Vaccines and Immunizations



Library of Congress Subject Headings

MeSH (Medical Subject Headings)


Browsing Areas

Guides, Dictionaries, and Manuals


Monographs and Articles



Indexes and Abstracts

Electronic Sources


Guides, Dictionaries, and Manuals:

These sources provide basic scientific information on vaccines and immunizations and an introduction to concepts and issues associated with them. Each provides a different level of scientific detail; all are well-written.  Taken together they provide a very good basic scientific understanding of vaccines and immunizations.


Berkow, Robert, ed. The Merck Manual of Medical Information. Home ed. Whitehouse Station, N.J.: Merck Research Laboratories, 1997. WB130.M555, UNC Health Sciences Library, Reference, 1st floor.

This source is a useful reference for more scientific overview of vaccines and immunizations, with a detailed scientific introduction to them. There is a very good section on how vaccines work, and an essential one on common adult vaccinations.     


Dorland’s Illustrated Medical Dictionary. 30th ed. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders Co., 2003.  W13. D711 2003 UNC Health Sciences Library, Reference, 1st Floor.

This illustrated dictionary is a comprehensive and authoritative source for technical definitions of diseases that are vaccinated against.  A special section of two and a half pages associated with the term “vaccine” gives causes and symptoms of diseases and types of vaccine used to treat each one. Each specific disease is thoroughly defined under its alphabetical heading; for example, there are 17 different types of poliomyelitis briefly defined under this disease’s entry.


Goldmann, David R., ed. American College of Physicians Complete Home Medical Guide. New York: DK Publishing Inc., 1999. RC81.A5386 1999, Davis Reference, 1st floor.

This source provides a good overview of vaccines and immunizations for a general educated audience, and as such it would be a useful source for health care workers and students to review definitions and explanations of vaccines and immunizations, especially for basic scientific concepts, such as active and passive immunization, which are also explained in several diagrams. The writing is clear and straightforward; pages for further explanations are cross-referenced.  The index should be used to locate information as the arrangement is by topical heading; for example, “vaccines” is under “Drug Treatment.”


Red Book: 2003 Report of the Committee on Infectious Diseases. 26th ed. Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics, 2003.

WS135.A512C 2003, UNC Health Sciences Library Reference, 1st floor.

This is the most comprehensive and up-to-date reference source for information on vaccines and immunizations. Section 1, which consists of 100 pages, is devoted to the two basic categories of immunizations, active and passive. It considers such issues as “informing patients and parents” about immunizations, vaccine safety and contraindications, and immunocompromised children. This source concisely provides practical information on immunizations: there is a section on vaccine administration and management; general instructions for administering vaccines; risks and side-effects, international travel, refugees and immigrants.  A number of tables and charts present the information in easy to understand formats.  The language is scientific when necessary, but the writing is clear and interesting.  Can be used as a reference source or a as source for in-depth information.


Back to Top