Vaccine : the debate in modern America / Mark A. Largent.

  • Largent, Mark A.
  • Books

About this work


Since 1990, the number of mandated vaccines has increased dramatically. Today, a fully vaccinated child will have received nearly three dozen vaccinations between birth and age six. Along with the increase in number has come a growing wave of concern among parents about the unintended side effects of vaccines. In Vaccine, Mark A. Largent explains the history of the debate and identifies issues that parents, pediatricians, politicians, and public health officials must address. Nearly 40% of American parents report that they delay or refuse a recommended vaccine for their children. Despite assurances from every mainstream scientific and medical institution, parents continue to be haunted by the question of whether vaccines cause autism. In response, health officials herald vaccines as both safe and vital to the public's health and put programs and regulations in place to encourage parents to follow the recommended vaccine schedule. For Largent, the vaccine-autism debate obscures a constellation of concerns held by many parents, including anxiety about the number of vaccines required (some for diseases that children are unlikely to ever encounter), unhappiness about the rigorous schedule of vaccines during well-baby visits, and fear of potential side effects, some of them serious and even life-threatening. This book disentangles competing claims, opens the controversy for critical reflection, and provides recommendations for moving forward.


Baltimore : Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012.

Physical description

222 pages ; 24 cm


Risk and reward -- Sources of doubt -- Thimerosal and autism -- MMR and autism -- Science and the celebrity -- Getting to the source of anxiety.

Bibliographic information

Includes bibliographical references (unnumbered pages 179-214) and index.


Where to find it

  • LocationStatus
    History of Medicine
    Open shelves

Permanent link



  • 1421406071
  • 9781421406077