11 Best Books on Vaccines and Vaccination

The vaccine debate continues for some people, despite the overwhelming evidence that vaccines are safe and don't cause autism.

With so much misinformation about vaccines confusing parents, it can be hard for some to know what to do and whether or not to vaccinate their kids. In addition to talking to your pediatrician, reading one or more of these books about vaccines—which are some of the best books about vaccines—can help you make the right decision, get your kids vaccinated on time, and help protect them from vaccine-preventable infections.


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

Doctor giving patient a shot in office
Terry Vine/Blend Images/Getty Images

Dr. Paul Offit, a leading expert on vaccines and childhood infections, particularly vaccine-preventable diseases, provides parents and pediatricians with another vaccine book to help them understand and counter the misinformation from those against vaccines.It even dedicates a chapter to address much of the misinformation in The Vaccine Book by Robert Sears and the Dr. Bob alternative vaccine schedule.


Your Baby's Best Shot

Your Baby's Best Shot: Why Vaccines Are Safe and Save Lives, by Stacy Mintzer Herlihy and E. Allison Hagood, offers critical information to help finalize "the easiest parenting decision you'll ever make" to protect children against vaccine-preventable diseases.

With a foreword by Dr. Paul Offit, this vaccine book includes everything from a history of vaccines to a guide to judging vaccine information on the internet. Complete and easy to read, Your Baby's Best Shot is a must read for anyone doing their research on vaccines.


Do Vaccines Cause That?!

Do Vaccines Cause That?! provides a comprehensive guide to the vaccine safety debate and will reassure parents confused by misinformation about vaccine safety.

Do vaccines cause autism, asthma, or SIDS, or do they overwhelm a baby's immune system? Not only does Do Vaccines Cause That?! give a clear answer to these questions, it backs them up with studies that should reassure you that vaccines are indeed safe.


Autism's False Prophets: Bad Science, Risky Medicine, and the Search for a Cure

Autism isn't a new condition. Linking autism to vaccines or vaccine additives, like thimerosal, is a fairly new phenomenon that is false.

Autism's False Prophets: Bad Science, Risky Medicine, and the Search for a Cure, also by Paul A. Offit, M.D., provides an in-depth analysis of how vaccines and vaccine additives came to be blamed for the current rise in autism. It is one of the best books for anyone who wants more information about the quest for cures for autism, why vaccines were blamed for the rise in autism, and what may have motivated everyone involved in the autism debate.


The Panic Virus: A True Story of Medicine, Science, and Fear

Even as study after study concludes that vaccines are safe, many parents continue to believe that it is safer to either not vaccinate their kids or follow a selective or alternative immunization schedule.

Seth Mnookin's The Panic Virus will help you understand why the anti-vaccine continues to influence so many parents.


Vaccines and Your Child: Separating Fact From Fiction

The book from Dr. Paul Offit and Charlotte A. Moser addresses many concerns that parents have about vaccines and answers questions about vaccine safety, vaccine ingredients and preservatives, immunization schedules, and information about individual vaccines that your kids get.

Vaccines and Your Child: Separating Fact from Fiction greatly complements Dr. Offit's other vaccine books, which deal more with the anti-vaccine movement but don't have much information on individual vaccines.


Vaccine-Preventable Disease: The Forgotten Story

What gets lost in the vaccine debate? There is plenty of talk about vaccine safety, alternative immunization schedules, and autism, but the "forgotten stories" are about the kids and families who are affected by vaccine-preventable diseases.

Vaccine-Preventable Disease: The Forgotten Story, by the experts at Texas Children's Hospital, tells the stories of children who have died or were severely sick from vaccine-preventable diseases, including the flu, whooping cough, and meningococcal meningitis, etc.


Immunizations and Infectious Diseases: An Informed Parent's Guide

In addition to immunizations, this book from the experts at the American Academy of Pediatrics covers many other infectious disease topics, including preventing and controlling infections, the appropriate use of antibiotics, and facts about infectious diseases, including vaccine-preventable diseases.

Immunizations & Infectious Diseases: An Informed Parent's Guide was one of the first books to tackle the vaccine debate, with chapters on vaccine safety, immunizations schedules, and common questions and concerns parents have about vaccines.


Vaccine: The Controversial Story of Medicine's Greatest Lifesaver

Vaccine: The Controversial Story of Medicine's Greatest Lifesaver is an interesting book about vaccines, including the origins of vaccines and vaccination campaigns (smallpox and polio) and the current vaccine debates and controversies.


Vaccinated: One Man's Quest to Defeat the World's Deadliest Diseases

Another vaccine book by Dr. Paul Offit, Vaccinated: One Man's Quest to Defeat the World's Deadliest Diseases tells the story of Maurice Hilleman, who is considered by some to be the 'father of modern vaccines.'


The Vaccine Book

When parents want to learn about vaccines and are concerned about the immunization schedule and getting their kids vaccinated, for some reason, this seems to be the vaccine book to read. 

Unfortunately, although Dr. Bob may have thought that his alternative vaccine schedule would encourage adolescent vaccination, the book is much more likely to influence and scare parents who may have fully vaccinated and protected their kids. Instead, they're frightened into choosing untested and unsafe alternative vaccine schedules or not vaccinating at all.

This is clearly not a pro-vaccine book (many people call it The Anti-Vaccine Book), and any parent using it to decide against vaccinating their child should also read one or more of the vaccine books listed above.

3 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Austism and Vaccines.

  2. Offit PA, Moser CA. The problem with Dr Bob's alternative vaccine schedule. Pediatrics. 2009;123(1):e164-9. doi:10.1542/peds.2008-2189

  3. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Thimerosal and Vaccines.

By Vincent Iannelli, MD
 Vincent Iannelli, MD, is a board-certified pediatrician and fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Dr. Iannelli has cared for children for more than 20 years.