One of the fairly common things out of the "pro-safe" vaccine crowd insists is that there's inadequate research on vaccines. What better way to look at how information has grown over time than to look at the evolution of a vaccine textbook and how it has grown over five editions.

In 1988, Vaccines was one third the size of the present edition, published 20 years later.

Product Details (from Amazon)
"Hardcover: 656 pages 
Publisher: Saunders (W.B.) Co Ltd; 2nd edition edition (August 1988) 
Language: English 
ISBN-10: 0721619460 
ISBN-13: 978-0721619460"

The second edition of Vaccines was published in 1994. It added over three hundred pages in the six years between editions.

From Amazon:

"Product Details
Hardcover: 996 pages 
Publisher: W.B. Saunders Company; 2 Sub edition (January 1994) 
Language: English 
ISBN-10: 0721665845 
ISBN-13: 978-0721665849 
Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 7.3 x 1.9 inches 
Shipping Weight: 4.6 pounds"

The third edition was published in 1999. In five years, it added over two hundred pages, and two and a half pounds.

From Amazon:

"Product Details
Hardcover: 1230 pages 
Publisher: W.B. Saunders Company; 3rd edition (February 15, 1999) 
Language: English 
ISBN-10: 0721674437 
ISBN-13: 978-0721674438 
Product Dimensions: 11 x 8.7 x 2.4 inches 
Shipping Weight: 7.1 pounds" 

The fourth edition of Vaccines was published in 2004 and jumped to 1408 pages.

Product Details (from Amazon)
"Hardcover: 1408 pages 
Publisher: Saunders; 4 edition (September 19, 2003) 
Language: English 
ISBN-10: 0721696880 
ISBN-13: 978-0721696881 
Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 8.8 x 2.4 inches 
Shipping Weight: 8 pounds" 

The fifth edition of Vaccines was published in 2008. The table of contents, showing 76 chapters, is available from the publisher.
From Amazon:
"Product Details

Hardcover: 1748 pages 
Publisher: Saunders; 5 edition (February 7, 2008) 
Language: English 
ISBN-10: 1416036113 
ISBN-13: 978-1416036111 
Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 9.1 x 2.4 inches 
Shipping Weight: 8.4 pounds"

At Amazon, the fifth edition is described as "comprehensive and current coverage of every aspect of vaccination-from development to use in reducing disease." 

"Provides a complete understanding of each disease, including clinical characteristics, microbiology, pathogenesis, diagnosis, and treatment, as well an epidemiology and public health issues. 
Offers comprehensive coverage of both existing vaccines and vaccines currently in the research and development stage. 
Examines vaccine stability, immunogenicity, efficacy, duration of immunity, adverse events, indications, contraindications, precautions, administration with other vaccines, and disease control strategies. 
Analyses the cost-benefit and cost-effectiveness of vaccines. 
Discusses the proper use of immune globulins and antitoxins. 
Illustrates concepts and objective data with approximately 600 tables and figures." 

In twenty years, the textbook by Stanley Plotkin and Walter Orenstein (and later Paul Offit) has doubled in weight, gone from 656 pages to 1748 pages. 

Another complaint is that safety in vaccines isn't being studied. A search of for vaccines pulls up 3,644 trials. 2,741 clinical trials are pulled up when you add safety to the search term. It's beyond ignorance when you hear a "pro safe" vaccine advocate argue there's insufficient research being done. It's intellectual laziness. When you search for vaccines and efficacy, you get 2,089 results.

Pubmed has 8,316 results for "vaccines safety" and 14,163 for "vaccines efficacy." It has 602 articles for "vaccines herd immunity." Therre's a lot of research out there on vaccines despite what "pro safe" advocates would have you believe. And lest you think that they're not looking at adverse effects, the results for "vaccines adverse effects" are 23,179 articles on PubMed. 

Just because you haven't heard about it doesn't mean the knowledge isn't out there. All it takes is a willingness to look and the effort. No, I'm not a vaccine expert, and I never will be, but I can find the resources that are available, I can take the time to look at the amount of research being done. And I can be humbled by the volume of information out there and the realization that no matter how hard I try, I will never come close to reading it all.

Individuals like Paul Offit, Stanley Plotkin and Walter Orenstein are the experts in their field. They have the expertise and the authority to speak about vaccines, their safety, their efficacy, and their adverse effects. Dr. Offit has never shied away from admitting the failures, the problems, or the need for improvement. 

Offit indisputably is an expert in vaccines. When he speaks about the safety and efficacy of vaccines, there's no reason to doubt his knowledge about the subject or his willingness to speak candidly about the potential adverse effects. He doesn't claim to be an autism expert, but he doesn't have to. He is an expert in vaccines.

"Pro safe" advocates, especially taken in light of the available research on vaccines, look at best ill-informed and arrogantly ignorant when they criticize Offit and his qualifications to speak on vaccines.