Vaccine Race, by Meredith Wadman


Summary: In this fantastic example of journalistic research, Wadman wrote about the crippling effects of various diseases, especially of birth defects. Diseases covered included rubella, polio, rabies, chicken pox, measles and hepatitis A. She then described the scientific efforts put forth to find vaccines for these diseases, as well as political roadblocks and legal/moral failings of some of the scientists.

My thoughts: I really enjoyed this book. It was well-researched and interesting. I didn’t realize what kinds of political roadblocks were present in the development of vaccines. She mostly avoided the topic of vaccine deniers and the misconception that vaccines cause autism. That’s probably for the best, because the book was already rather long. However, I do feel that the story is a tiny bit incomplete without covering it a little bit. Despite this omission, I loved this book and understand why it was on the Wellcome Book Prize shortlist.

2 thoughts on “Vaccine Race, by Meredith Wadman

  1. This sounds great. I need to read more science books, particularly medical related ones. The anti – vax movement is causing so much controversy these days. It seems unusual that it is not touched upon here.


    1. I am trying to read through the Wellcome Book Prize shortlists, because those books are fantastic. It is specifically for books that introduce medical topics to the general public. It’s a mixture of fiction and nonfiction works.


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