America's New Vaccine Wars: California and the Politics of Mandates

Mark C. Navin, Katie Attwell

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review


This book illustrates the significance of recent efforts to abolish nonmedical exemptions to childhood vaccine mandates. These legislative changes replace pro-vaccine persuasion with an ultimatum: Either vaccinate your children or they cannot attend school or daycare. The book explores the ethics and politics of this new kind of public health coercion. It examines the history of immunization, vaccine mandates, and conflicts about public health policies. It also analyzes California’s efforts to exclude unvaccinated children from school and daycare following the Disneyland measles outbreak of 2014. The book uses original interviews with key California policymakers and activists to explain the development and execution of that state’s new vaccination policies and to illuminate similar immunization policy developments elsewhere. This book is a story about how political and community actors fought to exclude unvaccinated children from school in the face of significant opposition and failing public health institutions. It unpacks the meaning and impact of these efforts for broader debates about immunization governance throughout America and the world, including conflicts about coercive public health measures during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages289
ISBN (Electronic)9780197613245
ISBN (Print)9780197613238
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2023

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