While The Panic Virus has a lot of information, Mnookin relates it in such a way that makes for a fairly quick read - and one that is compelling enough that I had a hard time putting the book down. He makes no pretense of neutrality, but he backs up the disdain he shows for anti-vaccine advocates with solid, well-sourced research written with the lay person in mind. He demystifies the Vaccine Injury Court, a special court the government has established that is funded by pharmaceutical companies and provides patients who suffer from known side-effects of vaccines (and, as with any medical procedure or treatment, there are some) can present their claims and receive pre-determined settlements depending on the nature and severity of their injury.
He also shows how the initial concern cited by Andrew Wakefield - the British researcher whose work sparked the controversy and was recently declared fraudulent by the British General Medical Council - that the measles component of the MMR vaccine caused gastrointestinal distress leading to autism, morphed over time into the idea that it was thimerosal (a mercury-based preservative) in the vaccine that was the cause.
There are a few places where Mnookin lets the story wander a bit, sometimes giving the impression that there's going to be a bigger payoff than what it actually is, and he seems to have a particular bone to pick with author David Kirby. I would like to have read more about Mark and David Geier and their promotion of chelation therapy as a treatment for autism and some of the other bizarre "cures" being offered, but given the wealth of information he does provide, it's not a major failing of the book.
The Panic Virus is a book I would recommend to anyone about to become a parent or whose children are approaching vaccination age. Sadly, for parents who have already bought into the vaccine-causes-autism myth, it's unlikely even a book as well-written as this will do much to change their minds, but because the decisions these parents make when they opt not to have their children vaccinated can affect all of the other children in their community, it is important for all parents to be educated about the risks.