Vaccine: The Controversial Story of Medicine's Greatest Lifesaver
, 2008 - Medical
- 523 pages
In 1796, as smallpox ravaged Europe, Edward Jenner injected a child with a benign version of the disease, then exposed the child to the deadly virus itself. The boy proved resistant to smallpox and Jenner's risky experiment produced the earliest vaccination. This deftly written account reveals a history of vaccination that is both illuminated with hope and shrouded by controversy - from Jenner's discovery to Pasteur's vaccines for rabies and cholera, to those that safeguarded the children of the twentieth century and to the tumult surrounding vaccination today. Arthur Allen explores our shifting understanding of vaccination since its creation. Faced with threats from anthrax to AIDS, we can no longer depend on vaccines; numerous studies have linked childhood vaccination with various neurological disorders and pharmaceutical companies are more attracted to the profits of treatment than to the prevention of disease.