022). Methodological and ethical considerations when conducting qualitative interview research with healthcare professionals: reflections and recommendations as a result of a pandemic. International Journal of Qualitative Methods,
  • Vanderslott, S. Palmer, A. et al. (2021) Co-producing Human and Animal Experimental Subjects: Exploring the Views of UK COVID-19 Vaccine Trial Participants on Animal Testing. Science, Technology, & Human Values. November. doi:10.1177/01622439211057084
  • Vanderslott, S. et al. (2021). Vaccine nationalism and internationalism: perspectives of COVID-19 vaccine trial participants in the United Kingdom. BMJ Global Health 6.10: e006305