books on vaccination

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
books on vaccination
Sun, 08-17-2003 - 10:27am
Hi. I hope I'm doing this in the right forum. I was wondering if I could get people's opinions on the following books on vaccination. One of them is pro-vaccine, a couple are anti-vaccination, and a couple seem to be open minded.

What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Children's Vaccinations

by Stephanie Cave, Deborah Mitchell

Vaccines: What Every Parent Should Know

by Paul A. Offit (Author), Louis M. Bell (Author)

Vaccinations: A Thoughtful Parent's Guide: How to Make Safe, Sensible Decisions about the Risks, Benefits, and Alternatives

by Aviva Jill Romm

Vaccines: Are They Really Safe and Effective! a Parent's Guide to Childhood Shots

by Neil Z. Miller

Immunization : History, Ethics, Law and Health

by Catherine J. M. Diodati

Avatar for suschi
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Sun, 08-17-2003 - 11:13am
I have heard the book by Ms Cave was good. Another book you listed, by Vaccines: What Every Parent Should Know by Paul A. Offit (Author), would obviously be pro, as he has a patent on a rotavirus vaccine, voted to recommend the now recalled Rotashield vaccine (that killed several (and injured many) babies before it was taken off the market)

"At our April 6 autism hearing, Dr. Paul Offit disclosed that he holds a patent on a rotavirus vaccine and receives grant money from Merck to develop this vaccine. He also disclosed that he is paid by the pharmaceutical industry to travel around the country and teach doctors that vaccines are safe. Dr. Offit is a member of the CDC’s advisory committee and voted on three rotavirus issues – including making the recommendation of adding the rotavirus vaccine to the Vaccines for Children’s program."

From Opening Statement

Chairman Dan Burton

Committee on Government Reform

“FACA: Conflicts of Interest and Vaccine Development:

Preserving the Integrity of the Process”

Thursday, June 15, 2000

I would recommend the book How To Raise A Healthy Child in Spite of Your Doctor

written by Dr Robert S Mendelsohn, a pediatrician.

I don't know about the other books you mentioned.


Avatar for kidoctr
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Sun, 08-17-2003 - 11:55am
Paddedpaws - Keeley had previously posted her opinions of the Cave book here:

I've read the Cave book as well and agree with Keeley's assessment - it's unfortunately chock full of information that I find questionable or outright misleading.

Despite what Christine suggested, Dr. Paul Offit is a very knowledgable and respected pediatrician, husband, and father of 2:

"Paul Offit, M.D., chief of infectious diseases at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and the Henle Professor of Immunologic and Infectious Diseases at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, is an internationally recognized expert in the fields of immunology and virology. He's received numerous awards, including the J. Edmund Bradley Prize for Excellence in Pediatrics and the Young Investigator Award in vaccine development. Dr. Offit has written two books, Vaccines: What You Should Know (with Louis Bell, M.D.) and Breaking the Antibiotic Habit: A Parent's Guide to Coughs, Colds, Ear Infections, and Sore Throats (with Louis Bell, M.D., and Bonnie Fass-Offit). Dr. Offit lives near Philadelphia with his wife and two children, Will and Emily."

However, I have not read his book and couldn't comment on it directly. The Romm book is on my reading to-do list.

Regarding Dr Mendelsohn, it might help to know what angle he takes by reading his other books: "Confessions of a Medical Heretic" and "Male Practice: How Doctors Manipulate Women" (never mind the fact that he is a male doctor, lol).

HTH - Eve

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Mon, 08-18-2003 - 12:55pm
Thank you both for your opinions. I'm a little bit confused right now. People on both sides of the debate tell me that the other side uses pseudoscience and incorrect information. I guess I'll have to do a lot of reading and research to figure it out. Thanks for responding.
Avatar for keeley_14383
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Mon, 08-18-2003 - 2:22pm
Greetings, here's another link to comments of mine on the Cave book (maybe Eve meant to post this one?) Welcome to the debate -- I completely agree with you, it IS confusing. There is a lot of misinformation out there, and a lot of scare tactics on both sides. There is a lot of honest disagreement as well.

There are tons of books out there regarding vaccination, but I really would not recommend reading them. They all have their own agenda to promote, and the information presented is subject to the author's interpretation. In order to get your own answers, you have to decide what is important for YOUR family. I always recommend calling your state (or if you are out of the U.S., the equivalent) health department. They can give you information on the vaccination laws in your state, and information on recent outbreaks of the diseases we vaccinate for. This can give you an idea (not proof, though) of the risk of exposure in your area. Then read up on the diseases themselves. Then search for medical journal articles regarding the diseases and the vaccines, and your specific concerns. These can be tough to read, but are the best source of information. It is not easy and not quick research, but it is the only way you will come to a conclusion YOU are comfortable with.

Best of luck!


iVillage Member
Registered: 05-12-2003
Wed, 08-20-2003 - 12:58pm
Hi! I've read all of them except the last one on your list. The one I *purchased* was Aviva Jill Romm's book, "Vaccinations: A Thoughtful Parents' Guide". I liked this one the best.

It's one of the most recent, is both pro *and* con vaccination (letting you decide for yourself), explains the actual diseases themselves and their treatment, as well as the incidence of disease.

Also, for whatever vaccines you decide to give (should you decide your child should have it), it outlines strategies to make them go as well as possible (e.g., tylenol/vitamin C beforehand, stuff like that). And tells you what reactions to look for.

This is the one book that really makes you understand what risk of disease your child truly does have, and what that disease would likely be like. I personally needed to know about that side of the arguement to make not just an informed decision, but a *fully* informed one.


mom to DD 6/28/00 and DS 5/29/02