The politics of vaccination

A global history

Edited by Christine Holmberg, Stuart Blume and Paul Greenough

The politics of vaccination

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-1088-6
  • Pages: 360
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £90.00
  • Published Date: March 2017
  • BIC Category: MEDICAL / History, Humanities / Social & cultural history, Medicine / History of medicine, Modern History, History of Medicine, History, Social & cultural history, History of medicine, HISTORY / Social History
  • Series: Social Histories of Medicine


Mass vaccination campaigns are political projects that presume to protect individuals, communities, and societies. Like other pervasive expressions of state power - taxing, policing, conscripting - mass vaccination arouses anxiety in some people but sentiments of civic duty and shared solidarity in others. This collection of essays gives a comparative overview of vaccination at different times, in widely different places and under different types of political regime.

Core themes in the chapters include immunisation as an element of state formation; citizens' articulation of seeing (or not seeing) their needs incorporated into public health practice; allegations that donors of development aid have too much influence on third-world health policies; and an ideological shift that regards vaccines more as profitable commodities than as essential tools of public health.


'The reader will be impressed by the high quality of the research and the urgent import of the findings.'
Michael Bennett, University of Tasmania, Health and History: Journal of the Australian and New Zealand Society of the History of Medicine, Vol. 19, No. 2, 2017


Introduction - Paul Greenough, Stuart Blume and Christine Holmberg
Part I: Vaccination and national identity
1. The uneasy politics of epidemic aid: the CDC's mission to Cold War East Pakistan, 1958 - Paul Greenough
2. Fallacy, sacrilege, betrayal and conspiracy - the cultural construction of opposition to immunisation in India - Niels Brimnes
3. Vaccination and the communist state: polio in Eastern Europe - Dora Vargha
4. 'A vaccine for the nation': South Korea's development of a hepatitis B vaccine and national prevention strategy focused on newborns - Eun Kyung Choi and Young-Gyung Paik
Part II: Nationality, vaccine production, and the end of sovereign manufacture
5. Vaccine production, national security anxieties and the unstable state in nineteenth and twentieth century Mexico - Ana María Carrillo
6. The erosion of public sector vaccine production: the case of the Netherlands - Stuart Blume
7. Yellow fever vaccine in Brazil: fighting a tropical scourge, modernising the nation -Jaime Benchimol
8. A distinctive nation: vaccine policy and production in Japan - Julia Yongue
Part III: Vaccination, the individual, and society
9. The MMR debate in the United Kingdom: vaccine scares, statesmanship and the media - Andrea Stöckl and Anna Smajdor
10. Pandemic flus and vaccination policies in Sweden - Britta Lundgren and Martin Holmberg
11. Polio vaccination, political authority, and the Nigerian state - Elisha Renne
12. The power of individuals and the dependency of nations in global eradication and immunisation campaigns - Bill Muraskin


Christine Holmberg is Senior Researcher at the Institute for Public Health at Charité - Universitlätsmedizin Berlin

Stuart Blume is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Amsterdam

Paul Greenough is Professor Emeritus of History and Community and Behavioural Health at the University of Iowa

The politics of vaccination

Edited by Christine Holmberg, Stuart Blume, Paul Greenough

Hardcover £90.00 / $140.00

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