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Vaccinated: One Man's Quest to Defeat the World's Deadliest Diseases Hardcover – June 12, 2007

ISBN-13: 978-0061227950 ISBN-10: 0061227951 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Smithsonian; 1 edition (June 12, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061227951
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061227950
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 6.3 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #858,527 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Maurice Hilleman's name isn't well known, and according to infectious disease expert Offit's riveting biography, that is both a shame and a blessing. It's a shame because the outspoken, brilliant, yet humble scientist from Montana invented vaccines that all but wiped out a number of infectious diseases. Thanks to his genius, such diseases as mumps, rubella, measles, and hepatitis A and B no longer claim millions of lives, mostly children's. He merits greater recognition. His obscurity is a blessing because it prevents more people from using his name in vain, for Hilleman's vaccines have recently become increasingly controversial and their efficacy clouded by questions about adverse side effects. Still, Offit pulls no punches in defending Hilleman against those who would crucify him for combining measles, mumps, and rubella vaccines into one shot and for the choice to add thimerosal to extend the shelf life of all vaccines. Despite the fact that Offit's bias on behalf of public health shows, the book is a powerful examination of the kind of single-minded determination it takes to tackle diseases that threaten the world's children. And to do so without bravado—no vaccine bears Hilleman's name, no awards his mantle—is to define what it is to be simply heroic. Chavez, Donna

Review

“This extraordinarily fine, well-researched, and beautifully written book deserves the widest possible readership. More physicians should write this well.” (Choice magazine)

More About the Author

Paul A. Offit, M.D., is Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases and Director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, as well as the Maurice R. Hilleman Professor of Vaccinology and Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. An expert in the field of vaccines, he is a recipient of many awards, including the J. Edmund Bradley Prize for Excellence in Pediatrics from the University of Maryland Medical School; the Young Investigator Award in Vaccine Development from the Infectious Disease Society of America; and a Research Career Development Award from the National Institutes of Health. His books include the recent Autism's False Prophets: Bad Science, Risky Medicine, and the Search for a Cure. Visit his website at www.paul-offit.com.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 45 customer reviews
I found this to be a fascinating book, very accessibly written.
Tamara J. Buchli
The answer is in Offit's book which is about the idea of, the creation of, the development of, the efficacy of, vaccines and vaccinations.
Dick Jenssen
Maurice Hilleman was a great man, it's its great to hear his story.
Joshua B. Stewart

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 27 people found the following review helpful By C. Clark on September 6, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I love this book. I appreciate the realistic portrayal of Maurice Hilleman and his contemporaries, and how realistic the portrayal of the way vaccines were created in the 1950's, including the fact that the scientists tested out the vaccines on themselves and their families. I think I will always remember the pictures of Hilleman's daughters including the one who had been the host of the mumps virus that her father turned into a vaccine for mumps. It is officially called the Jeryl Lynn mumps strain even today. Hilleman encouraged his daughters to study science.

I also like Dr. Offit's style of writing.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Constantin on November 23, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Dr. Offits chronology of Maurice Hillemans life is not only interesting because of the remarkable ascent and achievements of this virtually unknown genius, but also because Dr. Offit places the development of vaccines into the context of a world that did not have the resources & knowledge of scientists today.

Because vaccines have been such a success, the general population no longer knows what it is like to live through a genuine pandemic. We no longer see children living in iron lungs, walking the streets with shriveled limbs, etc. Yet, at one point, Polio was a very common disease. Similarly, we learn why so many schools for the deaf and blind have closed - because general vaccination drives have made the diseases that lead to these outcomes exceedingly rare. As a result, Dr. Offit points out that the current trend towards avoiding vaccinations due to unfounded fears will only result in one certainty: More dead, and crippled children.

That is not to say that vaccinations have been an unbridled success from the start. There were issues and outright charlatans then, just as there are now. However, modern science, with its much better reporting, aggregation, and statistical analysis of outcomes has done a fantastic job of minimizing adverse reactions to vaccines, determining cause-and-effect when there were reactions (caused by the vaccine or other unrelated factors). As Dr. Offit illustrates, the certainty with which some parents attribute MMR vaccines to autism issues are simply not supported by the facts; correlation is not causation.

All in all, a very powerful and insightful book written by a courageous man. After all, the autism-was-caused-by-a-vaccine bandwagon has not shown any signs yet of abating. All too understandable, I suppose, when the more likely cause of Autism will be found in the genetics of the parents. It's harder to take ones own blame in a issue than assign it to others.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By George Barnstone on February 5, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I greatly enjoyed reading this book on a subject which I was unfamiliar with. Dr. Offit is a good writer.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Anna on September 18, 2012
Format: Paperback
I read this book after reading several other books on the debate of whether or not people should be vaccinated and about viruses. This book offerred a different view into the vaccine world and was extremely interesting. It describes Maurice Hilleman as a truly great man and makes the reader realize how often we don't reward people that deserve much more praise. Dr. Offit's style of writing is easy and interesting to follow and he describes the development of a vaccine in simple terms, making the reader further appreciate how far technology has come along and how many people today are healthy because of the vaccines that were developed during the last century. Everyone who is even remotely interested in learning about vaccines and the history of their development should read this book. Additionally, the book not only contains a summary of how vaccines were created, but specific stories that led to their development. For example, Dr. Offit describes an instance of Maurice Hilleman swabbing his daughter's throat knowing she was sick with the mumps and then later developing the vaccine. This fatherly approach to treatment and then further preventing the illness in millions of kids is truly inspirational and praise-worthy.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Santi22 on September 18, 2012
Format: Paperback
Vaccinated: One Man's Quest to Defeat the World's Deadliest Diseases by Dr. Paul A. Offit is an incredible account on the life of Maurice Hillman. This is an incredible read as you get to know about the "father of modern vaccines" who is widely unknown by the general public. Offit paints Hillman in an incredibly accurate life - not only detailing his numerous accomplishments but also his very interesting personality. Hillman, who created nine of the vaccines that nearly every child gets, had a very interesting history growing up and was also extremely humble - facets of his life that Offit put much emphasis on.
Essentially, Offit uses this book to also communicate the fact that people should continue to get these lifesaving vaccines because withholding is causing many problems. He clearly and compellingly rebuts these arguments by demonstrating how much Hillman did by creating these vaccines which now save so many lives. With the story that he paints of Hillman, it makes readers really see how much knowledge and effort went into the creation of these vaccines and really makes anyone who doesn't give their kids vaccines look extremely foolish. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn about the life of a great man who influences nearly every human being on this earth and has saved so many lives. It is definitely a great read!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Joshua B. Stewart on April 30, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I enjoyed the great history lesson on vaccinations. Although the other, a former Merck employee, seemed to gloss over some of the underlying g financial motivations of present-day companies, it was nice to understand that it wasn't always completely for profit. Maurice Hilleman was a great man, it's its great to hear his story.
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