Tussen vaccin-verering en vaccin-verschrikking | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 25, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 1566-7146
  • E-ISSN: 2667-1611



Inspired by the socio-political debate on the COVID-19 vaccination policy, this contribution examines the legal-historical developments of the Dutch vaccination policy from the 18th to 20th century, in particular regarding the use of pressure and coercion. An important observation that follows from this contribution is that discussions regarding the use of pressure and coercion in the vaccination policy, particularly the arguments in favour and against measures in this regard, did not really change over time, even though the contextual factors substantially differed. What also follows from this analysis, is that debates concerning a less voluntary vaccination policy were often fuelled by infectious disease outbreaks. An important lesson from the past is therefore to conduct the discussion regarding the use of pressure and coercion in the vaccination policy timely, in order to reach societal consensus about a clear and balanced vaccination policy before the outbreak of a (new) infectious disease.


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