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Book and Media Reviews
June 15, 2011

Deadly Choices: How the Anti-Vaccine Movement Threatens Us All

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: Center for Biosecurity and Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (ameshaa@aol.com).

JAMA. 2011;305(23):2469. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.838

In an ideal world, I would never be asked to review such a book as Paul Offit's Deadly Choices. In an ideal world, a book like Deadly Choices would have no market. In an ideal world, the genius who developed a vaccine against rotavirus should not have to divert his valuable time to address such phenomena as the antivaccine movement. But the world today is far from ideal.

Deadly Choices masterfully presents the history of the antivaccine movement, which finds its origin in the time of Edward Jenner, and provides a devastating rendition of the antiscientific mentality that animates the celebrities and physicians alike who grant this movement moral legitimacy. The book is not just a polemic; it provides ample details that unequivocally establish the enormous achievement vaccination represents.

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