The Vaccine Race

How Scientists Used Human Cells to Combat Killer Viruses

by

The Vaccine Race: How Scientists Used Human Cells to Combat Killer Viruses

**SHORTLISTED FOR THE WELLCOME BOOK PRIZE 2018 **

** A GUARDIAN SCIENCE BOOK OF THE YEAR 2017 **

‘Riveting … invites comparison to Rebecca Skloot's The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks’
Nature

The epic and controversial story of a major breakthrough in cell biology that led to the conquest of rubella and other devastating diseases.

Until the late 1960s, tens of thousands of children suffered crippling birth defects if their mothers had been exposed to rubella, popularly known as German measles, while pregnant. There was no vaccine and little understanding of how the disease devastated foetuses. In June 1962, a young biologist in Philadelphia produced the first safe, clean cells that made possible the mass-production of vaccines against many common childhood diseases. Two years later, in the midst of a German measles epidemic, his colleague developed the vaccine that would one day effectively wipe out rubella for good.

This vaccine - and others made with those cells - have since protected hundreds of millions of people worldwide, the vast majority of them preschool children. Meredith Wadman’s account of this great leap forward in medicine is a fascinating and revelatory read.

  • Transworld; February 2017
  • ISBN 9781473509375
  • Read online, or download in secure EPUB format
  • Title: The Vaccine Race
  • Author: Meredith Wadman
  • Imprint: Transworld Digital

In The Press

"Marvellous…fascinating…Wadman doesn’t shy away from some very difficult and unpleasant truths…The Vaccine Race bears comparison with Richard Rhodes’s Pulitzer Prize-winning The Making of the Atomic Bomb. I can pay no higher compliment to Meredith Wadman and her fine book"

About The Author

Meredith Wadman, MD, has a long profile as a medical reporter and has covered biomedical research politics from Washington, DC, for twenty years. She has written for Nature, Fortune, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal. A graduate of Stanford University and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, she began medical school at the University of British Columbia and completed medical school as a Rhodes Scholar at the University of Oxford. She is an Editorial Fellow at New America, a DC think tank.