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Vaccinated: One Man's Quest to Defeat the World's Deadliest Diseases Reprint Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
Offits gave a lot of good information about the history of vaccination. What drove the need for them, about other people who developed vaccines like Jenner and Pasteur, fights over live versus attenuated vaccines, etc. All of this was written in a very interesting book. I finished it extremely fast...and even read several relevant parts to my current microbiology classes. I guess my main complaint about the book is the 'rose-colored glasses' with which all of it was written with. As a person who survived my mom being exposed to rubella in the womb, and who is Deaf...and who also was given the rubella vaccine in the 1970's when I was 20...and who broke out in full-fledged rubella for 2 whole weeks because the doctors back then did not understand how latent viruses work, I'm kind of an expert on some of this stuff. Yes, I know all about Andrew Wakefield and his idiotic article in Lancet that the media ran with about the MMR vaccine causing autism...Read more ›
The author presents the story of Maurice Hilleman, a scientist and researcher who worked on some of the most effective and life altering vaccines of the twentieth century. As the author so rightly points out, until vaccines came along, life expectancy was a lot lower. Vaccines helped to end diseases that were crippling the population and killing many people every year. But, the struggle to manufacture vaccines was not easy. There was a lot of trial and error and more than a few misses in the race to find working vaccines.
Hilleman was not the man that actually created the vaccines….he was the man who discovered how to make them efficiently and how to package them for wide distribution. His work cannot be understated in the fight against diseases such as polio, mumps, measles, hepatitis (pick a strain) and numerous other diseases.
I would recommend this book to anyone, but in particular to those who are sure that vaccines are the cause of autism. It pretty plainly debunks the most widely held argument against vaccination…that thimerosol is present in every vaccine. It was added when multi use vials were the norm, but now that single use vials are common, it is no longer needed.
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.
I also like Dr. Offit's style of writing.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is a fascinating look into the life and work of a most interesting man. Well written and easy to understand for the non-scientist reader, it follows the development of... Read morePublished 1 day ago by D Elliott
Reads like a novel. The writer also has the capacity to clearly explain scientific processes. Should be required reading for conspiracy theorists and those who continue to believe... Read morePublished 1 day ago by Wendy B. Smith
Interesting and informative. That I had just visited Hillerman's part of Montana was a plus.Published 7 days ago by LindyH
So many things we take as common place have such an extraordinary beginning. Such is the case with vaccines!! Thank you to Dr Hilleman and so many of his contemporaries.Published 17 days ago by Ann Wortinger
I found this book explained vaccines and how they work well. I hope they are still made today the way Dr. Hilleman worked so hard to achieve.Published 18 days ago by Greta P.
I am definitely going to see if my library has this book as I would be curious to find out more. I am a survivor of rubella exposure in the womb living with congenital rubella... Read morePublished 19 days ago by Essie
I agree with Constantin's 5 star review and K L Sadler's 4 star review. I can't really improve on either of those excellent reviews. This is an important and excellent book. Read morePublished 1 month ago by doug korty
Dr. Offit is an excellent knowledgeable writer. This is medical history presented so interestingly, it is difficult to stop reading.Published 3 months ago by Eileen Fery
Fantastic book! Dr. Offit does an excellent job of explaining very advanced science to what is not always a highly educated audience. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Amazon Customer