In this Book
The author examines four cases that span the twentieth century--diphtheria, rubella, pertussis, and HIV/AIDS. Each case challenges the reader to examine how the values we attribute to vaccines influence their use. Diphtheria vaccination brought laboratory science into an existing narrative based on earlier vaccines. With rubella vaccine, researchers efficiently responded to an epidemic of birth defects while subtly changing the relationship between vaccination recipients and beneficiaries. Opposition to pertussis vaccine from average Americans created a narrative crisis, in which faith in vaccination as a whole seemed to be at risk. With more recent vaccines, including a hoped-for HIV/AIDS vaccine, the persistent cultural narrative continues to encourage vaccine development and use.