Journal of Medical Humanities 42 (1):51-62 (2021)

Steven Soderbergh’s Contagion positions the vaccine as the end point of the arc of ​pandemic, marking both the containment of an elusive virus and ​the resumption of a life not fundamentally different from ​before the disease outbreak. ​The film reinforces the ​assumption that a pandemic will awaken ​all of us to the urgency of vaccination​, persuading us to put aside our reservations and anxieties ​and the idea that compliance is the inevitable outcome of quarantine. This article explores how pro-vaccination cultural products ​such as Contagion might in fact undermine public health efforts by promoting a false narrative, which simplifies the kind of vaccination campaign necessary for herd immunity to develop. An ethic of sacrifice and selflessness drives the public health messaging of the film but leaves intact certain individualistic tropes and plague narrative scapegoating tendencies, while the framing of the vaccine as “gift” takes it out of the realm of medical science altogether.
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DOI 10.1007/s10912-021-09677-3
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Expanding Immunology: Defensive Versus Ecological Perspectives.Alfred I. Tauber - 2008 - Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 51 (2):270-284.

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