The Vaccine Debate
by Tish Davidson
November 2018, 236pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Greenwood

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-4353-2
$45, £35, 40€, A62
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-4354-9
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

From a measles outbreak at Disneyland to the deaths of several infants from whooping cough, the effects of decreased vaccination rates are becoming apparent.

Providing accurate, accessible information on vaccines and the controversies that surround them, this book outlines the history of vaccine regulation and interactions between vaccines and the immune system, and thoughtfully considers each vaccine debate.

A part of Greenwood’s Health and Medical Issues Today series, The Vaccine Debate provides a straightforward introduction to the interaction between vaccines and the immune system.

The book documents the rise of the anti-vaccination movement, provides reasons for its prominence today, and explains the effects of vaccine refusal on public health. It also addresses concerns about the role of government in regulating vaccine production and administration, along with questions about vaccine safety.

Additionally, a majority of the book examines in detail seven major vaccine controversies and mainstream medical positions on them. These controversies are given individual attention, with questions at the end of each to encourage critical thinking about such topics as the effectiveness of vaccines in protecting public health and whether vaccinations should be mandatory for public school attendance.


  • Explains in depth the uses, dosage, adverse events, contraindications, and limitations of every vaccine
  • Traces the rise of vaccine resistance from the 1800s to the present
  • Considers the role of the government in vaccination requirements
  • Discusses the debate about whether vaccines cause neuropsychological disorders such as autism spectrum disorder and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder
  • Examines the appropriateness of the current recommended childhood vaccines
Tish Davidson, AM, is a medical writer specializing in making technical information accessible to a general readership. She is the author of Vaccines: History, Science, and Issues, part of Greenwood’s The Story of a Drug series. She is also the author of Fluids and Electrolytes and has contributed to Biology: A Text for High School Students and Adolescent Health & Wellness. Davidson holds membership in the American Medical Writers Association and the American Society of Journalists and Authors.


"A worthwhile addition to health collections in academic and public libraries. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates, technical school students, and general readers."—Choice, May 1, 2019

"This is an excellent resource for public, consumer-health, and school libraries." —Booklist Online, March 8, 2019

"At a time when vaccine-preventable diseases, especially measles, are on the rise worldwide, this book looks at how people form their opinions about vaccines and takes an even-handed look at seven major vaccine controversies. It challenges readers to think deeply about what they believe about vaccines and why they hold these beliefs."—Fupping, March 3, 2019

"A clear history of vaccination in the United Kingdom and the United States, along with a presentation of the evolution of opposition movements . . . This book addresses an important issue and should be considered by all public, high school, and academic libraries."—ARBA, February 4, 2019

Health and Medical Issues Today

From the latest developments in treatment to updates on public health threats, information about health and medicine impacts lives more directly than almost any other subject. Despite a wealth of coverage online and in print media, there is still an overwhelming need for a single source to which a reader can turn for accurate, current information on an issue of concern.

The series Health and Medical Issues Today provides just such one-stop resources for those seeking solid overviews of the most controversial and persisting issues in health and psychology. Each volume offers a balanced, in-depth introduction to the medical, scientific, legal, and cultural aspects of subjects ranging from obesity to sports medicine, mental illness, HIV/AIDS, and tobacco use.
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