An Anthropological Approach To California's Vaccination Problem

05/31/2015 01:48pm ET | Updated June 1, 2015
BERLIN, GERMANY - FEBRUARY 26: A children's doctor injects a vaccine against measles, rubella, mumps and chicken pox to an infant on February 26, 2015 in Berlin, Germany. The city of Berlin is facing an outbreak of measles that in recent weeks has led to over 700 cases and one confirmed death of a little boy who had not been vaccinated. Vaccination in Germany is not compulsory by law though the vast majority of parents have their children vaccinated. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

As we were reminded during California's recent measles outbreak, a surprising number of well-educated people decide each year not to have their children immunized against an array of communicable diseases. Trying to discern why they make this dangerous decision is a priority for public health officials, and a perplexing puzzle to the rest of us.

Retro Illustrations On Vaccines