Vaccines: What Everyone Needs to Know

In This Review

Vaccines: What Everyone Needs to Know
By Kristen A. Feemster
Oxford University Press, 2017
208 pp.

Life has been made immeasurably better by the sharp decline in the incidence of infectious diseases, an improvement made possible through inoculations, especially of children, which protect people from contracting diseases and have led to the elimination or near elimination of maladies such as smallpox and polio. Yet public wariness of vaccines persists and has even in some cases increased—perhaps, ironically, owing in part to the decline in disease incidence produced by vaccines. This useful, fair-minded, and extremely informative book explains how vaccines are produced and how they work; discusses the diverse reasons behind some parents’ hesitancy to inoculate their children; explores the prospect of employing vaccines for not only preventing but also curing some diseases, including AIDS and even some cancers; and examines the potential for the total elimination of particular diseases, such as measles.

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