Vaccinations: Yes or No? Helping you Decide
by Will and Lara Sussman

At last, I found one. A book that sets out, with no obvious persuasive purpose, to provide factual, unbiased information about vaccinations and so to enable parents to make their own informed decision. Hooray! I knew there had to be one out there somewhere, and this is it. If you are only going to read one book about vaccination, then this is probably the one.

I’m not saying that I agree with everything written, and of course nothing beats doing your own research if you’ve the time and patience for it: but this book is one I would trust further than most. In fact, I was so pleased to have read it, that I won’t even pick out the bits I disagreed with and dissect them. I will just tell you what I liked about it.

First and foremost, it genuinely does come without the usual accompanying song of axes grinding. Each argument is presented with all points of view clearly and fairly expressed. Sub-headings, questions-and-answers and bulleted lists are all used in a way that greatly aids clarity and gives you time to think about each point before moving on to the next. Statistical and other supporting evidence is given (and not in an obviously misleading way, as is the case with many books and articles about vaccinations), but only in moderation and only where this is useful rather than confusing.

Perhaps better still, the Sussmans do not over-stress the importance of the decision. So many writers tell you that a decision about vaccinations is one of the most important decisions you will ever make for your child. But, reassuringly, the Sussmans remind you that it isn”t. In the UK, at least, the risks are low whatever you do. The proportion of people suffering from serious vaccine reactions is extremely low. The proportion of people suffering serious complications from vaccine-preventable diseases is also extremely low. So whether you vaccinate or not in reality will make very little difference in the vast majority of cases. This is refreshingly honest, coming from authors with an obvious incentive to build up the importance of the decision.

Another refreshing thing about the book (especially when you realise that Mrs Sussman is a trainee homeopath) is that it resists the urge to “sell” homeopathy to the reader. Homeopathic remedies are mentioned, in one brief paragraph, but they are by no means offered up as a serious alternative to vaccination. Indeed, more time is given to the idea of measles parties than homeopathic nosodes!

In short, this is the best book I have seen so far on vaccinations. My mind was all but made up before I started the book, but nevertheless it has been a helpful read in that it has enabled me to chrystallise my thinking and reach a decision. Thank you Mr and Mrs Sussman!

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