Lessons from Smallpox Vaccination

23 Pages Posted: 28 Mar 2010 Last revised: 6 Apr 2010

See all articles by Kristopher A. Nelson

Kristopher A. Nelson

University of California, San Diego (UCSD), Students

Date Written: March 11, 2010


What lessons can we learn from the history in regards to smallpox vaccination? Can public health authorities force the public into vaccination compliance, or is compliance a function of fear of the disease itself? To help answer these questions, this paper looks at three historical sites: Milwaukee in 1894, where attempts to force vaccination resulted in riots in the streets; Boston beginning in 1901, where individual resistance led to a pivotal court case; and New York City in 1946, where a relatively small outbreak led to voluntary mass vaccination of the citizenry.

Suggested Citation

Nelson, Kristopher A., Lessons from Smallpox Vaccination (March 11, 2010). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1579529 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1579529

Kristopher A. Nelson (Contact Author)

University of California, San Diego (UCSD), Students ( email )

San Diego, CA
United States

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