The PLEA: Legal Immunity

The PLEA: Legal Immunity


In 1900, over 10% of children born in Canada did not live to see the age of one. Today, that number is 0.44%. Meanwhile, average life expectancy has moved from 50 to over 80 years of age. No single reason can be given for such advances in public health. Nonetheless, we cannot miss the development of vaccines. Since their creation, vaccines helped tame almost thirty diseases.

Where did vaccines come from? How did they help free us from so many diseases? And what role has the law played in their development and use? This issue of The PLEA explores these questions. It considers:

  • the story behind the creation of vaccines,
  • hesitancy about vaccines,
  • the sometimes complicated relationship vaccines have with personal freedom, and
  • the laws regulating vaccination today.

Ideal for most any reader, Legal Immunity helps fulfil several indicators in Saskatchewan’s renewed Law 30 and Life Transitions 20/30 curricula. It will also be of interest to people curious about the role of law in public health.


Georges Gaston-Theodore Melingue’s 1879 rendition of Dr. Edward Jenner vaccinating his gardener’s son, James Phipps.

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