The American scientist, whose new book explains why vaccines didn’t cause his daughter’s autism, on why conspiracy theorists need to be challenged
Peter Hotez is dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. He has worked on developing vaccines for hookworm and schistosomiasis, and is a vocal opponent of the anti-vaccine movement. His daughter Rachel is autistic and he has written a book, Vaccines Did Not Cause Rachel’s Autism, in which he describes her illness and tackles the newly resurgent anti-vaccine movement.
Why did you decide to write this book through the prism of your own child?
Well, I felt called to do it. I’ve written books about neglected tropical diseases, and here I was seeing these terrible things happening in Europe and the US, and if I didn’t do it – a vaccine scientist, paediatrician and autism dad – who else would?