Public Health in the Age of Anxiety: Religious and Cultural Roots of Vaccine Hesitancy in Canada

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University of Toronto Press, Jun 30, 2017 - Health & Fitness - 408 pages

Controversies and scepticism surrounding vaccinations, though not new, have increasingly come to the fore as more individuals decide not to inoculate themselves or their children for cultural, religious, or other reasons. Their personal decisions put the rights of the individual on a collision course with public and community safety.

Public Health in the Age of Anxiety enhances both the public and scholarly understanding of the motivations behind vaccine hesitancy in Canada. The volume brings into conversation people working within such fields as philosophy, medicine, epidemiology, history, nursing, anthropology, public policy, and religious studies. The contributors critically analyse issues surrounding vaccine safety, the arguments against vaccines, the scale of anti-vaccination sentiment, public dissemination of medical research, and the effect of private beliefs on individual decision-making and public health. These essays model and encourage the type of productive engagement that is necessary to clarify the value of vaccines and reduce the tension between pro and anti-vaccination groups.


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About the author (2017)

Paul Bramadat is a professor and director of the Centre for Studies in Religion and Society at the University of Victoria. His previous works include Religious Radicalization in Canada and Beyond and Christianity and Ethnicity in Canada both published by University of Toronto Press.

Maryse Guay is a professor in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at the Université de Sherbrooke.

Julie A. Bettinger is an associate professor in the Department of Pediatrics and a vaccine safety scientist at the Vaccine Evaluation Center at the University of British Columbia.

Réal Roy is an assistant professor in the Department of Biology at the University of Victoria.

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