When you have questions about vaccination, whom should you trust? Your doctor or that guy who sells overpriced herbs and vitamins over the Internet? In the 1970s, a worldwide vaccination campaign drove smallpox into extinction. Now, we no longer vaccinate children against smallpox. Another vaccination campaign has driven polio to the brink of extinction. Soon, we will no longer need to vaccinate children against polio. Measles, mumps, and rubella can also be driven into extinction through vaccination. After that, nobody will need the MMR vaccine. In this engaging book, Laurie Endicott Thomas explains how dangerous the vaccine-preventable diseases are, and how important vaccines are for preventing them. She also explains why there has always been a vocal resistance to vaccination. Originally, the antivaccine movement was largely religious, as preachers competed with doctors for power and prestige. Today, the anti vaccine movement is being fueled by an alternative medicine industry that is trying to sell its own goods and services by making you distrust the good sold by the pharmaceutical companies and the services provided by your doctor. The popular schools of alternative medicine have been around for a century or longer. Yet they have never made a dent in the death rate from infectious disease. In contrast, conventional medicine and public health have dramatically improved life expectancy by conquering the infectious diseases that used to be major killers. This book explains how the immune system protects you against disease, and how the government regulators work to make sure that vaccines are safe and effective.