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The Vaccine Book: Making the Right Decision for Your Child (Sears Parenting Library) Paperback – October 26, 2011

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Product Details

  • Series: Sears Parenting Library
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; Rev Upd edition (October 26, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316180521
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316180528
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (316 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,505 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Robert W. Sears, MD, FAAP, is a board-certified pediatrician in private practice in southern California. Dr. Bob received his medical degree from Georgetown University and completed his pediatric training at Children's Hospital Los Angeles. He has co-authored six books in the Sears Parenting Library, including The Portable Pediatrician and The Baby Book. He is also the author of The Autism Book and co-author of Happy Baby. He lives with his family in Dana Point, CA.

Customer Reviews

It is very informational and easy to read.
I like how Dr. Sears discusses the risk of each disease, prevalance, risks when traveling, and what is all in the vaccine.
Stephanie Siegert
Great book for making informed decisions about vaccines!
Kate Swanson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

159 of 174 people found the following review helpful By N. Shepard on April 12, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book wanting to get the anti-vaccine side of the argument, because I was told this book had references to real white-paper studies and not just the endless string of tear-jerking but scientifically meaningless anecdotal stories that you see on TV and read about online.

I was very impressed with and surprised by this book. It was not anti-vaccine at all, it simply described each vaccine and each ingredient and presented the most current scientific safety study findings on each, along with the corresponding risks of each disease. Drawing no conclusions, Dr. Sears challenges each parent to make their own decision about each vaccine's use and schedule one at a time, with specific advice for various scenarios (breast-fed at home vs 5 days/week in daycare, for example).

My wife and I were pleased to find ourselves intuitively designing our own custom vaccine schedule as we read through the book, custom tailored for our unique situation. After reading, we choose to almost fully vaccinate, but on a schedule we were comfortable with and against a set of risks that we now understand very well and can defend to anyone based on scientific evidence. All facts in the book are backed up with specific white-papers which Dr. Sears annotates as you go through the book, so you can cross-reference the research yourself (some vaccines intrigued me more than others).

This is the only resource (including FDA and CDC) that we have found so far that provides a balanced, fair-minded, non-dogmatic approach to the broad topic of vaccination. The reality is made clear: each vaccine is an individual medical treatment, not a component in a holy war.
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184 of 254 people found the following review helpful By ciaparker on January 31, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Dr. Sears' book is a good introduction to the topic of vaccines, but it is much too conservative in its opinions. He ultimately advises the parent to follow his modified schedule of vaccines, which would be less dangereous than following the complete schedule, but which is still very dangerous. He advises in his The Autism Book that children who have an autistic sibling not be vaccinated, that children with autism never get another vaccine, and that children with a history of neurological or autoimmune disease in their family not be vaccinated. This disqualifies most children in our society, and is much more truthful, but he doesn't go this far in the Vaccine Book.
My daughter was given the hep-B vaccine at birth (even though I had told her pediatrician I didn't want her to get it: he forgot to tell the staff at the hospital, who gave it to her when she was hours old without asking permission). She reacted with four days and nights of endless, inconsolable screaming. It was vaccine-induced encephalitis, and she was later diagnosed with autism. Dr. Sears recognizes that vaccine-induced encephalitis is relatively common, but says it usually doesn't cause permanent harm (but unfortunately, it often does). The symptoms may be agonized screaming from the brain inflammation, but may be as mild as somnolence or staring episodes (hard to spot in a newborn). Dr. Sears has an interesting chapter on how this vaccine was put on the schedule in 1991 based on totally false and inflated figures. It was only surmised that there must surely be a lot of hep-B among children to account for so many cases among drug-users and those who practiced unsafe sex as adults. The actual evidence has always been completely lacking.
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26 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Kurtis on March 14, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Wow! Stunning. For any parent curious enough to question whether or not they should follow the recommended vaccine schedule, this is a great place to start. Is it flawless? Of course not. Does it offer the most complete critique of vaccination? No. Do I agree with the author's ultimate conclusions about whether or not to vaccinate? Hardly. And yet I would give it six stars (or more) if I could. It may be imperfect and incomplete, but I have seen nothing else of this kind that compares in reasonableness and reliability.

It is well organized and easy to read. So, it serves well both as a book to read cover to cover and/or as a reference. It is neutral in tone, and painstakingly fair in looking at each issue from "both" sides. Sears does offer his opinion (which I don't always agree with), but only after providing relevant facts sufficient to enable the reader to make up his or her own mind. And his approach to calculating relative risks (though not flawless) is very useful.

I'll just give one example of his fairness toward those who question the CDC guidelines. Regarding a 2003 Study published in Pediatrics, Sears explains, "Although at first it was considered reliable, it was later discovered (in unpublished CDC research made public by the Freedom of Information Act) that the study initially showed that vaccine mercury actually increased the risk of autism seven fold. But instead of publishing that result, researchers expanded the study to include tens of thousands of additional children who were part of a bankrupt HMO that failed to keep adequate medical records, essentially diluting the study with enough nonautistic children to give the result that the mercury did not cause autism.
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