Vaccines in the Global Era

Vaccines in the Global Era

How to Deal Safely and Effectively with the Pandemics of Our Time

Rino Rappuoli, Lisa Vozza


  • Description
  • Author
  • Info
  • Reviews


A new coronavirus, most likely spilled over from an animal species, has plunged us into the third epidemic of this kind in the last twenty years, against which there were neither vaccines nor therapies.

While we argue over the future of humanity, vulnerable to the ecological and environmental degradation that has enabled the pandemic, extraordinary technologies have been developed to combat infectious diseases. In just eleven months it was possible to develop, test and produce the vaccines that are gradually enabling us to escape the SARS-CoV-2 nightmare. In addition, with the legacy of the technologies developed against COVID-19, we will be able to overcome antimicrobial resistance—a slow but inexorable pandemic.

As vaccinologists are churning out increasingly precise and effective solutions, vaccine acceptance seems to be receding. Outbreaks of preventable diseases have prompted the health authorities of several countries to make childhood vaccinations mandatory again. Much remains to be done, but a public capable of distinguishing authoritative voices from misleading ones will be able to enjoy the vaccines of tomorrow more widely. Vaccines in the Global Era is an easy-to-read book that can be read by virtually anyone who wants to learn about the importance, effectiveness and safety of vaccines in preventing infectious diseases.

Vaccines are cheap, save countless lives, and are more effective than the best medicines. Let's try to make the best use of them for the health of the people and animals living together on this beautiful planet.


  • About the Authors
  • Introduction
  • Old and New Epidemics
  • The Long History of Vaccines
  • Listen to This
  • Chasing Moving Targets
  • Vaccines Wanted Against Four Big Killers
  • Unpredictable Viruses: The Flu
  • A Pandemic of Our Time
  • How to Vaccinate an Entire Planet Against COVID-19
  • Vaccines for Whom?
  • Appendix: How Do Our Defences Work?
  • Dispelling 7 Myths
  • MMaybe You Did Not Know That ...
  • Further Reading
  • Index

Readership: Can be read by virtually anyone who wants to learn something about the importance, effectiveness, and safety of vaccines in preventing infectious diseases. Also suitable for undergraduate and postgraduate students; researchers in basic biomedical disciplines; physicians; and health service policymakers.

'With SARS-COVID19 affecting the life of every person on this planet, it can hardly be surprising if there is a great demand to know more about vaccines and infectious diseases. Our usual sources of information include television and newspaper reporting, where we depend on the expertise of journalists to interpret complex scientific issues, and social media where we are hugely vulnerable to uninformed or misinformed opinions. This book, by Rino Rappuoli and Lisa Vozza, takes the knowledge of real experts in vaccines, immunology and infectious disease and helps the reader progress from early history through to the intricacies of how antibodies work, what PCR does, what an mRNA vaccine is, and how to make a vaccine. If you want to know more about vaccines — how they work, how we know that they are safe and so many other questions at a time when everyone feels like a vaccine expert (but isn't), then you should read this book.' - David SalisburyAssociate Fellow, Programme for Global Health, Royal Institute of International Affairs, Chatham House, London

Key Features:

  • More than 14,700 copies sold in Italy and the Galileo award, the most prestigious popular science prize in Italy, attest to the quality and originality of the first edition of this book and for the unique expertise and skills of the two authors
  • Rino Rappuoli is a world leader in the field of vaccinology and Lisa Vozza is a well reputed science writer, with translations of her books published in English and Chinese
  • A simple and compact book, easy to read but highly authoritative. In about 350 pages, it explains a complex subject with depth, balance and nuances
  • The second Italian edition, and the first English edition, have two entirely new chapters on the coronavirus epidemics (SARS, MERS, SARS-CoV-2). The authors have written these chapters in order to have the most up-to-date views of both the evolution of the pandemic and the development and deployment of vaccines all over the world


Rino Rappuoli: