An African tribal massacre. A virus. A Cold War mystery. A bloodthirsty dictator. We’re in a campaign that will be hailed as the greatest achievement in the history of medicine, the eradication of smallpox from the planet. What price will our family pay?

◊“Bee Bloeser’s story reads like a political thriller, women’s history, and African adventure rolled into one. An alert witness to a breakthrough in world health, she brings insight and humor to a dark tale of disease, corruption and genocide that unfolds around her, her visionary but practical husband, and their two small children. Riveting.”  So says Pulitzer Prize-nominated author Pamela Alexander.


About Vaccines & Bayonets


SMALLPOX TARGET ZERO. Global smallpox eradication is the goal. When this small-town wife follows her visionary husband to West Africa, her naiveté is ground to powder, and their two young children are affected in unforeseen ways. Their life in Equatorial Guinea and in Nigeria bestows enormous rewards. At a price.


  • What is it like on the front lines in a war on a virulent disease? First, in a country torn by a civil war just out of sight—except for the mass graves? And next, in a country where society collapses into political violence under a dictator worse than Idi Amin?
  • What do you do when laws are replaced with the whims of a sociopathic ruler?
  • Bee and Carl are more than world travelers. They are world changers. VACCINES AND BAYONETS is Bee Bloeser’s story of coping with a slowly rising tide of disaster that turns the tropical paradise of Equatorial Guinea into a hotbed of suspicion, hatred, and murder.
  • While her children are terrorized and her husband doggedly pursues humanity’s dream of a smallpox-free world, she somehow carries on in the way women have carried on for centuries.
  • A disease that has plagued humanity for centuries is gone. A disease that killed half a billion people during the 20th century alone. But what was the human cost?
  • Not only medical and political history, VACCINES & BAYONETS is a handbook for contemporary times. Because epidemics and terrorism are part of our global reality. Now. And in the foreseeable future.