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Reception for Dr. Peter Hotez’s Book,

Vaccines Did Not Cause Rachel’s Autism


Photography by David Fletcher

Dr. Erich and Shannon Sturgis hosted a VIP reception in their elegant home for Dr. Peter Hotez’s book, Vaccines Did Not Cause Rachel’s Autism, which was published on October 21, 2018 by Johns Hopkins University Press. During the reception, Dr. Hotez related his touching story about being an autism dad to his daughter Rachel and read excepts from his book. The heartfelt work details his experiences as a pediatrician, vaccine scientist, and loving father to an autistic child.

Throughout the book, Dr. Hotez examines the science that refutes the concerns of anti-vaxxers. He debunks conspiracy theories of a link between vaccines and autism and a coverup by the CDC. He also shares joyful moments intertwined with difficult ones within its pages.

When asked why the book is important now, Dr. Hotez replied, “I became alarmed at what I saw as the absence of a counter voice to the anti-vaccine lobby. And I felt I was in a unique position, as a vaccine scientist and pediatrician, and as an autism dad, to stand up to this and say this has got to stop.” He added, “The science in itself may not [always] be adequately persuasive. People need a personal story to go with it.” Over 50 guests attended the uplifting event.

Guests: Dr. Melanie Mouzoon, Drs. Marc and Julie Boom, Rebecca Marvil and Brian Smyth, Dr. Maria Elena Bottazzi, Catherine Mitchell, and Allison Winnike.

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