Vaccination Investigation: The History and Science of Vaccines

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Product Details

Twenty-First Century Books (Tm)
Publish Date
6.1 X 9.1 X 0.7 inches | 0.9 pounds
Library Binding

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About the Author

Tara Haelle writes about parenting and science for Slate, NPR, Forbes, and Scientific American.


"Vaccines are often a focus of controversy as well as the subject of misleading information, making this authoritative resource all the more valuable. Science journalist Haelle (The Informed Parent, 2016) provides in-depth coverage of the history of vaccines, how they work, and why they are needed. She also explores the complicated issue of how they have become controversial, providing fascinating background information on the flawed research that has led some to link them to various adverse outcomes. Along with a 1982 television broadcast that erroneously reported that the DPT vaccine caused seizures and brain damage, the book also describes British doctor Andrew Wakefield's criminally misleading study that implicated the MMR vaccine in the apparent rise in autism. The relatively challenging text also incorporates information on common thinking patterns--cognitive biases--that lead people to readily embrace unscientific reasoning. Because this effort is so well-researched, articulate, and thoughtful in its presentation, and because it provides unbiased information on a critical topic of current concern, it represents an essential purchase for collections serving young adults. A must-have resource with fine backmatter that enhances its presentation."--starred, Kirkus Reviews

-- (2/1/2018 12:00:00 AM)

"A bracing account of a doctor keeping patients with iron lungs alive sets the tone for this slim but succinct overview. Beginning with an explanation of infectious disease, Haelle briefly describes prevaccine advancements, such as better sewage treatment and improved food safety laws, before delving into science. Colorful diagrams explaining the immune system and replication of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) enhance the narrative. Early vaccination attempts are intriguingly described, as are antivaccination claims. Recent setbacks, such as the failed Lyme disease vaccine, as well as advancements in one for the Ebola virus, are detailed. The birth of the modern antivaccination movement, including the media's influential role in presenting a 'both sides' environment and Andrew Wakefield's discredited study linking vaccines to autism, is an eye-opening segment. Readers will also encounter sections on herd immunity, the threat of climate change on preventable diseases, and further studies for vaccines to prevent the Zika virus and HIV/AIDS. Layout and design have a clean, attractive format. In this age of antiscience and antivaccination information, this is a valuable resource for students and adult patrons. VERDICT A straightforward and persuasive overview that presents the history and necessity of vaccines. Recommended for large collections and middle and high school libraries."--School Library Journal

-- (3/1/2018 12:00:00 AM)

"This is an organized, documented, and accessible account of the history of vaccinations. Chapters address the importance of vaccinations and their effects on world populations, safety and side effects, what vaccine serums consist of and how they work, and future vaccines that are under development and may be available some day. It offers balanced coverage of the fear vaccinations evoke and the reasoning behind it, arguments against them, and events that prompted those arguments. Easily digestible diagrams, charts, graphs, personal stories, and interesting (even stupefying) statistics help make the going easy. It's easy to tell that author Haelle has teaching experience, as evidenced by the student-friendly approach, vocabulary defined within the text--'fetuses (developing babies)'--and straightforward glossary definitions. The source notes, selected bibliography, and annotated further reading suggestions assist in making this an excellent introduction to a complicated and timely topic. This will be extremely helpful for secondary STEM and current issues research."--Booklist

-- (1/18/2018 12:00:00 AM)