Book review: Vaccines Did Not Cause Rachel’s Autism

Lynne Marsh reviews a book presenting a powerful argument for vaccines saving lives and not causing autism

Vaccines Did Not Cause Rachel’s Autism
Peter Hotez
Johns Hopkins Press
US$22.95/£18.00 | 240pp
ISBN: 9781421426600

Peter Hotez, a vaccine scientist, paediatrician and the father of an adult daughter with autism, makes a powerful argument that vaccines save lives and do not cause autism.

Dr Hotez provides a factual account of the history of vaccines and their role in global and public health, and his personal narrative of raising a child with autism provides an honest and often painful account of the challenges faced in his daughter Rachel’s early years and during her transition to adulthood. Rachel's autism diagnosis resulted in a ‘very different life’ than expected.

For anyone who harbours any doubts about the link between vaccines and autism, Dr Hotez’s well-produced text will dispel such doubts, disproving any link between the two. 

Parents’ decisions not to have their children vaccinated due to misinformation, anti-vaccine campaigners and legislative loopholes allowing them to opt out of vaccination programmes, result in increased risks of child deaths from preventable infections.

The ‘General Talking Points’ of this insightful and thought-provoking text bring the debate to a compelling close. It is an essential read for parents, healthcare professionals and anti-vaccine campaigners.

While it is natural to seek a cause for autism, this text may persuade readers to accept the clearly articulated evidence that vaccines are not to blame.

Reviewed by Lynne Marsh, senior lecturer (education), School of Nursing and Midwifery, Queen’s University, Belfast

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