Thanks to high-profile measles outbreaks, such as the Disneyland outbreak in early 2015 and the 2017 outbreak in Minnesota, and their political responses (including the California legislature's decision to no longer allow personal belief exemptions to vaccines), childhood vaccines have been back on the recent political and policy agenda. There were even reports early in the Trump administration that the White House would create a vaccine safety commission, headed by vaccine critic Robert Kennedy Jr. (such a commission has not been created). Given these notable events, one might be tempted to view the injection of politics into US childhood immunization regimens as a recent phenomenon. However, two recently published books offer meticulous and engrossing evidence to the contrary: vaccines have been political for as long as there have been vaccines. The history of vaccine regulation and of the scientific development of vaccines...

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