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Your Baby's Best Shot: Why Vaccines Are Safe and Save Lives [Kindle Edition]

Stacy Mintzer Herlihy , E. Allison Hagood , Paul A., M.D. Offit
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Parents can easily be bombarded by conflicting messages about vaccines a dozen times each week. One side argues that vaccines are a necessary public health measure that protects children against dangerous and potentially deadly diseases. The other side vociferously maintains that vaccines are nothing more than a sop to pharmaceutical companies, and that the diseases they allegedly help prevent are nothing more than minor annoyances. An ordinary parent may have no idea where to turn to find accurate information.

Your Baby’s Best Shot is written for the parent who does not have a background in science, research, or medicine, and who is confused and overwhelmed by the massive amount of information regarding the issue of child vaccines. New parents are worried about the decisions that they are making regarding their children’s health, and this work helps them wade through the information they receive in order to help them understand that vaccinating their child is actually one of the simplest and smartest decisions that they can make.

Covering such topics as vaccine ingredients, how vaccines work, what can happen when populations don’t vaccinate their children, and the controversies surrounding supposed links to autism, allergies, and asthma, the authors provide an overview of the field in an easy to understand guide for parents.

In an age when autism diagnoses remain on the rise, when a single infectious individual can help spark an epidemic in three countries, when doctors routinely administer an often bewildering array of shots, and when parents swear their babies were fine until their first dosage of the MMR, the authors hope this book will serve as a crucial resource to help parents understand this vitally important issue.

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Herlihy and Hagood team up with their respective expertise in research/writing (Herlihy) and psychology (Hagood) to dispel the fear some parents have about vaccines and their ingredients and their possible negative effects on children. Unfortunately, the book lacks a careful critical presentation; instead, favoring mudslinging at a few already discredited researchers in the vaccine-safety field, admonitions against parents who question vaccine safety, and quoting slightly out-of-context information and imply that a baby can tolerate as much formaldehyde (a vaccine ingredient) as an adult, and a sometimes cavalier tone (they cite "high fevers or fussiness or even a few dirty looks" as negative side effects of vaccination). All this is based on generalizations rather than hard numbers. An outstanding section on historical epidemiology helps readers gain perspective on the dangers children faced from childhood diseases like polio before the widespread use of vaccination. However, despite many strong points, this book is not for parents who came to the table truly worried that the schedule of vaccines required by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is dangerous, ineffective, or even optimal. The authors do present some very interesting counterpoints to arguments offered by the movement against mandatory vaccination, but overall, parents who want to stay informed may want more out of their resources, and would do well to obtain books or articles written by scientists, like David Offitt--a leader in the field of vaccine safety. (Sept.)

From Booklist

This thoroughly researched book should convince even ardent vaccine skeptics that the benefits of giving kids shots to prevent illnesses far outweigh any negatives. The authors are not big names in the vaccine world (one is a freelance writer, and the other is a psychology professor. Yet they show a commanding knowledge of their topic. In a coup that lends credibility to their scientifically sound book, they nabbed a foreword by Paul Offit, the famous University of Pennsylvania pediatrician who coinvented the rotavirus vaccine and who forcefully (and correctly) maintained that autism is not linked to inoculations. Herlihy and Hagood present many interesting facts: today there are vaccines against 22 diseases; George Washington and Abraham Lincoln survived smallpox; in 1979, smallpox officially became “the first disease conquered by human efforts”; the flavor enhancer MSG is added to vaccines to preserve their efficacy. An index would have been helpful, but this book, with its extensive notes and bibliography, should go a long way toward convincing even the most leery that vaccines save lives. --Karen Springen

Product Details

  • File Size: 421 KB
  • Print Length: 225 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 144221578X
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers; 1 edition (August 9, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008UTQS2M
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #915,399 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
154 of 176 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I bought the book, "Your Baby's Best Shot," and it exceeded my expectations. From a parental viewpoint, I found it easy and concise to read. From a nurse's perspective, it gave great insight to the difficult position new parents are in when their child requires immunizations. With all misinformation overload from the media, Internet and 'well-meaning' neighbors, it's overwhelming for parents to make well-educated decisions. The authors are knowledgeable about immunization and provide an excellent service in debunking the common myths in an easy to understand manner. It's apparent that the women behind this book are major advocates for promoting children's health and safety.

This book makes a great baby shower gift- a present for both the parent and child. By educating and supporting parents who vaccinate their children, it provides a service that validates a parents decision that protects children from vaccine-preventable diseases and the suffering and potential death that accompany them.
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116 of 132 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clear information about the truths and myths of vaccines December 26, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
To be honest, I'm fairly knowledgeable about vaccines, and I only purchased this book just to add to my library. I had read several other books from Paul Offit and Seth Mnookin about vaccines, and I'm pretty well tied into research articles on vaccines and immunology, so I wasn't sure I'd be reading it.

Then, one evening I decided to read the book. What I like about the book?

1. Careful, thoughtful explanation and debunking of many of the myths of the anti-vaccine group.
2. The section on vaccine ingredients was well written. This section will now be my go-to source when I write about vaccines.
3. Well cited, with sources from major peer-reviewed journals. I don't know precisely how many citations there are in the book, but it numbers into the hundreds. (And using the Kindle on my iPad, means all links are hot, so I can quickly review them in a browser).
4. Being a history aficionado, I love the story about Jenner and the way we came to stop smallpox, a disease that has been eradicated by vaccines. There were other historical vignettes that were interesting too.
5. The chapter on the HPV vaccine should be a must-read for any parent with teenagers. The HPV vaccine stops a deadly cancer. Period, end of story.
6. The authors stay calm, rational and optimistic about vaccines. They don't drop into ad hominems or even simple frustration with the outrageous fabrications of the anti-vaccine crowd.

If you vaccinate your kids, and you don't need convincing, then read this book because you'll have information when someone inevitably gives you some anti-vaccine "advice.
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150 of 173 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Something every unsure mom should read January 13, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book has 159 pages of dense, scientifically supported text, and still manages to be a pleasure to read. It's interesting, careful, thorough and balanced. The reviewers accusing it of ignoring side effects have probably not read it: It describes severe side effects and acknowledges them. Then it points out that severe vaccine reactions are rare - while emphasizing that mild reactions are very common. It completes the picture by reminding us of the risks of not vaccinating, without exaggerating them. It provides large amounts of information on each disease and each vaccine. It does not dismiss any of the possible concerns anxious parents may have; rather it addresses them directly by explaining the ingredients that go into the vaccine, the testing process, and common claims against vaccines (e.g. vaccines and autism). But they also put them in context, reminding the reader of the world before vaccine in vivid, strong terms. And yes, they conclude that vaccinating a child is the right thing to do. The science, as the authors amply demonstrate, supports that conclusion; yes, vaccines are not risk-free, but as the authors point out, the best reliable evidence we have strongly supports the conclusions that their risks are smaller than the benefits. Why should they soften that in the name of a false balance? It would be like writing a a book about seat belts that fudges on whether they should be used. But the book is still balanced: it seriously considers objections and explains why they are not valid. It's a wonderful source for moms who have concerns about vaccination, and I highly recommend it.
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116 of 136 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lively and reassuring September 15, 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Stacy Herlihy and Allison Hagood have written a lively, easy-to-read guide to the realities about vaccines. They introduce themselves, then go to the history of vaccine development and a review of the biology of vaccines. In this chapter, the human immune system is explained and how vaccines affect the immune system is explained in non-technical language.

Many parents are concerned about the ingredients in vaccines. The book demystifies most common ingredients, and provides readers with a way of visualizing the amounts in question. The book also covers adverse reactions, and reviews how common true adverse effects are.

Next, the book turns to myths about vaccines involving autism, ADHD, allergies, asthma, sudden infant death and more. The authors carefully explain how the myths started and why they are false. Finally, the book names some of the leading figures in the anti-vaccine movement and explains how they are mistaken.

This book would make a great baby shower gift. I wish obstetricians and pediatricians would buy this in bulk to give out to their patients, either as part of prenatal care or as a helpful guide to new parents.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Your babies worst shot, proven useless and dangerous
Firstly the vaccine hoax:

'Vaccines did not save humanity and never will. Vaccines have never been proven truly safe ... Read more
Published 3 months ago by
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Guidance!
The co-authors present information about vaccines - and why they are safe and effective - in a manner that keeps you engaged! This is not always easy to do with scientific topics. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Catherine Lafuente
1.0 out of 5 stars Not worth the read at all
Funny how Alison's croneys got my last review removed. This book was horrible and ripe with inaccuracies. It is going to do the pro-vax cause more harm than good. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Barbara1961
1.0 out of 5 stars Untrustworthy Book
I am pro vaccine, I think all people should vaccinate fully and on schedule. That said, the authors of this book have no qualifications and are nothing but facebook bullies. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Barbara1961
1.0 out of 5 stars Gentle Persuasion is the new Sales Pitch for Vaccines
In order to be able to write a honest book about our children's health, you first need to have an honest heart. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Elizabeth Taylor
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for any parent who is considering not vaccinating
There is so much fear out there that is easy to buy into once you have a baby. After reading this book,there is no doubt in my mind that vaccination is for my family.
Published 5 months ago by carly phillippie
1.0 out of 5 stars Terribly one side and full of misinformation
I was hoping to gain some unbiased information as the books description seemed to indicate the book is about helping parents with information and how it could help parents towards... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Gui Eberhard
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the most important topics of our time
Well-researched and easily accessible book on one of the most important topics of our time. This is a book I will be recommending to young parents who are concerned about the... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Tamara J. Buchli
5.0 out of 5 stars Informative and fact-based
This book is perfect for parents looking for factual information about vaccines. This book addresses many of the concerns that parents may have regarding vaccines and provides a... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Katrina Edmonds
1.0 out of 5 stars Dreadful. If I had a dollar for every half-truth...
What a laugh! I have to say I was a little surprised to see this book even made it past the publishers (well, I would be if we lived in an ideal world where money didn't talk so... Read more
Published 12 months ago by NaturopathErin
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