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  • Rand Paul’s vaccine comments are latest chapter in 136-year-old debate

    Huffington Post - 02/03/2015

    As books like Arthur Allen’s Vaccine and Seth Mnookin’s The Panic Virus have documented, the American anti-vaccination movement has been around since at least 1879, when the Anti-Vaccination Society was established. And its shape hasn’t even changed that much in 136 years. Henning Jacobson, the Massachusetts preacher whose case established the right of states to require vaccines, believed he and some family members had been injured by previous immunizations — and according to public law expert Wendy Parmet, he had connections to anti-vaccination advocates of the time.

    “We’ve had vaccination laws for a long time, and for as long as they’ve been around they’ve been controversial,” says Parmet, a professor of law at Northeastern University.

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