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Health & wellness

Let’s talk about vaccine hesitancy

How to have that conversation

Tuesday, October 26, 2021
12 p.m. – 1 p.m.

Registration is closed


Aaron Derfel, BA 06 and Simon Bacon, PhD


This event is free


University Advancement



Tuesday, October 26

12 – 1 p.m. Eastern Time

Join us for a digital event with Simon Bacon, Professor of Health, Kinesiology and Applied Physiology in Concordia’s Faculty of Arts and Science in conversation with Aaron Derfel, BA 06, award-winning medical reporter at the Montreal Gazette. 

Their discussion will provide an overview on COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy and literacy and explain how vaccine-related experiences and attitudes vary among individuals. They will also examine why vaccine hesitancy is posing such a challenge in the pandemic and offer advice and tips on how to have a conversation with someone who is vaccine hesitant.

Simon L. Bacon, PhD, FTOS, FCCS, FABMR

Professor and CIHR SPOR Chair in Innovative, Patient-Oriented, Behavioural Clinical Trials, Health, Kinesiology and Applied Physiology

Simon Bacon

Simon Bacon’s research deals with the impact of health behaviours and lifestyle (e.g., physical activity, diet, weight management, stress) on chronic diseases (e.g., obesity, cardiovascular disease, and chronic lung disease).

He uses multiple methodologies including epidemiological, psychophysiological, systematic review, and behavioural trials designs.

Currently, Bacon is the CIHR SPOR Mentoring Chair in Innovative, Patient-Oriented, Behavioural Clinical Trials and a fellow of the Obesity Society, the Canadian Cardiovascular Society, and the Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research.

Before joining Concordia he completed his postdoctoral studies at the Duke University Medical Center, McGill University, Hôpital du Sacré-Coeur de Montréal, and the Montreal Heart Institute.

In addition to his work at Concordia, he is co-director of the Montreal Behavioural Medicine Centre, a researcher at the Centre intégré universitaire de santé et de services sociaux du Nord-de-l'Île-de-Montréal, and co-leads the International Behavioural Trials Network.

Aaron Derfel, BA 06

Award-winning medical reporter, Montreal Gazette


Aaron Derfel specializes in investigative and narrative journalism in a more than 30-year career that has taken him across North America. He is a three-time finalist of the National Newspaper Awards, and in 2021 he won a Canadian Association of Journalists Award for his reporting on the COVID-19 pandemic in Quebec.

In 2020, his investigation into the tragedy at the Résidence Herron nursing home earned him the Grand Prize of the Prix Judith-Jasmin — Quebec's highest journalism accolade. The same exposé was nominated for a Michener Award for meritorious public service journalism — considered "Canada's own Pulitzer Prize."

Derfel reported extensively on the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021, writing a daily Twitter thread that was followed by tens of thousands of Canadians and that made a "Best of Montreal" list by Cult MTL. He has also served as a consultant to Telé-Québec for a documentary on growing privatization of medicine, and taken part in numerous panel discussions on public health policy.

A graduate of the Journalism Program at Concordia, Mr. Derfel has taught part-time at the university since 2001, focusing on access-to-information requests, court records and financial reporting, among other subjects. His non-fiction narrative of the trauma response to the 2006 Dawson College mass shooting was selected for the book, The Bigger Picture: Elements of Feature Writing.

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