History of Vaccine Development by Stanley Plotkin (Editor)Vaccinology, the concept of a science ranging from the study of immunology to the development and distribution of vaccines, was a word invented by Jonas Salk. This book covers the history of the methodological progress in vaccine development and to the social and ethical issues raised by vaccination. Chapters include "Jenner and the Vaccination against Smallpox," "Viral Vaccines," and "Ethical and Social Aspects of vaccines." Contributing authors include pioneers in the field, such as Samuel L. Katz and Hilary Koprowski. This history of vaccines is relatively short and many of its protagonists are still alive. This book was written by some of the chief actors in the drama whose subject matter is the conquest of epidemic disease.
Publication Date: 2014
Vaccine Nation by Elena ConisWhile vaccination rates have soared and cases of preventable infections have plummeted, an increasingly vocal cross section of Americans have questioned the safety and necessity of vaccines. In Vaccine Nation, Elena Conis explores this complicated history and its consequences for personal and public health. Vaccine Nation opens in the 1960s, when government scientists--triumphant following successes combating polio and smallpox--considered how the country might deploy new vaccines against what they called the "milder" diseases, including measles, mumps, and rubella. In the years that followed, Conis reveals, vaccines fundamentally changed how medical professionals, policy administrators, and ordinary Americans came to perceive the diseases they were designed to prevent. She brings this history up to the present with an insightful look at the past decade's controversy over the implementation of the Gardasil vaccine for HPV, which sparked extensive debate because of its focus on adolescent girls and young women. Through this and other examples, Conis demonstrates how the acceptance of vaccines and vaccination policies has been as contingent on political and social concerns as on scientific findings. By setting the complex story of American vaccination within the country's broader history, Vaccine Nation goes beyond the simple story of the triumph of science over disease and provides a new and perceptive account of the role of politics and social forces in medicine.
Publication Date: 2014
The Cutter Incident by Paul A. OffitVaccines have saved more lives than any other single medical advance. Yet today only four companies make vaccines, and there is a growing crisis in vaccine availability. Why has this happened? This remarkable book recounts for the first time a devastating episode in 1955 at Cutter Laboratories in Berkeley, California, thathas led many pharmaceutical companies to abandon vaccine manufacture.Drawing on interviews with public health officials, pharmaceutical company executives, attorneys, Cutter employees, and victims of the vaccine, as well as on previously unavailable archives, Dr. Paul Offit offers a full account of the Cutter disaster. He describes the nation’s relief when the polio vaccine was developed by Jonas Salk in 1955, the production of the vaccine at industrial facilities such as the one operated by Cutter, and the tragedy that occurred when 200,000 people were inadvertently injected with live virulent polio virus: 70,000 became ill, 200 were permanently paralyzed, and 10 died. Dr. Offit also explores how, as a consequence of the tragedy, one jury’s verdict set in motion events that eventually suppressed the production of vaccines already licensed and deterred the development of new vaccines that hold the promise of preventing other fatal diseases.
Publication Date: 2005
The Panic Virus by Seth MnookinWHO DECIDES WHICH FACTS ARE TRUE? In 1998 Andrew Wakefield, a British gastroenterologist with a history of self-promotion, published a paper with a shocking allegation: the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine might cause autism. The media seized hold of the story and, in the process, helped to launch one of the most devastating health scares ever. In the years to come Wakefield would be revealed as a profiteer in league with class-action lawyers, and he would eventually lose his medical license. Meanwhile one study after another failed to find any link between childhood vaccines and autism. Yet the myth that vaccines somehow cause developmental disorders lives on. Despite the lack of corroborating evidence, it has been popularized by media personalities such as Oprah Winfrey and Jenny McCarthy and legitimized by journalists who claim that they are just being fair to "both sides" of an issue about which there is little debate. Meanwhile millions of dollars have been diverted from potential breakthroughs in autism research, families have spent their savings on ineffective "miracle cures," and declining vaccination rates have led to outbreaks of deadly illnesses like Hib, measles, and whooping cough. Most tragic of all is the increasing number of children dying from vaccine-preventable diseases. In The Panic Virus Seth Mnookin draws on interviews with parents, public-health advocates, scientists, and anti-vaccine activists to tackle a fundamental question: How do we decide what the truth is? The fascinating answer helps explain everything from the persistence of conspiracy theories about 9/11 to the appeal of talk-show hosts who demand that President Obama "prove" he was born in America. The Panic Virus is a riveting and sometimes heart-breaking medical detective story that explores the limits of rational thought. It is the ultimate cautionary tale for our time.
Publication Date: 2011
Vaccinations and Public Concern in History by Andrea Kittaexplores vernacular beliefs and practices that surround decisions not to vaccinate. Through the use of ethnographic, media, and narrative analyses, this book explores the vernacular explanatory models used in inoculation decision-making. The research on which the book draws was designed to help create public health education programs and promotional materials that respond to patients' fears, understandings of risk, concerns, and doubts. Exploring the nature of inoculation distrust and miscommunication, Dr. Andrea Kitta identifies areas that require better public health communication and greater cultural sensitivity in the handling of inoculation programs.