Vaccines Did Not Cause Rachel's Autism: My Journey as a Vaccine Scientist, Pediatrician, and Autism Dad (Hardcover)
In 1994, Peter J. Hotez's nineteen-month-old daughter, Rachel, was diagnosed with autism. Dr. Hotez, a pediatrician-scientist who develops vaccines for neglected tropical diseases affecting the world's poorest people, became troubled by the decades-long rise of the influential anti-vaccine community and its inescapable narrative around childhood vaccines and autism.
In Vaccines Did Not Cause Rachel's Autism, Hotez draws on his experiences as a pediatrician, vaccine scientist, and father of an autistic child. Outlining the arguments on both sides of the debate, he examines the science that refutes the concerns of the anti-vaccine movement, debunks current conspiracy theories alleging a cover-up by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and critiques the scientific community's failure to effectively communicate the facts about vaccines and autism to the general public, all while sharing his very personal story of raising a now-adult daughter with autism.
A uniquely authoritative account, this important book persuasively provides evidence for the genetic basis of autism and illustrates how the neurodevelopmental pathways of autism are under way before birth. Dr. Hotez reminds readers of the many victories of vaccines over disease while warning about the growing dangers of the anti-vaccine movement, especially in the United States and Europe. Now, with the anti-vaccine movement reenergized in our COVID-19 era, this book is especially timely. Vaccines Did Not Cause Rachel's Autism is a must-read for parent groups, child advocates, teachers, health-care providers, government policymakers, health and science policy experts, and anyone caring for a family member or friend with autism.
"When Peter Hotez--an erudite, highly trained scientist who is a true hero for his work in saving the world's poor and downtrodden--shares his knowledge and clinical insights along with his parental experience, when his beliefs in the value of what he does are put to the test of a life guiding his own child's challenges, then you must pay attention. You should. This book brings to an end the link between autism and vaccination."--from the foreword by Arthur L. Caplan, NYU School of Medicine
About the Author
Peter J. Hotez, MD, PhD is the Texas Children's Hospital Endowed Chair in Tropical Pediatrics and codirector of the Texas Children's Hospital Center for Vaccine Development at Baylor College of Medicine, where he is also the dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine. In 2015 he was selected as a US Science Envoy for the State Department and the White House. He is the author of Blue Marble Health: An Innovative Plan to Fight Diseases of the Poor amid Wealth and Preventing the Next Pandemic: Vaccine Diplomacy in a Time of Anti-science.