History, Science, and Issues
by Tish Davidson
June 2017, 259pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Greenwood

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-4443-0
$66, £49, 57€, A90
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-4444-7
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

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.

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
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, September 12, 2017

"Recommended for high school and academic libraries."—ARBAonline, December 6, 2017

"The work is both well organized and well written. . . . Summing Up: Recommended. All readers."—Choice, February 1, 2018

"[T]he excellent and clear writing style and neutral tone of this volume make it an excellent choice for high school and college students and general readers interested in exploring vaccines and their detractors."—Reference & User Services Quarterly, July 16, 2018
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