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immunization statisticsVaccines may be, as Caplan describes them, “the most effective and efficient invention in the history of medicine,” but public misunderstanding and fears in the wake of controversy and litigation often translate into popular resistance to vaccination.

For example, Japan dropped a mandatory vaccination law in 1994 in the wake of a public outcry against frightening allegations about the dangers of the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR)vaccine. Thereafter, the incidence of several childhood illnesses shot up, and Japan now has the highest rate of measles in the industrialized world.

To help break this cycle and bring sensibility and sanity to bear on the issue, Feldman and his colleagues have crafted a roadmap to guide the group’s deliberation. Three main areas will be addressed in separate conferences.

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