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America's New Vaccine Wars is a new release book focusing on recent efforts to eliminate nonmedical exemptions to school and daycare vaccine mandates. These policy developments have increased immunization rates, but they have also ignited polarizing, nationwide debates about parents' rights, democracy, and the authority of the government to use coercion to promote health. America's New Vaccine Wars is grounded in a case study of California's efforts to exclude unvaccinated children from school and daycare following the Disneyland Measles Outbreak of 2014. It uses original interviews with key policymakers and activists to explain the development and execution of California's new vaccination policies. This talk maps out some key considerations of the book for parents, doctors, and the politics of public health, considering downstream implications for policymaking and politics during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Associate Professor Katie Attwell is a political science and public policy scholar at the University of Western Australia, where she leads VaxPolLab. She is an Honorary Fellow of the Wesfarmers Centre of Vaccines and Infectious Diseases at Telethon Kids Institute, Perth and is the Chair of the Collaboration on Social Science and Immunisation (COSSI), Australia’s national network of vaccination social science researchers. A/Prof Attwell is a global expert in vaccine hesitancy and vaccination policies for childhood and COVID-19 vaccines. Her recent Discovery Early Career Researcher Award fellowship (DECRA 2019-2022) funded by the Australian Research Council explored mandatory childhood vaccination policies in Australia, Italy, France, and California. Arising from this project is her book, co-authored with Mark Navin, entitled America’s New Vaccine Wars: California and the Politics of Mandates (OUP, 2023). A/Prof Attwell led the interdisciplinary West Australian project “Coronavax: Preparing Community and Government”, which engaged in community and government research for the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out, funded by Wesfarmers and the Health Department of Western Australia. From 2023, A/Prof Attwell leads MandEval, a mixed methods and multi-country study of the implementation and impact of COVID-19 vaccine mandates in Australia, Italy, France and California, a $4.7 million dollar project funded by the Medical Research Future Fund of the Australian Government.

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  • Cesar Bautista
  • Jamie Pravel

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