Vaccines are often a focus of controversy as well as the subject of misleading information, making this authoritative resource all the more valuable.
Science journalist Haelle (The Informed Parent, 2016) provides in-depth coverage of the history of vaccines, how they work, and why they are needed. She also explores the complicated issue of how they have become controversial, providing fascinating background information on the flawed research that has led some to link them to various adverse outcomes. Along with a 1982 television broadcast that erroneously reported that the DPT vaccine caused seizures and brain damage, the book also describes British doctor Andrew Wakefield’s criminally misleading study that implicated the MMR vaccine in the apparent rise in autism. The relatively challenging text also incorporates information on common thinking patterns—cognitive biases—that lead people to readily embrace unscientific reasoning. Because this effort is so well-researched, articulate, and thoughtful in its presentation, and because it provides unbiased information on a critical topic of current concern, it represents an essential purchase for collections serving young adults.
A must-have resource with fine backmatter that enhances its presentation. (source notes, glossary, bibliography, further reading, index) (Nonfiction. 12-adult)