Award-winning author Don Brown explores a very timely subject: the history of vaccines
A Shot in the Arm!, book 3 in the Big Ideas that Changed the World series, is the history of vaccinations and the struggle to protect people from infectious disease. Beginning with smallpox--perhaps humankind's greatest affliction to date--and concluding with an overview of the COVID-19 pandemic, Brown traces the evolution of vaccines and examines deadly diseases such as measles, polio, anthrax, rabies, cholera, and influenza. The book is narrated by Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, who historically popularized inoculation in England in the early 18th century. Brown covers the science behind how our immune systems work, the discovery of bacteria, and major achievements from scientists like Louis Pasteur, Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, and Edward Jenner, the "father of immunology." Brown also tackles the public and political response to vaccination throughout history, addressing head-on the anti-vaccination movement and debunking false claims that vaccines cause autism. A reminder of progress made so far as well as the millions of lives still to be saved, A Shot in the Arm! is a fascinating deep-dive for readers young and old. Back matter includes an author's note, timeline, bibliography, notes, and index.