Vaccine Hesitancy

Public Trust, Expertise, and the War on Science

Maya J. Goldenberg

The public has voiced concern over the adverse effects of vaccines from the moment Dr. Edward Jenner introduced the first smallpox vaccine in 1796. This book explores vaccine hesitancy and refusal among parents in the industrialized North. Although biomedical, public health, and popular science literature has focused on a scientifically ignorant public, the real problem, Goldenberg argues, lies not in misunderstanding, but in mistrust. Goldenberg ultimately reframes vaccine hesitancy as a crisis of public trust rather than a war on science, arguing that having good scientific support of vaccine efficacy and safety is not enough.