- Hardcover: 220 pages
- Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers; 1 edition (August 9, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 144221578X
- ISBN-13: 978-1442215788
- Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.8 x 9.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (93 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,154,659 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Your Baby's Best Shot: Why Vaccines Are Safe and Save Lives 1st Edition
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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.)
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
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Top customer reviews
After recently dealing with a bout of whooping cough myself, I learned a lot. This is one of two books I'll be giving to every new mom. (The other book is The Read Aloud Handbook, by Jim Trelease, just FYI.) I've told my doctors' offices about it and will share with my daughter's pediatrician too. The need for vaccines is too important to our society for me NOT to share this book any way I can.
Interesting sections are included on the history of vaccination and what life was like before vaccines were available. There is discussion of some of the myths and misinformation about vaccination that have become prevalent with the expansion of the internet and social media and have caused anxiety to parents.
This useful book is enhanced by references and bibliography for those wishing to undertake further reading, as well as a detailed index.
Your Baby's Best Shot breaks down gut-punching topics into palatable bite-size pieces. The writing is not verbose or flowery, and gets right down to the science and basics of vaccines, the diseases themselves and the true risks of vaccination.
Written for the non-science person, the concepts are easy to understand. The authors deconstruct many of the common myths surrounding vaccines and the origin of the misinformation. They also give you tips on how to utilize the internet, how to recognize good sources and invoke critical thinking. They provide insight into what makes a poor source and why they cannot be relied upon.
I would recommend this book to all who are interested in learning the facts behind this divisive topic. This book is an incredibly helpful navigational tool in a minefield of information.
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.
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." If you're vaccinating your kids, but are unsure if it's the right thing to do, or you want to change the vaccine schedule, then read this book because it should allay most, if not all of your fears. If you're not vaccinating your kids, then maybe you'll find information that will convince you to start vaccinating them because it's safe and because it prevents diseases that can kill. Of course, if you're not vaccinating because you accept the misinformation of the anti-vaccine side, you probably won't read this book.
I do have a couple of very small nits to pick. There was one glaring error about bacteria. It was very very minor, and I'm hoping that future editions will update it. And second, I get the impression that the authors were trying to be as emotionally unbiased as possible, that some parts of the book (like the vaccine ingredients section) seemed very stilted. Of course, that's just an opinion because the danger of most of the ingredients is so laughable that I would have written in a snarky, and probably off-putting tone of voice.
All in all, this is a great book. It will be a resource for my writing.