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Palgrave Studies in the History of Science and Technology

Vaccination in America

Medical Science and Children’s Welfare

Authors: Altenbaugh, Richard J.

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  • Offers an engaging study of the Salk polio vaccine trials, the largest in history, placing them in the context of earlier vaccine trials in the first half of the twentieth century
  • Foregrounds the understudied role of the public education system in the history of vaccination
  • Examines the contemporary antivaccination movement in the United States and its roots, tracing the development of parents’ perceptions about the risks that vaccinations posed for their children
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eBook $84.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-96349-5
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $109.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-319-96348-8
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

The success of the polio vaccine was a remarkable breakthrough for medical science, effectively eradicating a dreaded childhood disease. It was also the largest medical experiment to use American schoolchildren. Richard J. Altenbaugh examines an uneasy conundrum in the history of vaccination: even as vaccines greatly mitigate the harm that infectious disease causes children, the process of developing these vaccines put children at great risk as research subjects. In the first half of the twentieth century, in the face of widespread resistance to vaccines, public health officials gradually medicalized American culture through mass media, public health campaigns, and the public education system. Schools supplied tens of thousands of young human subjects to researchers, school buildings became the main dispensaries of the polio antigen, and the mass immunization campaign that followed changed American public health policy in profound ways. Tapping links between bioethics, education, public health, and medical research, this book raises fundamental questions about child welfare and the tension between private and public responsibility that still fuel anxieties around vaccination today. 

About the authors

Richard J. Altenbaugh is Adjunct Professor at the University of Pittsburgh, USA, and former Visiting Fellow at St. Edmund's College, University of Cambridge, UK. His most recent book is The Last Children’s Plague: Poliomyelitis, Disability, and Twentieth-Century American Culture.

Reviews

“This could be a book for parents whose children would be vaccinated. … More widely, it is a book for practitioners who have to cope with parental refusal of vaccination, historians of social medicine and, possibly, students of the history of medicine thanks to its interdisciplinary approach combining bioethics, education, research, and public health policies.” (Alain Touwaide, Doody's Book Reviews, May 31, 2019)


Table of contents (16 chapters)

Table of contents (16 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook $84.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-96349-5
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $109.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-319-96348-8
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Vaccination in America
Book Subtitle
Medical Science and Children’s Welfare
Authors
Series Title
Palgrave Studies in the History of Science and Technology
Copyright
2018
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-3-319-96349-5
DOI
10.1007/978-3-319-96349-5
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-319-96348-8
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
VIII, 355
Topics