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A Tale of Two Sides: A Novel On Vaccines and Disease

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Compliant parents are what Julianna loves most about her job. Thankfully, most patients listen to her. After all, she is a nurse. Yet even the most well-intentioned parents can push back, especially when it comes to vaccinating their children. Paulina and Reuben Gonzalez wrestle with the decision whether to vaccinate their new baby for hepatitis B and, eventually, fifteen Compliant parents are what Julianna loves most about her job. Thankfully, most patients listen to her. After all, she is a nurse. Yet even the most well-intentioned parents can push back, especially when it comes to vaccinating their children. Paulina and Reuben Gonzalez wrestle with the decision whether to vaccinate their new baby for hepatitis B and, eventually, fifteen other diseases. The very mention of infectious disease strikes fear into the heart of every parent, so they want to make the right choice. There are those in the medical profession who believe vaccines are so critical they should be mandatory, and others who acknowledge that vaccines have risks that must be considered. As the Gonzalez’s and dozens of other families, doctors, nurses, reporters, and politicians come together in an open, honest, and sometimes heated dialogue to explore the truths at the root of their beliefs, their lives provide a fascinating perspective on one of the most polarizing issues of our time.


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Compliant parents are what Julianna loves most about her job. Thankfully, most patients listen to her. After all, she is a nurse. Yet even the most well-intentioned parents can push back, especially when it comes to vaccinating their children. Paulina and Reuben Gonzalez wrestle with the decision whether to vaccinate their new baby for hepatitis B and, eventually, fifteen Compliant parents are what Julianna loves most about her job. Thankfully, most patients listen to her. After all, she is a nurse. Yet even the most well-intentioned parents can push back, especially when it comes to vaccinating their children. Paulina and Reuben Gonzalez wrestle with the decision whether to vaccinate their new baby for hepatitis B and, eventually, fifteen other diseases. The very mention of infectious disease strikes fear into the heart of every parent, so they want to make the right choice. There are those in the medical profession who believe vaccines are so critical they should be mandatory, and others who acknowledge that vaccines have risks that must be considered. As the Gonzalez’s and dozens of other families, doctors, nurses, reporters, and politicians come together in an open, honest, and sometimes heated dialogue to explore the truths at the root of their beliefs, their lives provide a fascinating perspective on one of the most polarizing issues of our time.

46 review for A Tale of Two Sides: A Novel On Vaccines and Disease

  1. 5 out of 5

    Bridgett

    It's quite wonderful to have so much pertinent information, all in one book, written so succinctly. Having said that, here's the deal with this book: 1. The story is all over the place. 2. There are too many characters. 3. It could use a bit of grammatical editing. 4. The dialogue is a bit preachy and stilted. BUT... 5. As far as I can tell, the information here is 100% accurate. And it should be--the author, John Phillip Ryan, is the pen name of a medical doctor trained at one of America's mo It's quite wonderful to have so much pertinent information, all in one book, written so succinctly. Having said that, here's the deal with this book: 1. The story is all over the place. 2. There are too many characters. 3. It could use a bit of grammatical editing. 4. The dialogue is a bit preachy and stilted. BUT... 5. As far as I can tell, the information here is 100% accurate. And it should be--the author, John Phillip Ryan, is the pen name of a medical doctor trained at one of America's most prestigious medical schools. He opted to remain anonymous to protect himself, his family, and his career. We all know what happens to doctors who say anything remotely negative about vaccines--remember Dr. Andrew Wakefield? Speaking of professionals, I'm a registered nurse. I mention this not to brag, but to help explain my history. My son was vaccine injured at age 15 months after receiving his DTaP, Hib, and Varicella vaccines at a well-child check-up. I'm not going to get into his medical history because it's not mine to share, but suffice it to say, it was an obvious reaction...one which couldn't be denied by his doctors. We live in a state which allows only medical exemptions, but hey, that shouldn't be a problem, right? My son had a terrible reaction to vaccines, and his doctor had no issue writing a medical exemption for him. But the Department of Health and Human Resources denied it, because, you know, they clearly know my son better than his family doctor of more than a decade. (Really hoping you can sense my sarcasm here.) He was denied his constitutional right to a free, equal, and public education because he could no longer tolerate vaccines. Bottom line, I've lived this book . I've spent the intervening years researching...which means I've been researching and studying vaccine science for 14 years. I have books and pamphlets and vaccine inserts and medical texts and VIS forms and more books...all of which I've read and verified throughout the years. I've also scoured the CDC website and VAERS. And thankfully, due to my medical background, the science, or lack thereof, is pretty easy for me to understand. I've also spent more than a decade fighting our state legislators, trying to get religious and/or philosophical exemptions in our home state. I've become very familiar with our state capitol buildings and the legislators who are clearly under the thumb of Big Pharma and their lobbyists (lobbyists who are at the capitol building every single day, I might add). So, I can definitely say the in-depth look at how state and federal legislators work is also spot on in this novel. This book has essentially taken all the information I've learned over the years, melded it into real-life scenarios, creating a frame of reference which makes it much easier to understand. With the exception of some behind the scenes activities with the CDC and mainstream media (which I have no way of verifying...but which also seem quite logical), I can definitely say the information in this book is legit. Don't believe me? Do the research. It's all there in black and white...the only requirements are an open mind, concentration, and your time. I adore this book and feel it would be an excellent gift for all new or expecting parents. Cold, hard facts, written as an entertaining, realistic, fictional story...it's worth your time. You see, people come to me everyday asking about vaccines. I give them links to unbiased sources (or at least as unbiased as I can find), and ask only that they're informed. If they choose to vaccinate, after researching, I'm absolutely fine with that choice. If they don't choose to vaccinate, after researching, I'm absolutely fine with that choice as well. Why? Because I choose medical freedom. I will never believe our government should have sovereign power over our bodies. Parents know what's best for their children. I have faith in their abilities to decide what medicine works for them, what doesn't, and when (or if) it's given. I also expect people to respect my informed choices as well. Give this book a try...you won't be disappointed, despite the minor issues mentioned above. 4.5 stars!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Tami

    A different kind of book about vaccines and diseases This is a fictional, though very realistic, story combined with lots of solid scientific up to date info. This combination makes it easy to read, captivating and touching, identifying with the characters and their stories, while getting this crucial info, both the scientific info and the current status concerning vaccines in politics, the media, government agencies and medicine. It is a must read for everyone who has to make a decision about va A different kind of book about vaccines and diseases This is a fictional, though very realistic, story combined with lots of solid scientific up to date info. This combination makes it easy to read, captivating and touching, identifying with the characters and their stories, while getting this crucial info, both the scientific info and the current status concerning vaccines in politics, the media, government agencies and medicine. It is a must read for everyone who has to make a decision about vaccines, and everyone who wants to get an understanding of what’s going on around us on this issue. Highly recommended.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Rosh

    I have never read a book that captures both sides of the vaccine debate so well. By the end of it, I felt I had a exterior perspective on the vaccine debate and confusion. It’s a very accessible book and I would recommend reading it if you are a parent. You probably would get more out of it if you already had some basic education in vaccines and childhood diseases. But that is definitely not a must.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Tourmalily

    Antivaxxer fanfiction written by Dr. Bob Sears, debuting his new career as a science fiction/fantasy author in preparation for leaving the medical field. This book has no basis in reality and is an entirely fictional-- by his own admission-- accounting of the "debate" surrounding vaccines. Antivaxxer fanfiction written by Dr. Bob Sears, debuting his new career as a science fiction/fantasy author in preparation for leaving the medical field. This book has no basis in reality and is an entirely fictional-- by his own admission-- accounting of the "debate" surrounding vaccines.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Diane

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kaz

  7. 5 out of 5

    Janet

  8. 5 out of 5

    Deandra

  9. 4 out of 5

    Ruth Sufrin

  10. 5 out of 5

    Samantha Bilodeau

  11. 5 out of 5

    naota hashimoto

  12. 4 out of 5

    Erin

  13. 4 out of 5

    Tristana

  14. 4 out of 5

    Nicki

  15. 4 out of 5

    Preethi Premkumar

  16. 5 out of 5

    Frostedflakes

  17. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Spiegel

  18. 4 out of 5

    Abul

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

  20. 4 out of 5

    Yogagrrl

  21. 4 out of 5

    sally clark

  22. 4 out of 5

    Anna Kim

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    Jlo

  24. 5 out of 5

    Erica

  25. 4 out of 5

    Tyler Hinders

  26. 5 out of 5

    Alicia

  27. 5 out of 5

    Michelle Coughlin

  28. 5 out of 5

    Aimee Miller

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    Carol

  30. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

  31. 5 out of 5

    Michelle Witt

  32. 5 out of 5

    Erik Leon

  33. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

  34. 5 out of 5

    Lynz Parks

  35. 4 out of 5

    Audra

  36. 5 out of 5

    Jared

  37. 5 out of 5

    Conrad William Metz

  38. 5 out of 5

    Cynthia J. Judd

  39. 5 out of 5

    Katie Fazio

  40. 4 out of 5

    Dene Schulze-Alva

  41. 5 out of 5

    Loie Gardner

  42. 4 out of 5

    Julia W. Trudeau

  43. 5 out of 5

    Brianne Perez

  44. 4 out of 5

    Meredith White

  45. 4 out of 5

    Whitney

  46. 5 out of 5

    Mandy Horine

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