Framing Vaccination in Post-Socialist Serbia: An Anthropological Perspective
Keywords:vaccination, vaccine skepticism, medical professionals, post-socialism, the Balkans, the Internet
In recent years, Southeastern European region (the Balkans) has seen a rise in vaccine skepticism due to increasing conflicts between the pro- and anti-vaccination stances, primarily with respect to childhood vaccines. Although vaccination controversies are generally perceived as a global trend, their framings are predominantly grounded in particular social, cultural, political and economic contexts. This paper will focus on the immunization issues raised in the post-socialist context of one particular Balkan state – Serbia. By juxtaposing the medical profession’s framing of vaccine skepticism with the lay framings of vaccines and immunization, I will examine their contrasting perspectives and point to the sources of their misunderstanding. These opposing views will also be contextualized against their respective political, economic, socio-cultural and historical backgrounds. The paper will hence suggest the possible determinants of vaccine skepticism in the context of post-socialist Serbia.
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