Article ID: CBB731103057

Engineering Health: Technologies of Immunization in China's Wartime Hinterland, 1937–45 (April 2019)


During the Second Sino-Japanese War, the technological project of mass immunization united state health administrations and international aid organizations seeking to prevent epidemics in unoccupied China's wartime hinterland. This article examines a joint wartime effort between the Chinese government's National Epidemic Prevention Bureau and the League of Nations Health Organization to manufacture and distribute vaccines against smallpox, cholera, and other diseases in northwest China. The hardships of war presented challenges to the development of large-scale immunization, but also led to the establishment of international aid programs that helped Chinese microbiologists acquire standard cultures, animals, and equipment. Vaccination provided a means for the beleaguered Nationalist government to quell epidemics and resist the Japanese; subsequent state involvement in the process of managing transport of vaccines, organizing and training vaccinators, and mandating the shots suggests the significance of mass immunization, as well as its reliance on technological systems in which vaccines embodied emerging biomedical standards that the state sought to institutionalize.

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Authors & Contributors
Mazumdar, Pauline M. H.
Schultheisz, Emil
Zhang, Daqing
Duan, Yi-bing
Ch'iu, Chung-lin
Murard, Lion
Zhongguo Keji Shiliao (China Historical Materials of Science and Technology)
Berichte zur Wissenschaftsgeschichte
Lishi yuyan yanjiuso jikan (Bulletin of the Institute of History and Philology, Academia Sinica)
Dynamis: Acta Hispanica ad Medicinae Scientiarumque Historiam Illustrandam
Journal of Medical Biography
Asclepio: Archivo Iberoamericano de Historia de la Medicina
Ashgate Publishing
Harvard University Press
Yale University
Potomac Books
Vaccines; vaccination
International cooperation
World War II
Public health
Needham, Joseph
Pasteur, Louis
Koch, Robert
Weigl, Rudolph
United States
20th century
19th century
20th century, early
18th century
21st century
17th century
League of Nations
Institut Pasteur, Paris
Academia Sinica
Connaught Laboratories (Canada)
Uniwersytet Jagielloński (Cracow)
Suzhou Hospital of National Medicine

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