Vaccination Campaigns in Postsocialist Ukraine: Health Care Providers Navigating Uncertainty


Vaccination anxieties grew into a public health issue during the 2008 failed measles and rubella immunization campaign in Ukraine. Here I explore how health care providers bend official immunization policies as they navigate media scares about vaccines, parents’ anxieties, public health officials’ insistence on the need for vaccination, and their own sense of expertise and authority. New hierarchies are currently being renegotiated, and I follow health care providers as they attempt to parcel out their new position in the Ukrainian society and beyond. Public health control is reframed in a postsocialist context as a condition of acceptance into the European community as a sanitary democracy, and a contestation point between citizens and state. I untangle how relationships between citizens and states shape the construction of medical risk.

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