Vaccine Nation: America's Changing Relationship With Immunization by Elena Conis
Employers who provide free clinics in pharmacies and pharmacies expand in one stop to prevent everything from shingles to tetanus, vaccines are everywhere in modern life. The past 50 years…
Vaccine Nation synopsis
Employers who provide free clinics in pharmacies and pharmacies expand in one stop to prevent everything from shingles to tetanus, vaccines are everywhere in modern life. The past 50 years have seen a huge surge in vaccines and immunization in the United States: American children are now receiving vaccines more than any previous generation, and laws that require immunization against a range of diseases are standard.
However, while immunization rates have increased and preventable infections have declined, a large segment of Americans have questioned the safety and necessity of vaccines. In the nation of pollen, Elena Kunis explores this complex history and its consequences for personal and public health.
The nation of vaccines opens in the 1960s, when government scientists, who won after polio and smallpox successes, were looking at how the country was spreading new vaccines against what they called "moderate" diseases, including measles, mumps and rubella. In the years that followed, Conis revealed, the vaccines fundamentally changed how medical workers, policy managers, and ordinary Americans realized the diseases that were designed to prevent them.
It brings this history to the present with an insight into the decade-long controversy over the application of Gardasil to the human papilloma virus, which has sparked widespread debate because of its focus on adolescent girls and young women. Through this example and other examples, Conis explains how acceptance of vaccines and immunization policies was conditioned by political and social concerns as well as scientific findings.
By putting the complex story of American vaccination in the nation's broader history, the Nation of Vaccines transcends the simple story of the triumph of science on disease and presents a new and well-studied account of the role of politics and social forces in medicine.
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