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234 × 156 × 25 mm
272 pages
01 Jul 2017

Immunization How Vaccines Became Controversial Stuart Blume

Vaccines have helped mankind to tackle the dire threat of infectious disease for more than a hundred years. They have become key tools of public health and scientists are charged with developing them as quickly as possible to combat the emergence of new diseases such as Zika, SARS and Ebola. But why are growing numbers of parents all over the world now questioning the wisdom of having their children vaccinated? Why have public-sector vaccine producers been sold off? And can we trust the multinational corporations that increasingly dominate vaccine development and production?

In this controversial new book, Stuart Blume argues that the processes of globalization and people’s unsatisfied healthcare needs are eroding faith in the institutions producing and providing vaccines. He tells the history of immunization practices, from the work of early pioneers such as Louis Pasteur and Robert Koch to the establishment of the World Health Organization and the introduction of genetic engineering.

Immunization exposes the limits of public health authorities while suggesting how they can restore our confidence. Public health experts and all those considering vaccinations should read this timely history.

‘a fascinating history of vaccination and its troubles’ — Times Higher Education

‘Blume grapples with the hot-button topic of immunization programs and public resistance to them in this persuasive, challenging chronicle of how vaccines improved human health – and the pharmaceutical industry’s bottom line . . . Blume’s crucial history illustrates that vaccines have saved countless lives, but they must win the confidence of those who don’t recognize their universal benefit.’ — Publishers Weekly

‘In his thought-provoking book, Stuart Blume carefully explains how exactly vaccines protect the human body, before going on to explore the worrying phenomenon that has come to be dubbed "vaccine hesitancy" – the reluctance of some parents to have their children vaccinated.’ — Manjit Kumar

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Stuart Blume is Emeritus Professor of Science and Technology Studies at the University of Amsterdam. Educated at Oxford University, he has previously worked at the University of Sussex, the London School of Economics and in Whitehall.

1. What do Vaccines do?

2. Technologies: The First Vaccines

3. Technologies: Viral Challenges

4. Technologies: The Commodification of Vaccines

5. Policies: Hesitant Beginnings

6. Policies: Vaccination and the Cold War

7. Policies: Vaccination in a Globalizing World

8. The Roots of Doubt


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