The best books to understand and trust the COVID vaccine

Nina Burleigh Author Of VIRUS: Vaccinations, the CDC and the Hjacking of America’s Response to he Pandemic
By Nina Burleigh

The Books I Picked & Why

Microbe Hunters

By Paul de Kruif

Microbe Hunters

Why this book?

We live in the most medically protected time in human history. Before about two hundred years ago, we were utterly helpless against infectious diseases – we could neither see nor conceive of what caused them. This book, written in the 1920s, tells in vivid prose, the story of the discovery of microbes, beginning with the Dutch businessman who ground the first lenses enabling the human eye to see the “animalcules” that Louis Pasteur and others eventually matched with their deadly effects, enabling humanity to begin to fight back.


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Vaccine: The Controversial Story of Medicine's Greatest Lifesaver

By Arthur Allen

Vaccine: The Controversial Story of Medicine's Greatest Lifesaver

Why this book?

Most of us can’t even pronounce the names of the childhood diseases vaccines have almost eradicated, nor can we imagine the parental grief, and childhood suffering, that those diseases routinely inflicted on families until well into the 20th Century. This comprehensive history reminds us that the development of vaccines was always a see-saw between life-saving advances, and terrible mistakes and failures.


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The Gene: An Intimate History

By Siddhartha Mukherjee

The Gene: An Intimate History

Why this book?

Genetic science is so new and so specialized that it almost has its own language, and yet it is changing the way we understand life and death, and bringing a new kind of medicine that will radically alter health and medicine in future generations. Mukherjee is the best of science writers, deploying beautiful metaphors to help readers grasp this complex subject.


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Do You Believe in Magic?: Vitamins, Supplements, and All Things Natural: A Look Behind the Curtain

By Paul A. Offit

Do You Believe in Magic?: Vitamins, Supplements, and All Things Natural: A Look Behind the Curtain

Why this book?

Dr. Offitt invented one of the most important vaccines introduced in recent years, against a common childhood illness rotavirus, that was deadly in developing countries. In this engaging and sometimes very funny book, he takes on the alternative medicine world and makes a strong case for relying on the scientific method. This is a fact-based book you can share to help people assess false claims.


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Poisoner in Chief: Sidney Gottlieb and the CIA Search for Mind Control

By Stephen Kinzer

Poisoner in Chief: Sidney Gottlieb and the CIA Search for Mind Control

Why this book?

Many of the conspiracy theories swirling around the COVID vaccine are rooted in distrust originating in the Cold War and bad uses of science to fight wars. This biography sheds light on that “Stranger Things” dark era, and one of the obscure but influential scientists who helmed some of the nation’s most nefarious efforts, including working with fascist scientists from Germany and cooking up germ warfare.


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