Melissa Rochelle's Reviews > On Immunity: An Inoculation

On Immunity by Eula Biss
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really liked it
bookshelves: library, ebook, read-2014, nonfiction, science

Since the second trimester when our doctor recommended the Tdap vaccine and a flu shot for us and anyone coming around our soon-to-be-born child, my husband and I have discussed vaccinations together and with others. It's a touchy subject to say the very least.

When I asked a question on Facebook about the weirdness of asking my friends and family to get those two shots before meeting our daughter, I was met with a fascinating amount of both support ("you're the parent, what you say goes"), resistance (because I was being "crazy", too worried, "can't protect her from everything"), and caution ("be prepared for the backlash", "you can ask, but don't expect everyone to do it", "make sure people know it isn't personal").

Needless to say the publication of this short book was timely. I'm now well into my third trimester and more concerned with just taking care of an infant than who is or isn't vaccinated, but it's still something that me and Jesse talk about. Do we vaccinate Evie? Do we follow the recommended schedule? The answer to both is yes and after reading this book and countless articles (both personal stories of not being vaccinated and science-based evidence), I'm even more sure that's the right choice for us. (Also interesting to note that since I posted the FB question, my newsfeed has started showing me more and more articles about vaccinations). Do I understand the fear other parents have about vaccinations, of course. Shooting your kid up with what sounds like a scary amount of disease and chemicals doesn't sound like the healthy choice, but at some point you have to put your faith in the science and research that has proven that it's a good idea.

While reading this book, there were times I wish the author would have delved deeper into the topic she brought up. And occasionally I would get a bit lost in her vampire metaphor. But overall I found it to be just enough to explain the reasoning, the science, the history, and the research of immunity and vaccinations. Plus the author includes nearly 40 pages of notes and references which I find very encouraging -- it means she's not simply writing from her perspective as a mother, but from someone who sought out more information about a difficult subject (and I can definitely respect that).

Highly recommend this one! It reminded me of Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History by Florence Williams (I really have to find my copy of that book...)
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Reading Progress

October 27, 2014 – Started Reading
October 27, 2014 – Shelved
October 29, 2014 –
17.0% "This book says so many smart things! I might need to own a copy."
November 2, 2014 –
page 105
51.22% "People have parties to spread chicken pox?!"
November 2, 2014 – Shelved as: read-2014
November 2, 2014 – Shelved as: ebook
November 2, 2014 – Shelved as: library
November 2, 2014 – Shelved as: science
November 2, 2014 – Shelved as: nonfiction
November 2, 2014 – Finished Reading

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