Introduction

Until recently immunization as object of investigation was limited to public health researchers and historians of science and medicine (Basch, 1994; Greenough, 1980). Immunization became a more popular topic for anthropological enquiry in the 1970s, when global immunization programs aimed at "universal coverage" were launched. Anthropologists were invited by global health agencies such as the World Health Organization (WHO) to help identify structural and cultural barriers to achieving increased immunization coverage. More recently there has been attention to broader issues, including the processes through which immunization comes to be institutionalized as a routine practice in public health management, at the global, national, and local levels; and there are wider issues pertaining to popular conceptions of immunity, the role of global institutions, and notions of citizenship and consent (Das, Das, & Coutinho, 2000).

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