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Book Cover for: Vaccines Did Not Cause Rachel's Autism: My Journey as a Vaccine Scientist, Pediatrician, and Autism Dad, Peter J. Hotez

Vaccines Did Not Cause Rachel's Autism: My Journey as a Vaccine Scientist, Pediatrician, and Autism Dad

Peter J. Hotez

Internationally renowned medical scientist, frequent media contributor, and autism dad Dr. Peter J. Hotez explains why vaccines do not cause autism.

In 1994, Peter J. Hotez's nineteen-month-old daughter, Rachel, was diagnosed with autism. Dr. Hotez, a pediatrician-scientist who develops vaccines for neglected tropical diseases affecting the world's poorest people, became troubled by the decades-long rise of the influential anti-vaccine community and its inescapable narrative around childhood vaccines and autism.

In Vaccines Did Not Cause Rachel's Autism, Hotez draws on his experiences as a pediatrician, vaccine scientist, and father of an autistic child. Outlining the arguments on both sides of the debate, he examines the science that refutes the concerns of the anti-vaccine movement, debunks current conspiracy theories alleging a cover-up by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and critiques the scientific community's failure to effectively communicate the facts about vaccines and autism to the general public, all while sharing his very personal story of raising a now-adult daughter with autism.

A uniquely authoritative account, this important book persuasively provides evidence for the genetic basis of autism and illustrates how the neurodevelopmental pathways of autism are under way before birth. Dr. Hotez reminds readers of the many victories of vaccines over disease while warning about the growing dangers of the anti-vaccine movement, especially in the United States and Europe. Now, with the anti-vaccine movement reenergized in our COVID-19 era, this book is especially timely. Vaccines Did Not Cause Rachel's Autism is a must-read for parent groups, child advocates, teachers, health-care providers, government policymakers, health and science policy experts, and anyone caring for a family member or friend with autism.

"When Peter Hotez--an erudite, highly trained scientist who is a true hero for his work in saving the world's poor and downtrodden--shares his knowledge and clinical insights along with his parental experience, when his beliefs in the value of what he does are put to the test of a life guiding his own child's challenges, then you must pay attention. You should. This book brings to an end the link between autism and vaccination."--from the foreword by Arthur L. Caplan, NYU School of Medicine

Book Details

  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Publish Date: Oct 30th, 2018
  • Pages: 240
  • Language: English
  • Dimensions: 8.70in - 5.70in - 0.80in - 0.90lb
  • EAN: 9781421426600
  • Recommended age: 18-UP
  • Categories: Public HealthVaccinationsPsychopathology - Autism Spectrum Disorders

About the Author

Caplan, Arthur L.: - Arthur L. Caplan, Ph.D., is a professor and director, Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania College of Medicine.
Hotez, Peter J.: - Peter J. Hotez, MD, PhD (HOUSTON, TX), is a professor of pediatrics and molecular virology and microbiology and the founding dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, where he is also the codirector of the Texas Children's Center for Vaccine Development. He is the author of Preventing the Next Pandemic: Vaccine Diplomacy in a Time of Anti-science and Vaccines Did Not Cause Rachel's Autism: My Journey as a Vaccine Scientist, Pediatrician, and Autism Dad.
Praise for this book
Recommended for popular science readers looking to refute the anti-vaccination debate as well as readers interested in children's public health.
--Library Journal
Hotez's book stands tall not just because he has explained in great detail the humbling efforts of scientists like himself in developing vaccines and immunisation schedules and their intellectual mythbusting efforts after the Wakefield controversy. The reason why Hotez's book is special is that he has gone the extra mile to scientifically understand and tell the world in direct and simple words repeatedly that his daughter's autism has nothing to do with vaccines.
--The Lancet
In the era of 'fake news, ' we need to encourage Hotez's kind of scientific engagement. Scientists are not part of our national discourse on many issues, even on issues directly relating to their expertise. That needs to change. Vaccines Did Not Cause Rachel's Autism is Hotez's shot across the bow, directly aimed at the non-scientific public. Hopefully, it's a shot that will be heard around the world.
--Spectator USA
Hotez isn't pulling any punches.
--Foreword Reviews
Peter Hotez has two words for his fellow scientists: Speak up. [Vaccines Did Not Cause Rachel's Autism] seeks to clear some people's muddied perspectives on autism and vaccines while also sharing his journey with his daughter Rachel.
--Global Health NOW
A tour de force in the field. I have read many books on vaccines and vaccine policies and this one stands out among all of them. Perhaps it is the way Dr. Hotez seamlessly weaves in his and his family's experiences with Rachel's autism. He covers the diagnosis, the daily trials and tribulations, the frustrations, and the successes. I can't recommend this book enough and hope it has a wide audience of physicians, parents, students, and policy makers.
--Tracking Zebra
Dr. Hotez's third published book combines the deeply personal story of his experiences as the father of a child with autism and his equally intimate and detailed knowledge of both vaccine science and what's now known about what does (and does not) cause autism. As a scientist whose research focuses on developing vaccines against an array of devastating tropical diseases that overwhelmingly affect the world's poor, and as one both capable and willing to inform others in terms understandable to the general public, his viewpoint is by equal degrees credible and vitally important. This is a well-reasoned and reasonable book; a well-structured and convincing defense of true science in the age of fake news and rampant pseudoscience.
Without a shadow of doubt, [this book is] one of Dr. Hotez's most important contributions to humanity. Through its pages, Dr. Hotez wages the largest of battles: the battle against ignorance and indolence, choosing to take a step forward against the powerful and well-installed anti-vaccine movement. Dr. Hotez wrote this book as a vaccine against public skepticism by using veracity and facts. He renewed faith in the medical practice of immunization.
--Bulletin of the National Academy of Medicine - Venezuela
Dr. Hotez has opened his heart and mind on the pages of this important book, which reads like a psychological autopsy of a family living and struggling with debilitating illness. It is highly recommended.
--The ASCO Post
The book blends the history of vaccination and the anti-vaccine movement with Hotez's personal history as an autism dad and vaccine scientist. Together, the narratives make a compelling argument for why vaccines are one of the most important tools humans have in our battle against disease--and why the turn against these life-saving shots by some requires our urgent attention.