Deadly Choices

Deadly Choices

How the Anti-vaccine Movement Threatens Us All

Book - 2011
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Baker & Taylor
Discusses the damages caused by the anti-vaccine movement and argues the necessity of vaccinations for children to prevent such diseases as measles, mumps, and whooping cough.

Perseus Publishing
A renowned researcher vigorously challenges the anti-vaccine movement in this powerful defense of science in the face of fear.

There's a silent, dangerous war going on out there. On one side are parents, bombarded with stories about the dangers of vaccines, now wary of immunizing their sons and daughters. On the other side are doctors, scared to send kids out of their offices vulnerable to illnesses like whooping cough and measles--the diseases of their grandparents.

How did anyone come to view vaccines with horror? The answer is rooted in one of the most powerful citizen activist movements in our nation's history. InDeadly Choices, infectious disease expert Paul Offit relates the shocking story of anti-vaccine America--its origins, leaders, influences, and impact. Offering strategies to keep us from returning to an era when children routinely died from infections,Deadly Choices is a vigorous and definitive rebuttal of the powerful anti-vaccine movement.

Book News
In this timely book, Offit, of the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, argues that the movement against having children vaccinated is resulting in epidemics of illnesses that had almost been eradicated in the western world. He notes that may people stopped having their children vaccinated because they believed that the shots might cause autism, brain damage or other permanent disabilities. Offit places the blame for this directly on the media for producing documentaries and news reports that gave false information on the effects of vaccines. He cites a report linking autism to one vaccine, now known to have been fraudulent, and other misinformation about testing and the contents of the vaccines. Offit also makes the point that people who refuse to vaccinate their children for other than religious reasons are those who have never lived through an epidemic such as diphtheria or polio. Ironically, the success of vaccines has caused a backlash. Offit's examples of what happens when children aren't protected from preventable disease should make parents think twice about not getting them vaccinated. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Publisher: New York : Basic Books, c2011
ISBN: 9780465021499
Branch Call Number: 614.47 Of2d
Characteristics: xviii, 270 p. : ill ; 25 cm


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Jun 08, 2019

This book is very biased. He does not approach the issue from both sides and ignores the scientific accurate studies that show that harm can come from vaccines. All the while he ignores that the CDC never tested vaccines against a true placebo. To say that vaccines don't cause autism is also misinformation as only one vaccine has ever been tested for a connection. If you are looking for a book that will present both sides of the coin, this is not the book for you.

Dec 07, 2015

this entire book is absolute filth and lies. paul offit is a complete liar. he has turned down debates with anti vaccine doctors because he would be exposed. if there is one thing i know, it is that vaccines can cause autism. he is a fraud, a fake. he has made millions and millions from vaccines.

Aug 27, 2014

There is no concrete evidence that connects autism to vaccines. This connection has been conclusively discredited and this book helps to put this one to rest. However, there will always be people out there who doubt sound medical science.

Dec 24, 2012

Excellent book. Hopefully, Dr. Offit is able to persuade parents to vaccinate their children.
Unlike other members of the tin foil hat society, anti-vaccine activists pose a real threat to their own children, other people's children, and entire communities.

Dec 05, 2012

With this book, Offit continues his fear and smear campaign against the "anti-vaccine" movement. He claims that his opposers use "bad science" to support their stance while he cites studies that are just as bad as or worse than those he discredits. Those that he labels "anti-vaccine" are usually just concerned about the safety of the product, which there is very clear supporting evidence for risks. Autism has not been completely ruled out as a side-effect from vaccines (his definitive stance on this should raise a flag for any scientifically literate person). He spends most of the book discrediting and berating a select group to make himself look like the good guy. The problem is that his comments on these people/organizations are either (intentionally) inaccurate and misleading (i.e. Dr. Wakefield), or irrelevant to the real issues at hand. He speaks of the need for people to be able to trust the government and health officials, all while writing a book promoting vaccines, for which he holds a patent and profits substantially from. It seems peculiar that he never once mentions that he has a patent for a Rotavirus vaccine and a partnership with Merk. Herd Immunity is one of his big platforms, when there is no strong science to actually support the efficacy of herd immunity (we have seen outbreaks in communities that are well above the supposed level of herd immunity, also since most vaccines have at best an 85% effectiveness, this magic level for herd immunity is practically unattainable barring a 100% vaccination rate). Also, this idea of putting others at risk by not vaccinating is all part of the coercive fear mongering…why? 1) If you are vaccinated, and it actually works, how are you at risk? 2) If you can’t be vaccinated for medical purposes you should know that vaccinated people can be carriers/vectors of a disease just as easily as a non-vaccinated person. There are many questions out there, and unfortunately, few clear answers. This is a very biased book. If you read this one, you should at least read another one that is just as biased in the other direction, to get some sort of balance. I recommend something more neutral such as "Vaccine Epidemic" (although Offit would definitely label this as anti-vaccine) which has tons of references and great information. Vaccinations have been and can be an important medical tool, but questions need to be answered before we continue with our current vaccination policies.

Aug 20, 2012

Vaccinate your children! Now! You're putting us all at risk by opting out of routine childhood vaccines against potentially deadly organisms. If you have a valid health reason to forego immunizations, then you're on my side.
Offit provides a compelling medical perspective on the loss of herd immunity resulting from treading too lightly on the rights of citizens who forego vaccines for religious beliefs.

Jul 24, 2012

This book Iis definetely not a balanced refence for parents who want to make an informed decision about whether to vaccinating their child.
The author resorts to all tricks in the book to discredit those who dare to stand up to the pro-vaccine lobby. He shows no sympathy for parents who lost their children, he questions the motivations of anyone who questions vaccine efficacity or mentions side effects. He attempts to discredit all health professionals who are not on his side. But himself this expert fails to provide details and explanations for claims he makes.
It is a very polemical book - a fear-mongering exercise, nothing more.

Apr 06, 2012

An amazing book that every parent should read. It's tells the truth about why you should vaccinate and keep far away from the uneducated fear mongering going on by the anti-vaccine crowd! Real information and real statistics!

Nov 11, 2011

An excellent book that reviews the history of vaccines, the science behind them, and the danger of compromising our herd immunity. A timely book in light of recent outbreaks of serious diseases that have taken the lives of children and infants too young to be immunized, including 11 Californian infants who died last year of whooping cough - an entirely preventable disease.

Nov 10, 2011

An excellent and clear explanation of why parents should vaccinate their children according to the standard schedule and of the questionable motives and methods of some of those opposed to vaccination.

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