Anti-Vax, Pro-White Privilege: Expat Communities as Enclaves of Disease Outbreak in Mexico
Public opinion and discourse within medical institutions often cast “anti-vax” communities as lacking in education and an understanding of the science behind immunology, and situate the burgeoning problem of un- or under-vaccinated children as one that can be solved via mandatory vaccination laws, increased surveillance of parents, and “better science education”. However, this approach doesn’t actually address the root causes of anti-vax sentiment and mobilization, and may serve to further alienate families from public health institutions. Based on 20 months of fieldwork in midwifery clinics, hospitals, and communities in Quintana Roo, Mexico, this talk challenges common misconceptions in public health and medicine about anti-vaxxers, infectious disease vectors, and infectious disease carriers in developing countries, and suggests an alternative means of addressing vaccine non-compliance in low-resource communities.
About the Presenter
Sarah Williams is a medical anthropology PhD Candidate at the University of Toronto.