History, Science, and Issues

by Tish Davidson


According to the World Health Organization (WHO), vaccines have had the greatest effect on reducing deaths, disability, and illness of any public health advance except safe water. Yet many Americans fear vaccination and even prevent their children from getting essential vaccines that protect public health.

Print Flyer
Cover image for Vaccines

June 2017


Pages 259
Volumes 1
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Health & Wellness/General
  Health & Wellness/Medicine

Providing scientifically accurate, detailed, and accessible information to students and general readers, this book presents the history of vaccination; describes the administration, manufacturing, and regulation of vaccines in the United States; and explains the most recent scientific findings about vaccination while addressing concerns of those who oppose immunization.

What is a vaccine and how does it work? How are vaccines made? Who discovered vaccines? What diseases do vaccines prevent, are these vaccines effective, and are they safe? Presenting comprehensive information on a topic that remains the focus of considerable controversy, Vaccines: History, Science, and Issues provides readers with a single-volume examination of vaccines and their history, production, uses, and limitations.

Written in language that avoids intimidating medical jargon, this latest addition to Greenwood's Story of a Drug series looks at different types of vaccines and documents the value of vaccination to society. It explains the process of developing a vaccine, the testing required before it can be distributed to the public, and the challenges that arise in manufacturing and distribution, along with potential solutions to some of these problems. Readers will gain insight into vaccination-related topics such as the legal issues surrounding mandatory vaccination, the relationship between vaccines and adverse events, and the government's role in adjudicating claims of damage. The book also includes international recommendations from the World Health Organization and information on vaccines that are available and used outside the United States.


  • Explains in depth the uses, dosage, adverse events, contraindications, and limitations of every vaccine
  • Provides a detailed, scientific explanation of the mechanism by which vaccines create immunity
  • Examines current controversies in vaccine usage and their scientific and social basis
  • Offers an international perspective on vaccine development and use
  • Documents the anti-vaccination movement that has existed from the 18th century through today
Series Description

The Story of a Drug

Each title in The Story of a Drug series examines a particular group or class of pharmaceutical drugs from a variety of angles, including its history, effects, uses and misuses, and impact on society and popular culture. Through this multifaceted approach, readers gain a holistic understanding of some of the most commonly prescribed medications today, from antibiotics and painkillers to drugs that treat asthma and allergies. Each volume utilizes a standardized format and includes valuable supplementary features such as a glossary.
Author Info

Tish Davidson, AM, is a medical writer specializing in making technical medical information accessible to a general readership. She is author of Fluids and Electrolytes and was a contributor to McDougal Littell Biology and Adolescent Health & Wellness. Davidson holds membership in the American Medical Writers Association and the American Society of Journalists and Authors.



"Vaccines is a valuable resource for libraries, doctors' offices, and for anyone wishing to understand the real vaccine story."—ASJA Magazine

"Recommended for high school and academic libraries."—ARBAonline

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