Over the last thirty years, the American political system has handled
immunization policy poorly. This reflects profound ignorance of disease control
among elected officials and lawyers. These individuals see immunization as a
personal health problem rather than a public health and safety issue. As a
result of this narrow view of the role of immunization in protecting the
community’s health, litigation has been allowed to drive the cost of routine
immunizations beyond the means of many families, and private individuals are
encouraged in unfounded fears of the risks of immunization.