Public health communication in the United States has evolved in recognition of problems and solutions associated with the “public health,” defined as protecting the population from disease. Public health operates on the premise that freedom must not interfere with or create risk for others. This leads public health communication to emphasize practices that include safety and injury prevention and disease prevention related to food, drugs, air, and water quality. Promoting seat belt use, for example, aligns with safety and injury prevention.

Campaigning for immunization provides a classic case of public health communication for the public good. The individual who is immunized protects herself and many others with whom she comes into contact; failure to be immunized may place others at risk. Immunization illustrates one of the ...

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