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public health



  • AIDS Disappeared from Public View Without Ending. Will Covid-19 do the Same?

    by Dan Royles

    AIDS activism shifted from framing the epidemic as a political crisis to a medical problem, allowing the ongoing vulnerability of the poor to fade from view as pharmaceutical advances have helped control the spread and impact of HIV among the affluent. 


  • Paying People to Get Vaccines is an Old Idea Whose Time has Come Again

    by Margaret DeLacy

    John Haygarth devised a system for rewarding working-class residents of Chester for receiving the risky smallpox inoculation and maintaining social distance afterward. The effort was largely superseded by the more effective and safer Jenner vaccination, but was a foundational public health experiment that pays dividends today.


  • Vaccine Skeptics Should Heed George Washington’s Example

    by Robert Brent Toplin

    With the American Revolution hanging in the balance, Washington ordered the mass inoculation of the Continental Army against a smallpox pandemic. Would today's vaccine skeptics accuse him of trampling freedom? 



  • Revisiting a 19th Century Medical Idea Could Help Address COVID-19

    by Melanie A. Kiechle

    Although the miasma theory of disease has been replaced by the germ theory, it's nevertheless the case that it drew attention to the connection between air quality and health, and the practical measures inspired by it can be useful in the COVID pandemic. 



  • Fauci Donates Model to Smithsonian’s COVID-19 Collection

    Dr. Anthony Fauci's model of the SARS-CoV-2 virus has been a prop in numerous informational sessions since the beginning of the pandemic. Now, the plastic germ will reside in the Smithsonian's collections. 



  • Historian Brooke Newman on the Front Lines of COVID Vaccination

    Historian Brooke Newman, after careful research, is allowing her daughter to participate in the a trial of a vaccine, already tested for teens, on younger children. They cite the personal desire to return to normalcy, the documented safety of the vaccine in earlier trials, and advancing the collective cause of public health in their decision.


  • Remembering the Father of Vaccination

    by Richard Gunderman

    "Whether or not Jenner truly saved more lives than any other person, there is no doubt that his pioneering work on immunization laid the groundwork for today’s most effective tool against COVID-19, the vaccine."



  • The 1976 Swine Flu Fiasco

    David Parsons of the "Nostalgia Trap" history podcast joins Mass For Shut-Ins to discuss the Swine Flue vaccine fiasco and how its history has been abused by today's anti-vax movement.



  • A Rapidly Globalizing World Needs Strengthened Global Governance

    by Lawrence Wittner

    "The world is currently engulfed in crises—most prominently, a disease pandemic, a climate catastrophe, and the prevalence of war—while individual nations are encountering enormous difficulties in coping with them."