Vaccination has greatly diminished death, illness and suffering in the world. But no other medical technology has been so dogged with controversy. The book chronicles the development of the key lifesaving vaccines since the 18th century. It tells the stories of great scientists and their discoveries, of the protests and pain along the stumbling path of progress. This is the first book to tell the whole story of vaccination for a general audience. In light of controversies about flu vaccine and autism, it will be of particular interest to parents, pediatricians, public health workers and anyone fascinated by medical history. Read More>>

Also Available: Table of Contents and Index

Arthur Allen is a Washington DC-based journalist who has written on vaccine issues in The New York Times Magazine, the Washington Post Magazine, The New Republic, Atlantic Monthly, Salon and Slate.


Library Journal

Vaccines fighting this season's flu strain, cervical cancer, shingles, and childhood inner-ear infections have hit the news, while medical researchers, funded by Gates Foundation dollars, labor feverishly to develop vaccines against the Third World curses of tuberculosis, malaria, and AIDS. The undeniable history of disease prevention via vaccine, however, masks thousands of individual and familial tragedies, the unintended consequences of contaminated vaccines or catastrophic immune reactions. While most parents view routine inoculations as a sacred responsibility, others see a herd of Trojan horses that threaten a beloved child. Noted Washington-based journalist Allen has explored these issues in the New York Times , the Washington Post , and the Atlantic Monthly . Here, he authoritatively and objectively records the miracles, controversies, and tragedies that have accompanied the development of vaccines since Edward Jenner first combated smallpox in the 18th century. A separate chapter explores the alleged relationship between thimerosal, a vaccine preservative, and autism. This compelling narrative of the vaccine's undoubted triumphs and troubling challenges is highly recommended to serious readers interested in medicine and public health. --Kathy Arsenault, Univ. of South Florida at St. Petersburg Lib.


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