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The Vaccine Book: Making the Right Decision for Your Child

4.17  ·  Rating Details ·  3,165 Ratings  ·  464 Reviews
THE VACCINE BOOK offers parents a fair, impartial, fact-based resource from the most trusted name in pediatrics. Dr. Bob devotes each chapter in the book to a disease/vaccine pair and offers a comprehensive discussion of what the disease is, how common or rare it is, how serious or harmless it is, the ingredients of the vaccine, and any possible side effects from the vacci ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published October 26th 2011 by Little, Brown and Company (first published 2007)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Stephanie
Aug 21, 2008 Stephanie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book to prepare myself for the onslaught of questions about vaccines from families in my practice. Dr. Sears (the author is actually the son of the famous Dr. Sears, this might fool some people) does present each vaccine and the disease it prevents in a nicely organized (and apparently researched) way. He also lays out the issues that, in the media and general public, seem to be surrounding the vaccines. The book is easy to read and probably will be helpful to those parents who have ...more
Rosie
Jan 21, 2011 Rosie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
I decided to read this book after hearing several other not-entirely-pro-vaccine moms mention it. It is really easy to read and understand, but it left me thinking that perhaps Dr. Sears doesn't understand as much as he thinks he does, and he's giving parents some dangerous misinformation.

My main beef with the book is his obsession with aluminum adjuvants. He presents his case by citing studies about aluminum toxicity from IV nutrition in premature babies and patients with kidney problems. It bo
...more
Kelly H. (Maybedog)
The popularity of this book is incredibly disturbing. I've read reviews from both people who love the book and people who hated it and all say that Sears is giving choices and alternative vaccination schedules, etc. Vaccines only work 100% if everyone gives their children the vaccines. The fewer people who give their children vaccines, the more likely people are to get the disease, even those who have been vaccinated. Which would be worse, having your child possibly having an adverse reaction to ...more
Sarah Hofhine
Aug 22, 2008 Sarah Hofhine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: any parent with vaccination questions
This book is awesome! He gives a very balanced, easy to read picture of all the aspects of each childhood vaccine and the disease it protects against. If you are on the fence about vaccinations or just concerned about the volume given at a time, this will help you make a really, truly informed decision.

One word of note: after reading each chapter (and even the whole book) I was kind of in despair for a bit, because basically there are some nasty chances either way, vaccinate or not. It definitel
...more
Erica Poole
Dec 27, 2011 Erica Poole rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
This is a very non biased look at the vaccination issue. I am currently debating what to do when my baby is born since you have to know before the birth, as the first vaccination, HepB, is given AT BIRTH. The author is a doctor and he gives the pros, the cons, the facts of the condition each vaccination treats, the potential consequences on the individual as well as society if you do not vaccinate. He will state his opinion and why he feels that way, but he is not judgemental. He recognizes the ...more
Anna Reed
Jan 20, 2009 Anna Reed rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
After searching and searching for the "right" book to read up on vaccinations, I finally picked this one largely due to the diverse reviews. Some people thought Dr. Sears leaned toward vaccinations and others thought he argued against. Sounded like he might just be objective to me. I certainly didn't want to read a book based on scare tactics and horror stories designed to just frighten the reader. This is a great book that gives you all the facts you need to make an informed and confident choic ...more
Holly
Aug 08, 2008 Holly rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought the layout of this book was easy to read. Dr. Sears explains the risks and prevalence of each disease as well as the risks of each vaccination. Although I was already familiar with ingredients in vaccines I still found that section fascinating and disgusting. I am also amazed at the process of creating vaccines. Ultimately this book helped me decide to cross a few vaccines off my list, while keeping most. Some of the diseases were not as scary as I had imagined. Also, it helped me dete ...more
Stephanie
Dec 09, 2008 Stephanie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: ALL MOMS/MOMS-TO-BE
I really love this book as a reference point for making decisions about your child's vaccinations. It seems like so much of the stuff out there is completely anti-vaccine, or completely pro-vaccine (i.e. accept everything your doctor tells you without question). I love being educated about my child's health and my options in caring for her.

This book is very comprehensive and well organized. It goes through each of the recommended vaccinations: the disease it's immunizing against, it's ingredient
...more
Michael
Jan 17, 2009 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: medical
Gives the skinny on the vaccine controversy from a Pediatrician's perspective. Best info out there that's not from wacko-land. Respected by doctors and granolas alike. I wish Dr. Sears would share his own feelings a bit more, but he leaves you with enough data to make a good decision.
Kelly
Jan 19, 2009 Kelly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I haven't read any other books on vaccines, and after reading this one I really don't feel like I need to. Every other vaccine book I had thumbed through was painfully one-sided--either they would say that if you didn't vaccinate your child on the same schedule as everyone else, you were putting the health of everyone else in the country at risk, or they would say that vaccines are always bad and aren't worth it compared to the diseases they protect against. My feelings on the issue were definit ...more
Lisa Wuertz
Dec 28, 2008 Lisa Wuertz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents with questions about vaccines
This book was so great. I feel like I am much more informed about the vaccine issue. I'd heard some bad things about vaccines in the media and from friends, but wasn't sure what I wanted to do.

So I sheepishly told my doctor that I was doing vaccines with our daughter, but that I only wanted one shot at each visit. I really didn't have any basis for this, it just seemed like one shot was more than enough.

Going in I was pretty moderate when it came to vaccines. I knew that they serve a purpose a
...more
Pamela
Jan 21, 2012 Pamela rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was originally recommended to me by a trusted friend who works in the medical field. After reading it for the second time, I believe it is an important book for parents wanting to know more about vaccinations. (If you get the book, try to get the revised and updated version published in October 2011. There have been new vaccines added since the original publishing date in 2007 and new research.)

Dr. Sears does a great job of laying out all the facts and then gives un-biased arguments o
...more
Allenh
Feb 01, 2013 Allenh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Had to read through this one really quickly given some limited time to make choices for our little one. I liked how it was divided up into the major vaccines, gave statistics on currently known risks for each infection as well as side-effects seen in the vaccines. The book even dealt with some of the common worries about vaccine components.

I will say that eventually the book came down to Dr. Sears' opinions of what he felt was important and not important. That was the least helpful part of the b
...more
Jamie
Oct 28, 2012 Jamie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bebe
I picked this up because in our search for a pediatrician everyone (midwives, friends, acquaintances) said that a big decision point for most people was the pediatrician's opinion on vaccinations. Turned out, I didn't have an opinion on vaccinations.

After reading Dr. Sears's book, I still can't say that I have many strong opinions on the subject, but at least I know that I am well informed. He lays out the information concisely, in easily digestible sections, and gives very even keeled informat
...more
Anthony St. Clair
Oct 10, 2011 Anthony St. Clair rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents
Recommended to Anthony by: birth class teacher
Shelves: family
What are the facts about vaccines? What are the risks vs. the benefits? Do you follow the standard schedule, or do you have options?

Our birth class teacher loaned us Dr. Robert Sears' The Vaccine Book, and I devoured it. The balanced information presented pros, cons and plain-language facts and commentary about vaccines for children. My wife and I are using this info to drive our decisions to how we want our child vaccinated.

What I especially like about this book: Sears makes clear what he is an
...more
Sarah
Nov 30, 2011 Sarah rated it it was amazing
Shelves: advice, parenting
This book is a great resource for parents who want to better understand the risks of disease, what modern vaccines do, how they are made, and what they are made of. Dr. Bob is not anti-vaccines; quite the opposite, in fact. However, he believes, as I do, that parents should understand what they are giving their kids, make fully-informed decisions regarding their healthcare, and have the right to develop a personalized vaccine schedule for their children rather than accept a cookie-cutter solutio ...more
Heather
Jun 12, 2009 Heather rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: parenting
I think this book is a must-read for any parent. Usually when you tell people you're reading a book because you want to know more about vaccines, they think you're some kind of nut who doesn't want to vaccinate your child. The approach of this book, however, is to inform parents so that they can make educated decisions about which vaccines to give their children, when to give them, and what the ingredients and potential side effects are of each vaccine. We had some concerns about the effects of ...more
Taylor
May 08, 2009 Taylor rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I still haven't decided what vaccines Arthur should have - if any - but Dr. Sears thoughtful and well researched book certainly helped clarify a lot of the issues for me. Of all the reading I have done about vaccines (both for and against) this book comes the closest to being actually neutral information, as well as fairly complete and very understandable information.

Those of you who haven't read the ingredients and possible side-effects of vaccines can't really grasp how important that last st
...more
Cass
Dec 07, 2011 Cass rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
To vaccinate or not to vaccinate... that is the hotly debated question. Unfortunately is is a very difficult one to make a decision about due to the absolute polarity of all information. No source even tries to be unbiased. The two camps are very much at war making any material so tainted as to be useless.

Dr Sears has set about to create, as much as possible, an unbiased look at vaccinations. He does not answer the 'should you or should you not' question. Instead he looks at each vaccination in
...more
Jamie Fodale
Dec 29, 2014 Jamie Fodale rated it really liked it
I found the information helpful and reassuring that I am making the right choices for my family. I will keep the book as a reference. I don't agree with some of the alternative vaccine schedules. If the disease is not serious and not high risk of contagiousness, why should it be kept on an alternative schedule? Parents looking for alternative schedules are trying to limit or postpone unnecessary vaccines. For example rotavirus is basically the stomach bug and our Dr. said you will get it vaccina ...more
Meghan Armstrong
Oct 24, 2009 Meghan Armstrong rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Seth Koehler, Theresa Koehler
This was not the most interesting book (how could it be?), but it was extremely helpful. Sears is pro-vaccine, but he takes a very thorough and cautious look at each of the vaccines on the recommended schedule for babies and children. I have a much better sense about what the major concerns are (my main one after reading is actually aluminum) and how the whole autism debate factors in. Sears also provides some excellent practicals for getting a child's body in the optimal condition for handling ...more
Kelly
Jun 22, 2013 Kelly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I like how he doesn't tell you what to do but just gives you lots of information to be able to make informed decisions about your child. I didn't know anything about vaccines prior to reading this book and I liked how easy it was to read and how he breaks everything down into easy to understand language. I will definitely do more research over the next few months but this is a must read if you are at all curious about what vaccines are made of, when they're administered, what they are protecting ...more
Jeniann
Feb 22, 2009 Jeniann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: health
I've had questions about vaccinations for my kids and this answered them very well. It goes through each one and talks about what diseases the different vaccinations prevent and the possible problems with vaccinations. I now feel much more informed about the subject and feel more comfortable with the choices I am making with my own schedule I have chosen to use to vaccinate my kids.
Rachel
Aug 14, 2011 Rachel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Anyone concerned with the amount of chemicals, vaccines, etc. That we put in our children's bodies should read this book. I am not against vaccines, and neither is the author, he just gives important information on which are necessary and when (how to space them out, which to avoid altogether).
Audrey
Feb 05, 2009 Audrey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think this is a great informative book for anyone who has children or will one day have them. This is NOT an anti-vaccine book. It is up to us to know what is in the vaccines that we give our children so that we can make informed decisions.
Kari Shepherd
Relatively unbiased, thorough, and an excellent resource for vaccination information. Not to mention, the author takes a technical medical subject and writes about it in a way the average person will understand without getting bogged down.
Andrea Wright
Fantastic read even if you just read certain parts. Lot's of information and not written to push in one way or the other.
Corri
Feb 02, 2009 Corri rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A must read for moms! Very informative and non biased. Gives good info so the reader can INFORMED decisions.
Rebecca Geile
Apr 01, 2015 Rebecca Geile rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I read this because it seems my peer group is all about Dr. Sears, so I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. First of all, this is not the Dr. Sears famous for writing about attachment parenting. I learned that there are actually several Dr. Sears that write books. Secondly, this guy is a board certified pediatrician. He is not specially trained above and beyond any other pediatrician in public health and does not conduct research. He has zero credentials that make him more worthy of any o ...more
Lindsey
Sep 21, 2013 Lindsey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really like this book. The first sentence says, "I am a pro-vaccine doctor." but the author really presents all the research and available information on vaccines in a very balanced way, without the fear-mongering that is so common on both sides of the debate.

There is a chapter on each vaccine recommended by the CDC which talks about the disease, what it would likely look like if your child caught it, whether or not it's treatable, how common it is, what the vaccine contains, and the side-eff
...more
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Robert W. Sears, MD, is a father of three, board-certified in Pediatrics, and a co-author in the Sears Parenting Library. "Dr. Bob", as he likes to be called by his little patients, earned his medical degree at Georgetown University School of Medicine in 1995. He did his pediatric internship and residency at Children's Hospital Los Angeles, finishing in 1998. Dr. Bob is the proud father of three a ...more
More about Robert W. Sears...

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“Most anti-vaccine books claim that all shots are bad, the diseases aren't really anything to fear, and as long as you live a natural and healthy lifestyle, you don't have to worry. I think this is a very irresponsible approach to the vaccine issue. Vaccines are beneficial in ridding our population of both serious and nonserious diseases.” 5 likes
“Obviously, the more kids who are vaccinated, the better our country is protected and the less likely it is that any child will die from a disease. Some parents, however, aren't willing to risk the very rare side effects of vaccines, so they choose to skip the shots. Their children benefit from herd immunity (the protection of all the vaccinated kids around them) without risking the vaccines themselves. Is this selfish? Perhaps. But as parents you have to decide. Are you supposed to make decisions that are good for the country as a whole? Or do you base your decision on what's best for your own child as an individual? Can we fault parents for putting their own child's health ahead of the other kids' around him?” 3 likes
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