Scientist profiles G-L
Dr. Jeffrey Kwong
Dr. Jeffrey Kwong is an associate scientist in the Veterans & Community Research Program at Sunnybrook Research Institute. He studies epidemiology and infectious diseases, particularly vaccine-preventable diseases such as influenza. Using simulation models and published health data, Kwong found that the seasonal flu vaccine leads to a small reduction in the risk of acquiring Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), a rare but serious autoimmune condition that is often associated with influenza illness. Some health care workers believe the seasonal flu vaccine increases their risk of acquiring GBS and consequently refuse the flu shot. In this Q&A, he explains how he became interested in infectious diseases and why the flu shot is an important public health issue. Kwong hopes that his research will convince health professionals of the safety of the flu vaccine and better inform health care practices and public health policies.