Chapter

‘A vaccine for the nation’: South Korea’s development of a hepatitis B vaccine and national prevention strategy focused on newborns

Eun Kyung Choi and Young-Gyung Paik

in The Politics of Vaccination

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print April 2017 | ISBN: 9781526110886
Published online September 2017 | e-ISBN: 9781526124272 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.7228/manchester/9781526110886.003.0005

Series: Social Histories of Medicine MUP Series

‘A vaccine for the nation’: South Korea’s development of a hepatitis B vaccine and national prevention strategy focused on newborns

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For several decades South Korea has been recognised as a country in which hepatitis B is endemic, but it has also become famous for its controlled hepatitis epidemic, using a well-organised vaccination plan.The social determinants surrounding the vaccination plan have not been studied, however. In the 1980s, the hepatitis issue was a major concern in Korea, involving various actors, including medical doctors, the government, foreign scholars, and international institutions. While the domestic production of hepatitis B vaccines and the vaccination campaigns focused on newborns, combined with extensive prenatal screening have been counted as key success factors, the adoption of these specific measures was not simply based on scientific analysis. In this sense, when an anti-hepatitis plan was finally introduced in South Korea, it was not just a reaction to the prevalent hepatitis B but also a reflection of the nation’s future-oriented, developmentalist imaginaries.

Keywords: Hepatitis B; national vaccination strategy; public hygiene campaign; newborn vaccination; future imaginaries

Chapter.  6855 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

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