Vaccines, one of the most controversial topics in the modern world. Something that started as a magical solution for many health problems that once killed millions of people is nowadays very contentious and talked about topic… All because people don’t take the time to read about them.
You see, Vaccines are, after all, the magical solution we needed, and they are, until this very day, one of the most significant scientific breakthroughs of modern history. But even then, people aren’t aware of the history behind this amazing thing.
In The Vaccine Race: How Scientists Used Human Cells to Combat Killer Viruses, author Meredith Wadman starts by telling us about Leonard Hayflick and how he is pretty much responsible for creating the vaccine.
The book takes us from Leonard’s early days as a scientist and how he carried himself in the field, to the moment that set a mark on recent history: When Leonard used a fetus’ cells and created what he called the WI-38 cells, which were mainly the base to develop vaccines as we know them today.
It is from that very moment on that the world started to change forever. Author Meredith Wadman did a fantastic job at writing about all the events and situations that lead to the creation of the very first vaccine in history, and it affected the whole world.
You see, reading this book is extremely interesting for one main reason: Talking about the history of vaccines is talking about the social effects and the problems that it carried with it. It isn’t just about this incredible medical breakthrough but the problems that it created… Because believe it or not, the creation of the vaccine unravelled a series of social and political issues the world wasn’t necessarily prepared to face.
This book shines an intense light in political and social problems regarding this topic, which makes the whole thing seem more human. It shines a light on how people reacted, on the battles for fame behind the discovery and many other problems we didn’t get to see, but that is pretty much still being discussed nowadays.
Overall, the book is a must read for everyone, both for those who are aware the vaccine is one of the most significant scientific breakthroughs of our era and for those who have a wrong opinion of it merely because they aren’t aware of how vaccines work and what they indeed are.
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