The Vaccine Book by Robert W. Sears

The Vaccine Book: Making the Right Decision for Your Child

by Robert W. Sears, M.D., F.A.A.P.

Released just last year in 2007, this book is THE BOOK for parents today about vaccinations.  Vaccinations are a hugely hot topic, with parents of vaccine-damaged children, especially parents of autistic children, speaking up louder and louder about the harm that vaccines have done to their children, and with the CDC and the AAP speaking up louder and louder about the safety of vaccines and adding more and more shots to the recommendations every year.  What is a thinking, caring parent to do?

Enter The Vaccine Book, the most balanced and least hysterical book on vaccines that I’ve read.  (And I’ve read quite a few.)  Dr. Sears takes a look at each of the vaccines recommended for children today, and answers the following questions about each shot:

  • What is the disease?
  • Is the disease common?
  • Is the disease serious?
  • Is the disease treatable?
  • When is the vaccine given?
  • How is the vaccine made?
  • What ingredients are in the final vaccine solution?
  • Are any of these ingredients controversial?
  • What are the side effects of the vaccine?
  • Reasons to get this vaccine
  • Reasons some people choose not to get this vaccine
  • Travel considerations
  • Options to consider when getting this vaccine
  • The way I [Dr. Sears] see it

Unlike most vaccine books, there’s no long treatise on this history of vaccines, no discussion of politics or what scientists knew or didn’t know.  It’s just The Facts.  I really appreciate Dr. Sears perspective in this book, and while I think he supports the current vaccine schedule, he also obviously supports parents who choose to delay vaccinations, selectively vaccinate, or avoid vaccinations altogether.  He acknowledges many times that vaccines are a sticky issues, and good parents can make different decisions for their children.

After his chapters analyzing each vaccine, Dr. Sears has a few more chapters that focus on vaccine safety research, vaccine side effects, vaccine ingredients, and myths and questions about vaccines.  Finally, he has a chapter for parents who delay or decline vaccination.  He gives them tips to keep their children healthy, and he also offers a Selective Vaccination Schedule, consisting of the vaccines that he considers most important.  For parents who are worried about the side effects of vaccines and the questionable ingredients who would like to space out their child’s vaccine doses so that their child’s immune system doesn’t have so much to process at one time, he also offers an Alternative Vaccine Schedule.  It gets a child fully vaccinated, but at a different pace than the standard vaccination schedule.

This book is THE BEST vaccine book currently available, and I highly recommend it.  Dr. Sears also has a website where he can post updates to his book — check it out at

Other good vaccine books that contain more of the history of vaccines but are a little more alarmist in their tone are the following:

What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Children’s Vaccinations by Stephanie Cave, M.D., F.A.A.FP.  This book came out a few years ago, but it’s information is still good.  It’s got a lot of emphasis on the mercury-autism link, and has a more hysterical tone.  But, it’s still a good book, and it’s certainly worth a read if you think there’s nothing wrong with how our children are vaccinated today.

Vaccinations: A Thoughtful Parent’s Guide: How to Make Safe, Sensible Decisions about the Risks, Benefits, and Alternatives by Aviva Jill Romm.  This book has more in-depth analysis on how to treat vaccine-preventable diseases on your own, especially with herbs and nutrition.  It also goes into great detail on the history of vaccines, which isn’t particularly pretty, although it explains a lot as to why our society vaccinates the way it does today.