Journal of Public Health Policy

, Volume 27, Issue 1, pp 38–57

Vaccine Innovation: Lessons from World War II

Article and Commentary

DOI: 10.1057/palgrave.jphp.3200064

Cite this article as:
Hoyt, K. J Public Health Pol (2006) 27: 38. doi:10.1057/palgrave.jphp.3200064


World War II marked a watershed in the history of vaccine development as the military, in collaboration with academia and industry, achieved unprecedented levels of innovation in response to war-enhanced disease threats such as influenza and pneumococcal pneumonia. In the 1940s alone, wartime programs contributed to the development of new or significantly improved vaccines for 10 of the 28 vaccine-preventable diseases identified in the 20th century. This article examines the historical significance of military organizations and national security concerns for vaccine development in the United States.


vaccine military World War II innovation biodefense 

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan Ltd 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dartmouth Medical SchoolLebanon

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