Dear parents, you are being lied to.

Standard of care.

In light of recent outbreaks of measles and other vaccine preventable illnesses, and the refusal of anti-vaccination advocates to acknowledge the problem, I thought it was past time for this post.

Dear parents,

You are being lied to. The people who claim to be acting in the best interests of your children are putting their health and even lives at risk.

They say that measles isn’t a deadly disease.
But it is.

They say that chickenpox isn’t that big of a deal.
But it can be.

They say that the flu isn’t dangerous.
But it is.

They say that whooping cough isn’t so bad for kids to get.
But it is.

They say that vaccines aren’t that effective at preventing disease.
But 3 million children’s lives are saved every year by vaccination, and 2 million die every year from vaccine-preventable illnesses.

They say that “natural infection” is better than vaccination.
But they’re wrong.

They say that vaccines haven’t been rigorously tested for safety.
But vaccines are subjected to a higher level of scrutiny than any other medicine. For example, this study tested the safety and effectiveness of the pneumococcal vaccine in more than 37,868 children.

They will say that doctors won’t admit there are any side effects to vaccines.
But the side effects are well known, and except in very rare cases quite mild.

They say that the MMR vaccine causes autism.
It doesn’t. (The question of whether vaccines cause autism has been investigated in study after study, and they all show overwhelming evidence that they don’t.)

They say that thimerosal in vaccines causes autism.
It doesn’t, and it hasn’t been in most vaccines since 2001 anyway.

They say that the aluminum in vaccines (an adjuvant, or component of the vaccine designed to enhance the body’s immune response) is harmful to children.
But children consume more aluminum in natural breast milk than they do in vaccines, and far higher levels of aluminum are needed to cause harm.

They say that the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (and/or the “vaccine court”) proves that vaccines are harmful.
It doesn’t.

They say that the normal vaccine schedule is too difficult for a child’s immune system to cope with.
It isn’t.

They say that if other people’s children are vaccinated, there’s no need for their children to get vaccinated.

This is one of the most despicable arguments I’ve ever heard. First of all, vaccines aren’t always 100% effective, so it is possible for a vaccinated child to still become infected if exposed to a disease. Worse, there are some people who can’t receive vaccinations, because they are immune deficient, or because they are allergic to some component. Those people depend upon herd immunity to protect them. People who choose not to vaccinate their children against infectious diseases are putting not only their own children at risk, but also other people’s children.

They say that ‘natural’, ‘alternative’ remedies are better than science-based medicine.
They aren’t.

The truth is that vaccines are one of our greatest public health achievements, and one of the most important things you can do to protect your child.

I can predict exactly the sort of response I will be getting from the anti-vaccine activists. Because they can’t argue effectively against the overwhelming scientific evidence about vaccines, they will say that I work for Big Pharma. (I don’t and never have). They will say that I’m not a scientist (I am), and that I’m an “Agent 666” (I don’t know what that is, but I’m pretty sure that I’m not one).

None of these things are true, but they are the reflexive response by the anti-vaccine activists because they have no facts to back up their position. On some level, deep down, they must understand this, and are afraid of the implications, so they attack the messenger.

Why are they lying to you? Some are doing it for profit, trying to sell their alternative remedies by making you afraid of science-based medicine. I’m sure that many others within the anti-vaccine movement have genuinely good intentions, and do honestly believe that vaccines are harmful. But as a certain astrophysicist recently said “The good thing about science is that it’s true whether or not you believe in it”. In the case of vaccine truthers, this is not a good thing. Good intentions will not prevent microbes from infecting and harming people, and the message that vaccines are dangerous is having dire consequences. There are outbreaks of vaccine-preventable illnesses now throughout the United States because of unvaccinated children.

In only one respect is my message the same as the anti-vaccine activists: Educate yourself. But while they mean “Read all these websites that support our position”, I suggest you should learn what the scientific community says. Learn how the immune system works. Go read about the history of disease before vaccines, and talk to older people who grew up when polio, measles, and other diseases couldn’t be prevented. Go read about how vaccines are developed, and how they work. Read about Andrew Wakefield, and how his paper that claimed a link between the MMR vaccine and autism has been withdrawn, and his medical license has been revoked. Read the numerous, huge studies that have explicitly examined whether autism is caused by the vaccine…and found nothing. (While you’re at it, read about the ongoing research to determine what IS the cause—or causes —of autism, which is not helped by people continuing to insist that vaccines cause it).

That may seem like a lot of work, and scientific papers can seem intimidating to read. But reading scientific articles is a skill that can be mastered. Here’s a great resource for evaluating medical information on the internet, and I wrote a guide for non-scientists on how to read and understand the scientific literature. You owe it to your children, and to yourself, to thoroughly investigate the issue. Don’t rely on what some stranger on the internet says (not even me!). Read the scientific studies that I linked to in this post for yourself, and talk to your pediatricians. Despite what the anti-vaccine community is telling you, you don’t need to be afraid of the vaccines. You should instead be afraid of what happens without them.


Edited to add: This video is an outstanding summary of many of these issues. I encourage you to watch it.

“Humans try to make sense of the world by seeing patterns. When they see a disease or condition that tends to appear around the time a child is a year or so old, as autism does, and that is also the age that kids get particular shots, they want to put those things together. Parents watch kids more carefully after they get shots. Sometimes they pick up on symptoms then. Just because two things happen at the same time doesn’t mean that one caused the other. This is why we need careful scientific studies.”

Note: For people coming via a direct link, please also feel free to participate in a follow-up discussion

1/13/15: Edited to update broken hyperlinks. If you find any additional broken links, please don’t hesitate to let me know. –JR

4/19/16: Edited again to update more broken hyperlinks. If you find more, keep letting us know and we’ll keep fixing them. –CM


5,955 thoughts on “Dear parents, you are being lied to.

  1. Anonymous April 2, 2014 / 11:32 pm

    It seems it should be as is, a personal parental choice. We have to make difficult decisions every day about the well being of our kids and worry with each. And bad stuff will happen and we can never truly “control” all of the confounder factors to be absolutely certain on anything, no matter what you believe both and all research will run the risk of error so leave it as is….This will continue to be a personal parental choice, no need wasting time arguing about it.

  2. Rex April 2, 2014 / 11:38 pm

    I remember a long time ago when I thanked my Lord for the polio vaccine which my three daughters got in a clinic in a church. You see When I was a boy I lost a childhood friend to polio, and a couple of others were left crippled for life. My job at the time was a med tech for city of Portland Isolation Hospital. Have you ever tried to draw blood from an 8 year old boy in an iron lung? How many of you know what an Iron Lung is? All I know is we had three healthy daughters, eight grand kids, and so far nine great grand kids. Thank you Dr Salk, and my God who gave you the knowledge to make that vaccine.

  3. Anonymous April 2, 2014 / 11:55 pm

    The Ed is right.

  4. Parker With a K April 3, 2014 / 12:04 am

    I think I just finished reading about a quarter of all these posts, and as far as I’m concerned the chances of me or anyone else on here (the internet) changing another person’s mind just because of a comment on a post on a website I (or they) have never seen before today, is slim to none. However, it’s nice to voice your opinion, right?

    First off, I’m generally speaking against vaccines, however to me the tetanus shot makes sense. My niece got a vaccine six years ago, she was two at the time (same age my daughter currently is). She had gotten extremely sick from something I don’t think I saw mentioned on this page, which was what they called a bad batch of vaccines. There were plenty of other children in my town that got sick as well, and as far as my knowledge goes, four died.

    For me, personally, that does it for me. I’ve been critized by family members and co workers and friends. But as a parent I feel as though I want as little risk of death on my daughter’s life as possible, and this is the right way for me. My parents are both in the medical field and have told me plenty of other stories. My dad is a chiropractor (which I also saw slammed in this thread due to “being paralyzed” which is a load of crap seeing as he does about 9000 adjustments a year and has paralyzed nobody)

    However there was a comment I saw about how many children were lost “back in the day” compared to now. That was about the only comment I found to have common sense behind. But, that doesn’t quite cut it for me. I’m not turning to the dark side because of that 🙂 jk

    Anyways, I’ve said my piece, hopefully in as peaceful manner as I can over my keyboard. I most likely will not respond or look back on this thread.

    I have been vaccinated, but once again, minimally, like my daughter will be.

    • Colin April 3, 2014 / 12:14 am

      As other people have written here, this type of reasoning is deeply flawed. The simplest way to express it is that just about every safety precaution can be dangerous–car seats kill babies from time to time. The question is whether the precaution is more worse than the thing it’s intended to prevent. The data on both vaccines and car seats is that they prevent far, far more harm than they cause.

      Not getting a vaccine because you know someone who got hurt is like spending half your paycheck on lottery tickets because you know someone who won.

      I do agree with your first paragraph, though. The people posting here aren’t likely to have their minds changed, no matter which side they fall on. But that’s not really a problem. We learn a lot about the positions–ours and everyone else’s–through this kind of conversation. And frankly most of us find this energizing if not outright fun. Even more importantly, of course, just about everyone posting here thinks they’re right and doing a good deed by defending the truth.

      So how do you determine who’s right? I think the best way is to look for the consensus of experts, the people who are closest to the data and best equipped to analyze it. There’s a reason that the most prominent anti-vaxers are homeopaths, naturopaths, and others profiting off of the unvaccinated, while the vast majority of scientists support vaccination.

      • priceless123 April 3, 2014 / 1:36 am

        like you said. Your position has been stated. Again and again and again… not just by you by dozens of others on here. Ad nauseam. How many times does it need to be made to be enough, granted that you concede you aren’t likely to change opinion in the comments section of a blog post?

        • Colin April 3, 2014 / 2:38 am

          When the schoolhouse caught on fire, the teacher started carrying buckets of water to pour on the flames. Again and again and again and again. And not just her, but dozens of others helped her.

          Other people stood and watched, or even fanned the flames. Some of them were selling make-believe magic spells they claimed would keep fire from starting in peoples’ houses, and they needed the fire to keep people buying. Others just liked being involved in the commotion. A few honestly wanted to do the right thing, but didn’t know the best way to keep the schoolhouse from burning and so just complained.

          One of the bystanders asked, “How many times do you need to pour water on those flames before you concede you won’t put that fire out?”

          There’s no limit. You just keep doing your best until it stops smoldering or it burns out of control. We’re closer to the former than the latter, but that’s no excuse to give in to ignorance and scaremongering.

          • priceless123 April 23, 2014 / 5:33 pm

            My bad. Keep fighting the fire, hero.

  5. Parker With a K April 3, 2014 / 12:08 am

    Actually I rest my case with that children lost back in the day post. There are many miscarriages these days instead

  6. Glenn Hanna (@glennhanna) April 3, 2014 / 1:23 am

    A lot of parents are misinformed by strong opinions and traditions. I can’t believe parents still consider it okay to mutilate their son’s genitals shortly after birth. You would think they would do some serious research before making such a drastic personal decision for their child. The Vaccinations issue isn’t as black and white for parents, so thanks for putting your knowledge and links out there to help parents make an informed decision. There are plenty of Con articles, as you so well point out, and this is a great Pro article.

    • Alyssa April 3, 2014 / 2:03 pm


    • whatever April 3, 2014 / 4:32 pm
    • yippi April 3, 2014 / 5:45 pm

      i’ll tell you why I circumcised my sons. Before my son was born his doctor had just diagnosed himself with ALA. A diseases where he would lose all control of his mind but not his brain. I asked him about circumcision. He said, I know there is a lot of controversy now but one day your some will get old some body will have to wash and clean him and those who are circumcised has a much smaller rate of infection than those who don’t. It makes my grateful my parents looked to the future not just the hear and now. You say vaccines are not black and white for parents neither is circumcision.

      • yippi April 3, 2014 / 5:46 pm

        *I meant all control of his body not mind:)

      • Talon Ward April 3, 2014 / 6:38 pm

        As a circumsized man, I can tell you that, yes, in fact, circumcision is black and white: don’t do it.

        Also, vaccination is black and white: do it.

        • Anonymous April 3, 2014 / 10:34 pm

          No, circumcision is not black and white. All uncircumcised little boys who shower themselves, teenagers who have poor hygiene, and old men who have difficulty with ADLs, what do they have in common? Increased odds and frequency of urinary tract infection and foreskin infections. Did you know that sometimes it gets so crusty and caked from poor hygiene that sometimes surgery is required to wash it out. Yep, how do you think that happens? They put you under and literally rip the foreskin back to clean it, that is if they can, if not then it’s a circumcision at a later time in life and this time you will definitely remember. I have been an icu nurse for almost 9 years and the uncircumcised penises that I have seen have been disgusting. If you don’t have a circumcision, you better pray you find a good nurse aid to take care of it properly. But, it’s not likely cause they have 30 other people to care for and your care is not top priority. Obama care is only gonna hurt it more.

          • David Boccabella April 3, 2014 / 11:38 pm

            Dear Anonymous. Considering the effects described to not circumcising is akin to advocating that all women who have had children should have a hysterectomy and double mastectomy.
            Considering the number of breast cancers and ovarian/uterine cancers that affect women then we should as a public demand that these troublesome organs be removed immediately when no-longer needed.
            If you feel uncomfortable about this – coming from a man – then likewise consider that as a man I am uncomfortable about you advocating mutilation of my genitalia.

          • Jesse April 4, 2014 / 3:31 am

            Your nursing license should be revoked. You not only brag about not giving proper care to your patients, but also think that Obamacare has anything to do with the kind of health insurance someone gets (hint: it is a chance to choose from insurance companies, not the actual insurance itself). The fact that you are so ignorant and lazy shows you have no business working in medicine.

            I pray no one I care about gets stuck with you.

          • Wilhelmina April 4, 2014 / 8:19 am

            110% behind you! I think the negative responses are from young men! wait till they get just that little bit older. Plus the fact they do not know what an orgasm is, they think they do. Sorry Guys…..

            • Jennifer Raff April 4, 2014 / 8:39 am

              Hey guys, this is an incredibly fascinating discussion and I hate to curtail it, but let’s try to stay on subjects related to this article….

          • Anonymous April 4, 2014 / 10:54 am

            So we should also remove all tonsils and appendixes at birth as well because those are known to cause a lot of problems. Also what about the female bladder cause we all know how common it is for women to get bladder infections…..while we are at it lets just remove all our teeth as soon as they come in to prevent the pain and trouble they can cause when you are a lazy teenager or an older person that isnt able to brush them properly……

        • heidi April 4, 2014 / 2:41 am

          Why not circumcise? What do you not like about being such?

          • Barry April 4, 2014 / 4:41 am

            Circumcision is just another name for genital mutilation. I speak from experience.

      • Anonymous April 4, 2014 / 1:39 am

        Thank you!!!

      • Jesse April 4, 2014 / 3:27 am

        ” Before my son was born his doctor had just diagnosed himself with ALA. A diseases where he would lose all control of his mind but not his brain.”

        What does your doctor having ALA have to do with your son needing to be circumcised?

        Oh wait. You just really suck at grammar and communicating accurately. Bet he (your son, not your poor ALA-riddled doctor) is also unvaccinated. The doctor didn’t vaccinate himself. lol

    • mel April 3, 2014 / 7:48 pm

      When my husband and I found out that we were expecting a boy we both made the decision to not have him ‘snipped’ even though my husband was. His mother always said it was one thing she regretted doing . 5 months after he was born he had to have it done anyways for medical reasons. After experiencing it I do not understand why people chose to do it to their kids!

      • Just a Thought April 3, 2014 / 10:54 pm

        I’m not really sure where you guys get your ideas about circumcision but, allow me to post a counter argument. As a paramedic (no I’m not a doctor so don’t quote me as one) I have to learn how to deal with all kinds of emergencies with all kinds of anatomy. One of the biggest issue with the uncircumcised is a condition called Paraphimosis. Respectfully put, its a condition where a man is not able to retract the foreskin. This leads to problems such as but not limited to: damage to the tip of the penis, gangrene, and loss of the tip of the penis altogether. Its treated by, you guessed it Circumcision. Now i’m not saying its something that happens to everyone, but its a risk that can be avoided by circumcising. heres a link of information that i may be informal.

        • Just a Thought April 3, 2014 / 10:57 pm

          Also that site posted, has a few graphic photos towards the bottom of the page.

        • Anonymous April 3, 2014 / 11:27 pm

          So with that theory I can avoid getting breast cancer in the future by just going ahead and having a mastectomy of my perfectly healthy and functioning breasts? Why didn’t I think of that sooner? Great logic!

          • Legitimate April 3, 2014 / 11:47 pm

            Well if you think on the level of comparing breasts to foreskin, maybe you don’t deserve them. Apples and oranges. By your thinking…because they are both fruit then they are the same.

          • Josh April 3, 2014 / 11:56 pm

            Hey anonymous, there is a breast cancer gene BRCA that puts women at an extremely high risk for breast cancer. So some women decide to have elective double mastectomies, instead of getting breast cancer, and possibly dying. Angelina Jolie is one of these well known women. So actually that is great logic. I’d much rather have some skin snipped off when I am a baby rather than have to do it when I can remember it, or risk losing my penis.

          • Anonymous April 4, 2014 / 2:15 pm

            … Some people do. Especially if they are gene positive.

        • Anonymous April 3, 2014 / 11:54 pm

          They both serve a purpose, so what makes it perfectly fine to mutilate the penis but not the breasts in the name of preventing something that likely won’t even happen in either case?

          • Anonymous April 4, 2014 / 10:46 am

            Lots of things may have or could serve a purpose it doesn’t mean they are needed. People get their wisdom teeth out every day because most don’t have rooms in their mouths to support them. A lot of the time it’s not medically needed but the overcrowding will cause mangled looking teeth and could lead to future complications should we keep them anyways. I agree to each their own it’s your decision to make. I’m pro circumcision (my husband is not circumcised by the way). I have a gf who chose not to have her son done and then he had it done at the age of 6 do to medical reasons. I also work in a hospital and while I’m not a Nurse or Dr. I go around collecting blood and speak with plenty of families on the new born wards. Most male parents I have spoke with circumcised or not say they would do it because they all know at least one friend or parent who had a child have to go through a traumatic one at a later stage in life due to complications. Problems are more prevalent then you may think. My best friends husband who is also not circumcised says he will have his boy done if he has one due to issues he had while growing up. I have been with guys who are and aren’t and most woman I’ve talked with also prefer it they are generally nicer looking and smell cleaner and we get down there. I know some will probably say a woman’s preference shouldn’t matter but he we shave and wear make-up etc etc and most guys like that so…

        • Lis April 4, 2014 / 12:15 am

          Being a paramedic would expose you to people who experience complications, but what about the millions of men who don’t have a problem? This is the issue I have with anecdotes from medical professionals. If you look at populations where an overwhelming majority of men are intact (every country but the US, UK, and AU) men are happy with their foreskins. I am absolutely not going to cut my baby’s penis without a medical reason, and prevention of very rare and treatable illnesses is not a medical reason.

          • Manda April 4, 2014 / 3:39 am

            Actually, routine infant circumcision is NOT done in the UK.
            And these future problems that everyone is going on about preventing by circumcising babies are virtually non-existent here in the UK as well. That’s because we actually know how to look after an intact penis. And it’s not hard to learn. The only person retracting a boy’s foreskin should be that boy. And, once he can do so, you teach him how to clean it as you taught him how to clean the rest of his body once he was able to do so. Don’t take intact advice from someone who advocates cutting.

          • 44skin April 4, 2014 / 3:44 am

            Nicely put Lis. Stop the barbarism that is being perpetrated with flacid (non-data led) justifications.

        • holy cow April 4, 2014 / 12:44 am

          Can we just say good job to everybody for getting right to the heart of it with the penises?

          • Kelly April 4, 2014 / 9:35 am

            Haha I was thanking that too! This was meant to be about the vaccine article but then….people got all hung up on penis.

        • matthew April 4, 2014 / 9:56 am

          That is like saying you can avoid lung cancer by preemptively removing your lungs.

    • Audrey Beerman (@AudreyBeerman) April 4, 2014 / 7:13 am

      This is an article about vaccination. Why would you change it to a different agenda? Please focus on the article. If you’d like to discuss circumcision, please respond to an article on that topic.

      • Matthew April 4, 2014 / 10:27 am

        I bet you if this WAS an article about “mutilation” or whatever, people would be trying to lobby against vaccinations.

        Just a happily vaccinated and circumcised guys view.

  7. priceless123 April 3, 2014 / 1:43 am

    I see a lot of one-time association-turned experts about autism that I find frustrating. For example (all found among responses to this blog):

    autism is a blessing
    people with autism are “nice”
    autism is a curse
    autism is only genetically linked – my dad must have had it.
    I have autism and I know it’s not linked to vaccinations because there was no link for me.
    My brother has a child with autism immediately after a fever
    using autism and aspergers interchangeably

    The truth about autism is that it encompasses a vast range of effects. Some children with autism can’t eat without help, have no speech, don’t make eye contact, cannot express affection for their caregiver in any kind of traditional way, need to wear incontinence underwear for life and seem like they are permanently suffering. These cases are devastating. In my work I have a mother for a client with three children diagnosed on the ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorders) and one of her children would fall into this group. Every day is centred around ensuring safety in a world that doesn’t understand or accommodate enough in the slightest. There is no eye contact, rarely affection and instead lots of spitting and feces smearing and screaming and crying constantly. Her mother loves her fiercely. The behaviour is likely due to a clever brain being locked in a body that can’t communicate in the way that others can understand. I don’t give a damn what you all say… for that mom and that daughter THIS DIAGNOSIS IS HELL ON EARTH AND SHE IS FAR FROM ALONE. Don’t even get me started about the lack of adequate government supports and funding. I’d be here all night.
    Others are the same as above except that seem perfectly content. Some children grow into adults who you wouldn’t know had a developmental disability at all until you get to know them a bit better. They have jobs, they learn social cues, they raise families. For this group, they may well come into their own as adults and embrace their diagnosis and unique view and talents. In some ways they are the lucky ones. They become wonderful advocates and pave the way for a better community for people diagnosed with a developmental disability, in general. They are not all “nice” just as everyone on here is not “nice”.
    Others don’t realize they think uniquely until they are in their young 20s and then are more affected by mental health issues from dealing with a world that is insensitive to their needs. This may be the most tragic group I work with – because they are lost in the vacuous gap left between the developmental and mental health worlds. Too “functional” to receive adequate developmental services (their “IQs” – a questionable measure if ever there was one – are often too high to qualify for services once they become adult) and too “atypical” in their mental health presentation and learning needs to be met well by the mental health community (which is a joke… here in Ontario, Canada anyway… the health of mental health really ought to be in sarcastic quotation marks). They are often the clients I have lost to suicide or who may end up homeless. They break my heart because their demise has nothing to do with them and the value they add to their communities and everything to do with our failure as a medical system, as policy makers, as a community, as compassionate human beings.
    The more I work with this group of people, the less convinced I am about the diagnostic tools and whether they should be even clumped together at all since the range of prognosis is so ridiculously variable.

    So, in my humble – and according to “JerryA” Google University (lol!) Expert – opinion (that I feel is no less extremely well-steeped in a vast amount of real on-the-ground, get-your-hands-dirty not just “step into my office at a charge of $300/hr” life and professional experience), before we can sort out what impact vaccines may or may not have on the outcomes mentioned above, I think we need to really tighten up our understanding of what exactly is Autism Spectrum, Autism, Aspergers, Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified, and Rett Syndrome; what should be part of the “spectrum” and which should not (right now DSM V has decided Aspergers belongs in its own category and separate from the rest, yet they share a lot of the same sensory sensitivities or hyposensitivities, communication barriers, and early childhood delays seen with more classic autistic types) how to diagnose it in a way that is consistent across all health disciplines and how to become more accurate about offering helpful interventions and accurate prognoses.

    • anon nurse April 3, 2014 / 3:43 am

      actually, the latest DSM V has aspergers under the same category of autism spectrum disorder, whereas previously it was separated. whether high functioning or low functioning, each individual has their own challenges. broadening the diagnostic criteria to include these people has probably one of the reasons for increased numbers (incidence) of children with ASD in the general population.

    • threenorns3 April 3, 2014 / 7:28 am

      what you said.

      i’m pretty sure i have asperger’s – at least, judging by the number of ppl i piss off on a daily basis without ever quite understanding how it happened. this has resulted in my not only not having any social life whatsoever (my hubbie takes other friends – male and female – to movies, dinners, social functions, etc, because it’s just not worth me going), but also adopting a “hit-and-run” style of conversation – gone in sixty seconds sort of thing. otherwise, i inevitably end up on a lecture podium with my audience sidling toward the side exits.

      my oldest daughter (28 now) had a BAD vaccine reaction – she had to be put in a tub of ice water to try and stop the fever. she was diagnosed at 9 with PDD-NOS.

      my youngest daughter (7 years old) had a mild vaccine reaction – i recognized what was happening and pulled the plug. she’s been unvaccinated since she was six months old. she was diagnosed at 4 with asperger’s/autism. she’s been getting all kinds of therapy and help so now she passes for normal (even if abnormally delightful, since she’s modelled her behaviour after disney princesses) for at least a little while until the spinning starts again.

      my middle daughter (25) has central auditory processing disorder, but that’s from an ear infection that went undetected for far too long (doctor couldn’t even find her eardrum from all the swelling – he said she should’ve been unconscious from the pain, not just sitting there smiling at him) and was unresponsive to medication. she is not autistic, though, because she had no vaccine reaction: the doctor refused to vaccinate until she was 4yrs old because of the severity of her sister’s reaction.

      when even my dog had an adverse reaction – hid behind the couch for three days, panting anxiously, wouldn’t eat, had to be forced to drink, and when he came out, he’d chewed all the fur off around the vaccine site and the skin was crispy looking – it doesn’t take me much to connect the dots.

      • sullivanthepoop April 3, 2014 / 4:12 pm

        Autism has nothing to do with vaccines. It seems you have a genetic propensity towards autism.

        • Shema Yisrael April 4, 2014 / 3:28 am

          If it’s genetic, then why are the odds of having a child with autism so steeply increasing? Did everyone’s genes change in the last generation or two? It seems logical that there’s some sort of environmental issue involved.

          • Jesse April 4, 2014 / 3:37 am

            I don’t have any crayons handy so I will just have to hope you aren’t as stupid as your post makes you appear… I apologize in advance for all the polysyllabic words that are going to go right over your head.

            Research on autism and the autistic spectrum disorder has increased drastically over the years so that what used to be thought of social awkwardness is now recognized as a form of autism. When you have a broader definition of a condition, you tend to find more and more people who fit under that definition.

            I know it doesn’t fit into what your Tin Foil Hat Enthusiasts Club tells you, but the truth rarely does.

          • Barry April 4, 2014 / 5:13 am

            And I suppose that because I wasn’t diagnosed as autistic as a child but diagnosed at sixty, then something happened to me to cause my autism between my childhood and middle age?

            The truth is I have always been autistic. Today, someone with the same traits as I had as a child would be diagnosed as on the autism spectrum. Anecdotally, the number of children who attended school with me and have been diagnosed as autistic in adulthood would suggest that current estimates of the prevalence of autism would also hold true for fifty years ago. There is no autism epidemic.

          • Ryan Marien April 4, 2014 / 12:32 pm

            microwaves and plastics…… who knows? but I wouldn’t point the finger at one thing.

      • Marie April 4, 2014 / 12:52 pm

        You have autism, you say it yourself at the beginning of your comment, and autism is genetic. It’s not the vaccinations that made your children the way they are, it’s you.

    • mike vlachos April 3, 2014 / 1:44 pm

      It’s a nice argument for more awareness, better treatment of the mentally disabled. Which is an undeniable need in our society.

      none for which actually has any bearing on the vaccine/anti-vaccine argument.
      There will always be some uncertainty, even if vaccine research were to reach 5 sigma levels, there is still that tiny amount of chance…

      Which doesn’t change the fact that the risk of harmful consequences from vaccines is less (significantly less) that the rewards of vaccination, and the relative immunization against the various diseases.

      And pleased don’t limit the negative consequences of these diseases to death, while including fever as a negative consequence of vaccines. (not something that you do priceless, but something soo many of the anti vaccination crowd does).

      • priceless123 April 23, 2014 / 3:58 pm

        These “risks” you speak of Mike are human children. I appreciate your position but unless you have a child that has been forced to suffer serious consequences from a posted rare vaccine risk in order to protect you, him/herself (purportedly), other children, and the herd, I don’t think you or anyone else has a right to judge the decision another parent makes for his or her child on this issue.

        My point is that what we call “autism” is likely not from one cause and therefore any study done trying to link vaccinations with “autism” will not be valid because it would entirely rely on study participants and be too variable from each other. I am NOT saying I believe vaccines cause autism. I am saying I am not confident in saying they don’t either, certainly not confident enough to judge another parent who might.

    • Anonymous April 3, 2014 / 7:49 pm

      Well said! Thanks!

    • Malu Kiwai April 4, 2014 / 2:37 am


  8. threenorns3 April 3, 2014 / 7:20 am

    if vaccination is so wonderful, then ppl with vaccinated children have nothing to worry about, obviously.

    i live with a vaccine-damaged child. i’ve had adverse vaccine reaction myself. even my DOG had an adverse vaccine reaction. the risk of adverse reactions are far higher than the horrible possibilities that could occur with those diseases. example: adverse reaction to the measles vaccine – and setting aside the maybe-it-is/maybe-it-isn’t what caused my daughter’s autism, there are MANY dangerous potential consequences – are far more common than the 1 in 100,000 measles patients that could die.

    • dane55 April 3, 2014 / 10:03 am

      There is no “maybe-it-did/maybe-it-didnt” argument. Your childs vaccine did not cause her autism.

      • Malu Kiwai April 4, 2014 / 2:50 am

        Leave it be, Natural selection, the planet is on the road to overpopulation. Let the unfit people decrease do to their unwillingness to get vaccinated. Unfortunately their children may suffer, it is a burden they will bear more then others. Live your life, take care of your family, laugh with your friends, and leave the silly people to their own devices.

        • Meg April 4, 2014 / 9:46 am

          While that would be great, till my newborn twins are fully covered by their vaccines the “unfit” are putting their lives at risk.

    • Mish Quadri April 3, 2014 / 10:59 am

      It is so nice to hear some sense in this mess of a blog post. I do not disagree with Vaccines, I do disagree that a small child in the most critical stages of development should not be vaccinated with a total of 70 doses. I do believe that we should be rethinking when and at what age to give these vaccines. I have 5 children and 2 of them are not vaccinated because they are too young and we will vaccinate when they are older. Our pediatrician fully supports our decision, as our children are homeschooled and have herd immunity due the everyone else in the home being vaccinated.

      • sullivanthepoop April 3, 2014 / 4:18 pm

        Do you know that the risk of moderate to a severe reaction to the first MMR increases greatly after age 3 and measles is more dangerous to children under 5. So you are taking all the risk with no benefit.

        • tamaralaschinsky April 3, 2014 / 8:46 pm

          Then that blows this original blog post out of the water when the author says that vaccines don’t cause severe side effects (except in ‘rare’ cases.)

          • Tracey April 3, 2014 / 8:47 pm

            Do you understand the idea that if one out of a million children are harmed by vaccines before age three and two out of a million children are harmed after age three, the risk has doubled (by definition, “greatly increased”) yet is still so tiny that the benefits far, far outweigh the risks?

            • tamaralaschinsky April 3, 2014 / 9:20 pm

              It is not 1 out of a million that experience adverse reactions (including seizures, coma etc) and that’s the problem with the reporting system too. How many parents take their kids in after reactions but fail to report it? This statistic (regarding under the age of 3) I would like to see as I’d be very interested in it.

              • Tracey April 3, 2014 / 9:57 pm

                I think you’ll notice, if you read it, that my point was that the original poster’s comment about greatly increased risks after age 3 is both correct and still representative of extremely small risks.

      • Tracey April 3, 2014 / 7:50 pm

        This blog is not a “mess.” It contains scientific facts. Irrefutable facts. Your thinking is a mess. It is not supported by facts.

        • tamaralaschinsky April 3, 2014 / 8:48 pm

          You can find ‘facts’ about how mercury and formaldehyde harm the body and cause permanent damage to the brain and organs. Both of which are found in vaccines. You can find ‘facts’ of reactions that have happened after vaccines were given. You can find ‘facts’ of people who have contacted viruses such as measles who were previously vaccinated. There are always ‘facts’ on either side of the fence, it just depends on which ones you want to look at.

          • Tracey April 3, 2014 / 8:50 pm

            Mercury has been gone from most vaccines for over a dozen years. Besides, when they DID contain mercury, they contained less than is found in a tuna fish sandwich. You have no facts…only babble you got from some ill-educated person who blogs on the Internet.

            • tamaralaschinsky April 3, 2014 / 9:15 pm

              Mercury accumulates and breaks the barrier to the brain, causing neurological damage

              “Thimerosal is a mercury-containing organic compound” still exists in the flu vaxx and for vaccines for kids over the age of 6

              Keep in mind, we are talking about putting these compounds in babies – who’s brains and organs are still developing and whose bodies are not yet equipped to filter out the toxins being ingested/taken in.

              • Tracey April 3, 2014 / 10:00 pm

                I said “most” vaccines. You can always request a mercury-free vaccine. And the Japanese barred mercury from all vaccines earlier than the U.S. did. Guess what happened? Autism rates continued to skyrocket there. There’s one straw man for the scrap heap.

                • tamaralaschinsky April 4, 2014 / 10:34 am

                  You positioned your comment to make it seem like the amount of vaccines out there containing mercury were very few – in fact they are not. There are mercury-free BUT they are in limited quantity and are given to high-risk infants and pregnant mothers. Your research should’ve easily showed you that

            • tamaralaschinsky April 3, 2014 / 9:17 pm

              PS – I’m keeping this professional – you should too. Don’t say I get my information from ‘babble’ because that whole article looked like ‘babble’ but I didn’t say that.

              I am presenting facts, references from reputable sources to back up my side. If you don’t want to hear both sides, pro and con, don’t post controversial subjects or enable comments

              • Tracey April 3, 2014 / 9:59 pm

                “I am presenting facts, references from reputable sources to back up my side.”

                No. I’m sorry. You’re simply not.

                • tamaralaschinsky April 4, 2014 / 10:38 am

                  Are you kidding? Did you even read my comments fully as I had the courtesy to do with yours? My sources come from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), the NIMH (National Institute of Mental Health, Cancer Care Society and the FDA (Food and Drug Administration). They don’t get any more reputable than that!

                  Where are you getting your facts from? In fact, I’d like to see you re-write this article keeping the same theme but using the above references. Not your Pediatrics references and published papers. Lets see some research results done over a long period of time, by multiple groups who seem to be unbiased.

          • Tracey April 3, 2014 / 8:52 pm

            And I can find a million times more facts of what has happened when vaccines were not given. Ever know someone in an iron lung?

              • Tracey April 3, 2014 / 10:06 pm

                No, there are no “alternative” facts when it comes to vaccines. You have a right to your own crazy opinions. It’s America, after all. You do not have a right to your own scientific facts.

                • tamaralaschinsky April 4, 2014 / 10:29 am

                  The FDA likes to say “Generally accepted as being safe” – how warm and fuzzy does that make you feel? They say that until it’s proven otherwise. Like smoking. Wasn’t a big deal in the 40s, 50s, 60s etc. My folks smoked everyone around us kids, all the adults did. Then, in the 80s someone started scratching their heads and said hmmmmmmm…… lo and behold, there are now warnings on the packages and cigarettes are not deemed to be safe.

                  There are no ‘facts’ the prove a vaccine does NOT cause autism. or that it is safe for the long term. There is no fact that vaccines will protect you 100% from the said viruses (many people previously vaccinated have still contracted the illness.)

                  There are studies which can be skewed to be read many ways. There are studies (the links are posted throughout my comments, that show you that scientists don’t agree and at best, say some results were ‘inconclusive’. There are no studies saying ‘beyond a doubt’ vaccines are safe.

                  I read the scientific facts from scientists both who work in the medical field and herbal field. Both who are pro-Big Pharma and against. And somewhere in between all the gibberish is a grey area of some truth.

                  • Monster April 4, 2014 / 10:50 am

                    “There are no ‘facts’ the prove a vaccine does NOT cause autism.”

                    Scientifically, it’s almost impossible to prove a negative. How would you go about proving that milk doesn’t cause ingrown toenails? There’s a 100% correlation (everyone who has an ingrown toenail has, at some point in their life, ingested some milk product). Yes, you could prove other causes of ingrown toenails, but could you develop a proof that would eliminate the possibility that milk causes them?

                    If the only thing that will satisfy you is a negative proof, then you’d better be prepared to disbelieve the theory of gravity (can you prove it’s not tiny, invisible magnets embedded in everything?), germ theory (it *really is* demonic possession that causes illness!), or even the basics of your own reality (you really *do* live in a virtual reality projection… The Matrix was really a documentary).

                    • tamaralaschinsky April 4, 2014 / 10:56 am

                      My point was gov’t likes to say there is nothing to indicate ‘yet’ any correlation which means they aren’t 100% certain that they aren’t related in some way. That lack of uncertainty is what people are scared about.

                      Anyways, as you said, everyone is entitled to an opinion and you have yours, I have mine, to each their own. I don’t believe the gov’t 100% because they allow so much junk in our foods (GMOs and pesticides) and so many chemicals in our personal care products (Coal Tar, BHT, etc) that do have risks yet for some reason – they are still allowed (in moderate doses). But when you use 20+ products a day, how much are you really getting? So I don’t follow the gov’ts opinions like a monkey, I ask my questions, do my research and think outside the box a little first

                    • Monster April 4, 2014 / 11:17 am

                      “My point was gov’t likes to say there is nothing to indicate ‘yet’ any correlation which means they aren’t 100% certain that they aren’t related in some way. That lack of uncertainty is what people are scared about.”

                      I can understand not wanting to take the statements of an individual or single organization at face-value… there’s nothing wrong with a healthy dose of skepticism.

                      My point *wasn’t* that ‘everyone is entitled to their opinion’, my point is that people should be reasonably consistent in the standard that they apply to gauge the validity of new / different / challenging information. If you applied the same standard of doubt that you seem to have for the safety of vaccines (“prove to me, and everyone, beyond the faintest shadow of a doubt”), there’s nothing in this world you’d eat, drink, or allow to touch you.

                      You simply can’t prove that your planned afternoon activities won’t bring you in contact with a flesh-eating bacteria. And if you *did* apply the same doubt you express for vaccines for these other activities that contain (small) risks, you’d live your life wrapped in silicone, in a room made of (hypo-allergenic) pillows, breathing only air piped directly from the Alps (run through 47 HEPA filters of increasing filtration levels), subsisting only on organic soy products harvested by vestal virgins bathed in antibacterial soap.

          • qwertzy00456 April 3, 2014 / 10:38 pm

            Formaldehyde is found in furniture, walls, cabinets, cosmetics, wrinkle-free clothing, glues…are you going to give up any of those because of a little chemical?

            • tamaralaschinsky April 4, 2014 / 10:20 am

              I certainly try to minimize my exposure to it ( I don’t wear wrinkle free clothing, I keep the vent fan on in our new house to help with off-gasing, my cosmetics are natural ingredients only, and I use a variety of herbal supplements to help remove toxins from my body. Plus, inhalation and direct injection of the substance differ and we are talking about babies here – those under the age of 2 who’s bodies have not yet fully developed and are able to filter out toxins effectively. Their brains and organs are still very much developing at that age, unlike ours.

          • Sensiblemind April 3, 2014 / 11:43 pm

            Just go to India. You will get your ‘facts’ when you see so many lives being saved because of vaccines and prevalence of autism being abysmally low. People having opinions like yours are really today’s ‘first world problems’…

          • Malu Kiwai April 4, 2014 / 2:56 am

            How much mercury is toxic? and how much is in the vaccines you speak of. Things can have toxicity at certain levels, for example bananas are radioactive, but are not link to cancer. The statement you made appears silly(babble) because you do not explain it properly.

            • tamaralaschinsky April 4, 2014 / 10:46 am

              Yes, how much indeed? Those amounts don’t seem to be readily available on gov’t websites. Nor is the questioned answered as to how much accumulates in the body and how long it takes to be removed. Those are the studies that need to be done and questions answered

          • krs1202 April 4, 2014 / 10:41 am

            Did you read the links you posted? If you actually read them, the first link from the EPA talks about different types of mercury exposures. Thimerosal is an organic mercury compound, specifically an ethylmercury (you can see the structure here, if you are familiar with/interested in chemistry: If you read the last section on the EPA page, it has a very brief discussion about inorganic and organic compounds containing mercury, and how organic mercury is absorbed readily in the digestive tract. Other than that, it doesn’t really give you any information on how ethylmercury is harmful to the body. Now if you read the second link you provided about Thimerosal from the FDA, specifically, the section titled Thimerosal Toxicity, you might be able to obtain a better understanding of mercury exposure.
            As a person who has a degree in chemistry and is furthering my scientific education to become a physician (so have I have huge love for science and passion for doing what is best for others), I can see how some people would be extremely concerned when they hear the idea of mercury in vaccines. But this is not the same mercury as other forms of mercury, like say methylmercury (again, here is a few of the chemical structure: which is found in fish. My point is just because a compound contains a scary sounding element, doesn’t mean it is going to kill you. Your body can do some amazing things, some of which cannot be fully explained other than by what is found in scientific studies. So if you read the Theimerosal Toxicity section on the FDA website you provided, it really should help clear up any confusion you might have about mercury.

            • tamaralaschinsky April 4, 2014 / 10:44 am

              Appreciate your comment and breakdown of the chemical structures but it’s been a safety concern and does cause damage to the body and the main fear most parents have is with their babies who are still developing and not able to filter out the toxins properly. Thus the alternative schedule is more appealing to many parents who dont’ want to load their baby up with dozens of shots before age 2

          • krs1202 April 4, 2014 / 11:18 am

            Show me a study where the amount of thimerosal still in vaccines today has been harmful. The only thing I can find is that some people have allergic reactions, which can happen with any exposure. There are even people who are allergic to cold temperatures. Also, if you read the last paragraph in the section titled Thimersol Toxicity, the study about the levels of ethylmercury in the body was performed on infants. This study is being further tested in a larger study population for clarification and replication of study findings, but it basically notes that there is some way the infant body is able to process and eliminate the ethylmercury. Also, most vaccines in the US hardly contain any thimersoal, as noted in Tables 1 and 2 on the FDA website.

      • tany April 4, 2014 / 8:49 am

        i do the same as you i have 6 kids and at age 1 i started most of their shots, im sorry i don’t think at 2 months they should have 4 to 5 shots done then another 2 months they get another 3 to 4 shots. at that age they can not tell you if they don’t feel good or if something is wrong. All my child are healthy. yes they can cry but you don’t know if they are crying because their little legs hurt from the shots or if its something worst. yes they can have a fever so you know something is happening. nope i will get shots for my young when he is a little older and my doctor is fine with it.

        • CFG April 4, 2014 / 9:40 am

          Ok, well as long as you can use your “mommy logic” and you don’t “think” that kids should get shots at 2 months, then I’m sure your kiddos will be safe from things like whooping cough. Best of luck to you.

    • Anonymous April 3, 2014 / 12:10 pm

      56 cases of measles in california alone this year. Vaccination usage and reported autism cases did start around the same time, but only because people started to CARE about autism-like symptoms. These symptoms have been around foe thousand of years on several continents. This isn’t new by any means. People just started seeing this as something other than a “curse” or “deformity” or “possession by evil” in the last couple centuries. Vaccines were part of a larger movement of medical research in the past 100 years, and psychological research was right behind it. So before you go mistaking coincidence with causality, do some actual research. And stop blaming something medically sound for your child’s condition and just live your child.

      • Barry April 3, 2014 / 7:04 pm


        I and a number of my school friends have been diagnosed as on the autism spectrum. None were diagnosed until they were in their forties. I was diagnosed at 60. Children who were severely affected were institutionalised. This didn’t just apply to those on the autism spectrum, it applied to all who were extensively disabled, whether it be mentally, physically or socially.

        I have a cousin who suffered brain damage at birth. The pressure put on his mother to institutionalise him was immense. She held off until he reached his teens, when he was too strong physically for her to manage. Then several decades later, all the large institutions were shut down and my 80 year old aunt was expected to be the sole caregiver of a violent 50 year old mentally disabled man. So where is my cousin now? Locked up. In prison. Crime? Assaulting a female. Not appropriate for him, but there is nowhere else to put him.

        What I’m trying to illustrate is that we now try to integrate a wider range of disabilities into our communities than we did in earlier generations, and while it’s better for most, there are many cases where it is just not appropriate. My heart goes out to anyone who is struggling to bring up a child in trying circumstances.

        However, I will reiterate, there is no evidence that the occurrence of autism is higher now than in earlier generations. Anecdotally I have evidence that’s just as compelling as any claim to the contrary. What we can say is that the understanding of what autism is has changed from what it was in earlier generations, and will probably change again in the future. What many see as an epidemic, is in reality no more than a different clinical definition of autism and better diagnostic methods.

        I don’t think anyone here is denying that a very small minority of people will have a negative reaction to vaccines. There probably isn’t a substance on earth that someone isn’t allergic to. My daughter-in-law can have a potentially fatal anaphylactic reaction from even the smallest amount of sesame. It’s life. However, there is a wealth of scientific data that shows conclusively that widespread immunisation protects the whole community. I’m convinced that all children should be immunised. The only exception should be in those rare circumstances where the harm to the child outweighs the potential benefits to that specific child. So yes there are rare circumstances where reliance on herd protection is necessary.

        Finally, anyone who believes that vaccinations are not beneficial to humankind are living in a make believe world.

        • Anonymous April 3, 2014 / 10:04 pm

          Excellently stated.

    • sullivanthepoop April 3, 2014 / 4:15 pm

      This is just not true. It is dangerous to not give accurate medical information. Serious adverse reactions to vaccines are so rare most doctors have never seen one. The most common by far is anaphylaxis from an allergy to one of the ingredients in the vaccine and this happens 1 in 1,000,000 doses. The others are so rare they cannot give a rate. Measles kills 1 in 1,000 people that it infects in develops countries today and 30% are hospitalized for complications.

      • Kathy April 3, 2014 / 8:23 pm

        While I’m not an anti-vaccine advocate and I don’t buy into the autism link because I believe science has disproved it, I also can’t get behind your claim that serious side effects are that rare.

        I lost part of my eyesight because of a flu shot (crazy but true). I also got a mild case of diphtheria from a Tdep shot years ago. Not a “oh, I don’t feel well, it must be diphtheria” reaction. My tongue turned white and I was tested and confirmed.

        Maybe I’m just one of those oh-so-rare cases? Evidently not. Once I researched it, I found ample scientific evidence that serious side effects are not so uncommon.

        Here’s the thing…vaccines are good for the population as a whole, because the risks of the vaccines are less than the risks of the diseases. I do not argue this.

        But people are right to be wary and thoughtful. Vaccines – especially new vaccines – are big money for pharmaceutical companies, who are largely shielded from any legal ramifications. And the number of vaccines that are pushed on us grows every year. The vaccine schedule for a child born today is massively different from the schedule 35 years ago.

        • JE April 3, 2014 / 8:42 pm

          My children are fully immunized, but there is a vast difference between what was recommended for my 27 year old and what is required for her 2 year old. Also, in the past, vaccines were recommended, but now they are required for school attendance.
          I agree with so many of the requirements . . . polio, MMR, DTP . . . but I take issues with the rate at which new immunizations are added to the schedule and the number given at one time.
          Thoughtfulness is definitely required. And different states have slightly different schedules. And different countries have vastly different schedules! There is not one particular right way to do it and we need to be educated about the options for choosing a schedule that is right for individual children. (I’m not recommending anti-vax . . . just alternative vax schedule)

          • priceless123 April 23, 2014 / 4:00 pm

            Agreed. Great points.

        • Lis April 4, 2014 / 12:28 am

          I quite agree. I am not across the board anti-vax either, and I agonize over every sign of illness and every vaccine I get or don’t get my child. But recently they have started vaccinating pregnant women with DTAP because they can’t vax the newborns…and because measles vaccines In childhood are clearly wearing off (according to CDC studies in small outbreaks older adults who were vaccinated as children were far more likely to get measles than recently vax children) they want to add a third dose before high school. The aluminum, mercury, preservatives, etc are “safe” now, but when will we be injecting too much? Indeed it is already too much for some children and adults.

    • Anonymous April 3, 2014 / 5:49 pm

      Just keep your unvaccinated children quarantined and away from my children and I can care less

      • Lis April 4, 2014 / 12:29 am

        If vaccines work so great then you have nothing to worry about if your kids are vaccinated.

        • Malu Kiwai April 4, 2014 / 3:01 am

          viruses and diseases(strains) are not static they evolve, so by propagating it (keeping it alive) you help it evolve and become stronger either by changing from the vaccine being used or becoming drug resistant.

        • Anonymous April 4, 2014 / 6:10 am

          unless your baby is going to be born in the next couple weeks and that baby can’t be vaccinated for a year. And new cases of measles are being reported every day in your city because people decided they didn’t need to vaccinate.
          Because they felt safe.
          Because measles wasn’t around anymore anyways.
          Because everyone was vaccinated.

          Besides that, vaccinations are not 100% effective. vaccines + herd immunity are what allow us to get rid of diseases.

        • CFG April 4, 2014 / 9:41 am

          Oh my lord this stupid anti-vaxx reply was debunked in the article. Read much? Sheesh.

    • Anonymous April 4, 2014 / 9:52 am

      Christ. Did you even read the article?

    • Anonymous April 4, 2014 / 10:49 am
  9. Jessie (Pleasantville Mom) April 3, 2014 / 8:35 am

    Yes! Thank-you for putting this so clearly. The anti-vaccination argument is a non-argument – it’s not a parenting choice and it’s not an opinion. It’s science and it’s fact – children should be vaccinated, for their own health and safety and that of the society we live in. Choosing not to vaccinate your children is irresponsible and neglectful at best.

    • Why are you worried if your children are fully vaccinated ?? You should be laughing in the face of disease .. April 4, 2014 / 10:09 am

      You think disease is not part of natures plan ?? Do you really want to wipe out each and every disease known to man ?? I think we’d be in a lot more trouble if we did ..

  10. Cathy April 3, 2014 / 8:58 am

    Oh give me a break; if you’ve had your children vaccinated, you SHOULD have nothing to worry about.

      • Jem Purdy April 3, 2014 / 11:57 am

        it’s those “moo” ingredients that are stopping mass illnesses… way to think inside the box. Do you know exactly every ingredient in the food you’re feeding your loved ones from prepared packages or restaurants? There is far worse things you’re exposing your kids to than simple vaccinations that are scientifically studied and data presented to prove its benefit. Do you want to even know the types of chemicals you’re allowing in your system when you get your teeth fixed? I love that most nail polishes contain formaldehyde and I put it on my nails, heck I may even ingest some of the chipping!! But I’m not getting sick or dying from it. Everything in moderation. It’s not like everyone’s going out and getting vaccinated for every sniffle, these is for preventative measures (vaccines). As for following the herd? I wouldn’t believe everything the CDC promotes to the public – they’re just trying to keep the masses happy.

        • Shelly April 3, 2014 / 12:26 pm

          Why would you assume i feed my family that garbage, we juice, take out the Flouride in our water and eat organically… so no need to go there, waste of breath. And 40 vaccines before age of 6 is hardly …moderate!!!. talk about formaldehyde , apparently your unaware that most vaccines have the death chemical in it…CDC..its all there for your viewing..and yes think in your own little box when you realize that is only what they are telling you, i don’t believe everything i hear , nor should i. If you want to poison you and your family you have that right. Might as well watch CNN kick back with your god forsaken Mcdonald’s and you will be set …btw your “scientific data ” is all Gov’t approved along with your CDC data as to what they want to tell you…good luck with that. oh and ‘SIMPLE VACCINATIONS’ may taste a bit sour in all the parents mouths who brought in a completely healthy happy, talking child for vaccines and days later had a vegetable, but hey it didn’t happen to you right?
          here is some perspective

          One’s opinion should only be as strong as one’s knowledge on the matter.”
          ― Eric Hirzel

          • Jem Purdy April 3, 2014 / 12:45 pm

            If you knew all the chemicals in produce these days, the air, even your fancy little juicer with metal and plastic parts…(out of curiosity do you filter your shower/bath water? everything is absorbed into the skin there especially through the hands and feet..) Seems absurd you’d filter your drinking water, but not the water you allow your body to absorb naturally… not to mention the chemicals in soaps, shampoos, conditioners, bubble bath. And it is only organic if you grow it yourself. Just because a company claims they’re organic or pesticide/chemical free can just be a lame front. Unless you know for certain where it came from or have seen with your own eyes… don’t be so quick to assume it is true. Do you know how much industries would lose out making true organic goods? There are far too many pests for that to happen.

            How about your cell phone waves ? Microwaves? You can over analyze anything. But it’s okay. Those people who are choosing to deprive themselves of that little bit of a safety net can become legendary people where the rest of societies can reflect back on – with pride in being part of the “survival of the fittest” movement.

            We’ve already seen how the past 60 years has changed substantially with these vaccinations. The death tolls would be significantly higher, more deformities .. etc.

            • Shelly April 3, 2014 / 12:50 pm

              wow, good thing i have you to educate me . lol. i do all of the above if it really matters to you… you need a hobby.

          • Anonymous April 3, 2014 / 3:25 pm

            A organically grown pear has more formaldehyde than vaccines. I’m sure you know that though because you’ve done so much research and all.

          • Michele April 3, 2014 / 4:17 pm

            It seems like people that actually know kids that got sick after having shots then running fevers don’t want to take that chance. I didn’t take that chance with my son and my sister didn’t with her 2 boy’s. They are now 24,22 and 19 and very healthy. Try investigating things you use every day. Bleach, rug cleaners, lawn fertilizer that is tracked into the house where your kids play.(on the floor). Teflon kills birds and you think it doesn’t hurt you. Bug killers, weed killer that was sprayed in my neighbors driveway and kept killing birds right there in the spot they were eating. They are not telling you that whopping cough is making a come back because it doesn’t last past 10 years. We all need to check stuff out on our own not let someone else or gov. sites tell you what won’t harm your child. In the end, it is every parents right to do what they believe is right for their own children.

          • sullivanthepoop April 3, 2014 / 4:20 pm

            So, I guess you make sure that your children never make any new DNA or eat pears … formaldehyde and all.

        • John April 3, 2014 / 5:12 pm

          LOL, everything in moderation is fine? That has got to be the most idiotic statement I have ever heard. If that is the case then a little of everything isn’t a bad thing then, right? Then go out and take morphine when you are in pain, sniff pain chips on the days you are not doing morphine, better yet how about sit in a garage and suck in CO2. If you can minimize exposure to things then it is only going to be benficial to your health.

          • Anonymous April 3, 2014 / 8:28 pm

            No, John. A little of everything is not okay. Eating a little poop…never okay. Are you in pain, then yes, morphine would be a fine choice if prescribed by an educated physician. Come to think of it…educated physicians actually recommend vaccines, too. Woah…I think I just had an epiphany. My doctor, who has dedicated 12+ years educating him or herself on the physiology of the body as well as the safety and effectiveness of medications and vaccines and even a little evidence-based medicine thrown in there, too, has recommended preventing illnesses by vaccination. Maybe I should trust them? Oh, maybe not. I read I really great article by Jenny McCarthy the other day saying how horrible vaccines are…better trust her instead. :/

        • Lis April 4, 2014 / 12:31 am

          Vaccines are injected, which is different than eating. Our bodies are not perfect but we did evolve with bodies that filter and remove toxins when we eat something.

      • Dr. O April 3, 2014 / 3:45 pm

        Shelly, get your head out the sand. Vaccines are fine, it a hell of a lot better than polio, or measles, or a whole host of other disease. It’s hard to believe people are as stupid as you, but they are.

        • Anonymous April 3, 2014 / 8:13 pm

          Its really unfortunate that you can’t make an argument without name calling or bashing. I get that you are pro Vaccines and feel strongly about it, but you could try to make a point without being vicious.

          • Jane Dungey April 4, 2014 / 2:51 am

            that’s because he is very educated and doesn’t need to speak eloquently

      • sullivanthepoop April 3, 2014 / 4:19 pm

        It is really you who are following the herd mentality. If you really spent the time to find real information instead of just going along with your antivaxx friends you would find the truth too.

    • S April 3, 2014 / 12:54 pm

      Oh you give ME a break and stop assuming that if I believe in vaccinating my child that he is protected and I have nothing to worry about! He is 4 months old and isn’t even close to being old enough to get his first MMR vaccination, yet here we are in the middle of an outbreak. What am I supposed to do? Keep him in my house all day, every day, and never take him out anywhere? No, I have to work to support my family and he has to go to daycare. I have to go to the grocery store to feed my family. I have to bring him with me. We have to live our lives and can’t keep ourselves all hidden away until he has gone through all of his vaccines. What happens when some random stranger has measels and goes shopping while I’m out shopping with my too-young-to-be-vaccinated child? Heard mentality is supposed to protect those unable to have the vaccine, like all of the young babies out there, not those irresponsible and neglegent enough to rely on others.

      • Anonymous April 3, 2014 / 9:54 pm

        good point. It is the newborns who are not vaccinated yet, who are probaby most at risk from coming into contact with these preventable diseases. One to consider for those who keep saying we shouldn’t have to worry about our vaccinated children, mixing with unvaccinated kids.

        • Lis April 4, 2014 / 12:39 am

          Whooping cough vaccine doesn’t prevent spread of whooping cough:
          Measles outbreak in Quebec not fault of unvaccinated:
          The first article is actually from the CDC. The second is a peer reviewed medical journal. The media spent a year blaming anti vax on the measles outbreak, but concluded a year later when nobody was paying attention anymore that it’s “not a valid explanation.”

          • JerryA April 4, 2014 / 9:26 pm

            Just how arrogant do you have to be, to come to the *opposite* conclusion of the medical people who wrote the articles you referenced? The people who wrote the pertussis paper advocated more vaccination. The one-dose measles vaccine failure led to a recommendation for a two dose series for more complete immunization. See
            Look up Dunning-Kruger effect, Lis, then look in the mirror. You don’t have the scientific skills to argue against the professionals you’re referencing.

    • Tracey April 3, 2014 / 7:52 pm

      Didn’t bother to read the article, did you? Anti-vax types would appear to not only be incapable of absorbing scientific facts, they would appear to be incapable of reading comprehension.

    • Anonymous April 3, 2014 / 10:48 pm

      Vaccines are not 100% effective. If you actually read the authors post you would know that. This is why it’s important for the people around you to get them! And, songs children are too young to receive them, which is another reason the people around us should get vaccinated.

  11. jcserendipity April 3, 2014 / 9:38 am

    Here are a few facts the author left out: Fact: if your child is not one of the herd you are SOL. Fact: when you have a child with autism the world is not so black and white. FACT: THEY DO NOT KNOW WHAT CAUSES AUTISM. Fact: not every medical treatment is right for every child. Fact: my child has 90% of the mercury poisoning symptoms and was fully vaccinated back when there was thimerosal in vaccines. Fact: unless you specifically ask for a single dose flu shot your child will get thimerosal in their multi-dose vial flu shot EVERY year. Fact: parents of autistic children struggle each and every day with this dilemma. Labeling us as bad people is just throwing salt on the wound. We only want our children to be healthy and happy like yours. Fact: with each new baby born into YOUR family, there is a high potential of you being thrown out of the herd into the challenging world of autism. Fact: in the last 25 years of our family dealing with autism, there has not been ONE single practical medical treatment advancement that could help my son, just a whole lot of blustering and posturing. In the words of the neurologist who diagnosed my son at the age of 2, “There’s nothing to be done, you just have to take him home and live with it.” Twenty three long years later, that is still the case. Fact: I am a nurse and my husband is a doctor and we see and understand both sides of this problem. Be wary of any medical professional who sees things in a black and white manner, nothing in medicine is black and white!! Each person is an individual with their own unique pre-dispositions, frailties and needs. Fact: We are NOT anti-vaccine. Vaccines are a good thing for the vast majority of children, maybe even all children. BUT, (here’s the crummy part) until we know for certain what causes autism, we just can’t know for a fact that vaccines are right for ALL children. Ruling out vaccines at this point is not good science. That is herd politics. Fact: we want ALL children to healthy and happy. It is time to quit arguing about this and turn the attention and effort into finding answers!!!

    • mike vlachos April 3, 2014 / 1:02 pm

      some addition facts. Everything chemical found in this world is a potential risk for harm. Fact the biology of humans (and every living thing) is still not well understood, there are outliers to the norm in everything. Most people will respond normally to physical exercise, some will respond exceptionally well to eve a little exercise, and some will not respond to any amount of exercise. Fact the outliers do no determine the effective uses of medicines. They become part of the risk vs reward consideration, that is inherent in all medicine. These are facts that people like you and priceless don’t seem to accept. Nothing, man made or natural is 100% safe. Bee’s and peanuts are 100% natural, and yet people die from allergies to them all the time. Of course allergies to a medicine should not negate is use in others.

      Vaccines, like everything else, have risks. Our imperfect understanding of the human body means that the risks will not be understood 100% of the time. There will be people who react far outside the norm. This does not negate the need for vaccines. This does not negate the dangers to the population of going unvaccinated. This does not change the risk vs reward scenario in anyway, regardless of how unfortunate, uncomfortable, and tragic it is for the person (family) suffering the consequences. and while this may seem lacking in any empathy it is also simple fact.

      Lets discuss that lack of empathy though. Yes the potential side effects of any drug, can be horrific, life altering, or simply life ending. On the other hand, the potential life altering, and life threatening consequences of vaccine preventable communicable diseases is significantly worse. Where is the empathy of the anti vaccination crowd for those who are at risk, do to their inability to get vaccinated? Why is my desire to sustain the herd less emphatic than their desire to sustain their own offspring?

      Fact nothing at all in this world is 100% safe. Also fact, that the fact that nothing is 100% safe can not deter the medical world from using drugs, performing surgeries, etc…

      • Shelly April 3, 2014 / 1:24 pm

        you know what i keep seeing here, people going on and on about what is already here that’s bad for you . What does that have to do with anything? so keep smoking because you will die anyway? who has time for these ignorant comments that have literally no logic and are from small minded people, hey instead of bantering because you get off
        on it… find a solution. btw there are no true “facts” for every stupid “fact” you’ll find an opposite “fact”. ….moo!

        • mike vlachos April 3, 2014 / 2:07 pm

          I’m confused a bit with your reply. Your premise is that we should only be eating organic foods, and taking organic remedies to our various illness right?

          curious about what you consider organic though? Is water organic? Potassium? Calcium? Nitrogen? how about salt? is it organic? chicken (free range, only though)

          How about hydrochloric acid?

          let me ask, do you know what watered wine is, and why it was important?

          Another question for you when did we quit using organic foods? Was it 50 years ago? 300 years?

          They recently found atherosclerosis in an Egyptian mummy. A modern disease due to all the chemical’s, fat and cholesterol in our diet, in an 5000 year old dead person. Your argument that only eating organic foods is safe has some serious flaws. Especially when we consider that eating inorganic foods is a recent phenomenon. Yet our ancestors had serious struggles with life altering, and life ending results from vaccine preventable diseases.

          One of the advents the organic crowd thinks made the world healthier is clean water, which is an inorganic process. Watered wine was the need to add alcohol to water in order to drink it safely. hmmm water wasn’t inherently safe, how weird is that?

          Yes priceless I understand that my argument leads to questions about the surety of science based research.

        • Anonymous April 3, 2014 / 7:59 pm

          Here’s a small fact for you: small pox eradicated. Brought to you by: evidence-based medicine. No facts?…bah. You can’t argue with stupid. Anti-vaxxers….stupid! That’s really all there is to it. How hard is it to look around you and see that children aren’t in iron lungs anymore? Did that happen because everyone was eating organically grown food and rubbing oils all over themselves? Nope, it was because of a vaccine. Gosh what horrible people developed these things!!!!!!!!!!! (hopefully you caught my sarcasm and if you didn’t it’s because you’re an anti-vaxxer spreading your word garbage and preventable viruses all around)

          • Anonymous April 3, 2014 / 10:03 pm

            I wonder if the “organic” crowd, would decline to have antibiotics if they had a major infection, or chemotherapy if they had cancer? medicine has helped prolong our lives and reduce morbidity and mortality rates, and the benefits do outweigh the risks.

          • Lis April 4, 2014 / 12:43 am

            Kids are not in iron lungs even in countries where polio is still an issue because treatment is more advanced. We still get other polio like viruses in the US like enterovirus but do you see any iron lungs?

    • sullivanthepoop April 3, 2014 / 4:22 pm

      Symptoms of ethyl mercury toxicity in children is renal syndrome leading to renal failure. If your child got renal failure from a vaccine I would sue. Something was very wrong.

    • Anonymous April 3, 2014 / 7:46 pm

      I Love your answer. This is the truth guys: vaccines haven’t been appropriately studied. They lates study conclusion on vaccine safety was: “we don’t know” That was actually the report of scientist. But they continue saying in TV and other media: They are safe. When they don’t really know. To everyone out there I encourage you to get involved, investigate, get the truth, don’t just take it as they tell you. History has showed us that just because everyone is doing something, doesn’t make it right. I felt like such an idiot for trusting the system and letting someone inject my child with something I has not a clue how it worked or what it has in it. Thank God it came to me like a lighting strike one day: Get involved, YOU are responsible for that child and what you let the system do to her. It is in our hands, they are our children. Get info from places outside the business. They are actually risking their lives and careers to give us the truth. Wake up everyone! Wake up!

      • Anonymous April 3, 2014 / 8:39 pm

        History has also showed us that vaccines work. Or did you miss that? Have you seen a kid in an iron lung lately? And ‘the system’? What does that even mean? My husband is a doctor, he knows and understands how vaccines work, he understands the chemicals they contain and the safety and effectiveness of them. He’s spent close to $380K and 14 years of his life for that. Is he ‘the system’? Because I’m pretty sure he’s just a normal dude that understands science and acknowledges evidence-based medicine. I promise he doesn’t get pressure from ‘the system’ to give people vaccines. He does it because he knows it’s right, he understands them. I think instead of ‘getting involved’ which I think to you means read some bull-*hit articles, you should actually spend some time educating yourself with the actual science of vaccines and how freaking awesome and effective they are. THAT would be an excellent use of your time.

    • Tracey April 3, 2014 / 7:53 pm


      Another fact: they DO know that vaccines do not cause autism. Failing to vaccinate because the cause of autism is unknown is like failing to brush your teeth because they do not know the exact nature of black holes yet.

    • Legitimate April 3, 2014 / 11:52 pm

      Your ideology is still incongruent from the hard evidence that autism is NOT caused by vaccination! No we don’t know the cause, but we don’t know what causes dimentia either. Only theories.

    • Shank April 4, 2014 / 5:45 pm

      Fact: Vaccines don’t cause autism. For the record, they don’t cause kids to grow bunny ears or spontaneously combust either.

      Fact: Anti-vaxxers, regardless of their intentions, think they know better than PhD holding immunology experts who’ve devoted their lives to studying vaccines. That’s fucking stupid.

      Fact: Believe it or not, the aforementioned Ph.D holding immunologists want kids to be happy and healthy every damn bit as much as you do.

      Fact: Thimerosal is harmless. It is injected in minuscule amounts, and is excreted by the body within a matter of days, far too quickly for it to build up to neurotoxic levels.

      Fact: Your statement that “Until we know what causes autism, we just can’t know for a fact that vaccines are right for ALL children” is breathtakingly stupid, as becomes clear when you swap the word “autism” for any other mysterious medical condition, and the word “vaccines” for literally any other word. For example: “Until we know what causes Alzheimer’s, we can’t know for a fact that breast feeding is right for ALL children.” Stupid, right? Well, guess what, there is exactly as much hard scientific evidence to support a link between vaccines and autism as there is to support a link between breast feeding and Alzheimer’s. That is to say, absolutely no evidence whatsoever. The fact that a lot of idiot celebrities, and merciless quacks say otherwise doesn’t change that.

      • priceless123 April 23, 2014 / 3:11 pm

        Fact: your “facts” are very opinion heavy, my friend. Which puts you precisely in the same camp as people whom you claim to disagree with for exactly the same reason.

        • Scott Nelson April 23, 2014 / 3:17 pm

          Since expert opinions and training are of no use to you, then I trust you have your car serviced by your doctor and see a mechanic for medical treatments, and probably see a tree surgeon for appendectomies.

          • priceless123 April 23, 2014 / 4:05 pm

            Of course they are of use to me. Clearly you have forgotten my previous posts. I just think blind faith in anything is dangerous. I think judging others from a blinded position is also dangerous… and useless.

            You respond a lot here. I do as well, but I think my position is under represented and that others with this position are regularly attacked or patronized, whereas yours is rampant and often unchallenged. I’m curious about your motives.

            • Scott Nelson April 23, 2014 / 4:28 pm

              I find it amusing that people will respond, on a computer, over the internet,-products of science and then say that “Science doesn’t work.” I work as a researcher, similar to Dr. Raff, and often have to say-“Oops! that didn’t work the way I thought.” In other words, I’m a slave to the data. When Mother Nature and I disagree-she wins-always. When people want to disagree and endanger others because of things they do not understand and are not willing to learn, and are not willing to look at facts in an unbiased manner-I challenge them. Its fun to see people say that we “learned to wash our hands in 1965-1970”, that we got rid of smallpox by improving hygiene- in Sub-Saharan Africa. I’m fortunate, I was born on the cusp of many vaccines-but I also remember the misery of 10 days of chicken pox-with blisters in places you do not want blisters. I never had to worry about Mumps, Small Pox, Whooping Cough ect…, but my mother grew up with them-and had me vaccinated ASAP.

              I also work PICU doc. Guess who gets to save the kids that come down with preventable diseases. He has a hard enough time dealing with trauma and congenital abnormalities, the last thing he needs is to deal with a highly communicable disease running through the PICU.

              Good enough reasons?

  12. Anonymous April 3, 2014 / 10:14 am

    Jenn Raff should focus her attention on Anthropology(which is her specialty), and leave the study of immunology to the professionals. Jenn is not a medical doctor. Jenn is an adjunct professor in the college of liberal arts.

    • Jennifer Raff April 3, 2014 / 10:40 am

      Actually I’m not an adjunct professor! But you’re correct that my specialty is anthropology….and also genetics. I have a dual PhD in both, and conduct research on human genomes. I do not, and never have claimed to be a medical doctor. In fact, I would STRONGLY urge anyone reading this to go talk to an MD about vaccines rather than me or anyone else! They are the true experts, and I defer to their judgement on medical matters.

      I’ve put my CV up on this website for anyone to access so they can decide for themselves whether they think I have enough qualifications to write on this subject. If they choose to privilege the point of view of a non-scientist over mine, that’s totally their call.

      How about you, Anonymous? Who are you? What are your credentials?

      • Michael O April 3, 2014 / 11:15 am

        I agree whole-heartedly with you Dr. Raff and honestly believe that a dual-PhD in Anthropology and Genetics is more than enough to support your statements.

        Also, only reputable and respectable scientist who fully stands behind their statements would refer to external sources, only fear-mongerers will cry wolf but tell you not to turn around and see for yourself there’s actually nothing there!

        I’m also starting to come to the conclusion too, with the increasing amount of people believing in the unsupported and constantly disproven old-wives’ tales that maybe them writing themselves out of the global gene-pool by their own choice is going to show itself as the answer to the other constantly discussed topic of “Global over-population” …..? Sounds harsh, yes, but if preventable diseases which are generally safely able to be inoculated against are refused by individuals or parents, we’ll soon find out!

        I also question the same peoples’ choices regarding everyday items such as toothpaste and antibacterial hand-washes etc most of which still contain Triclosan, which, those actually educated in biochemistry would know, is able to degrade in UV light to form Dioxin, the world’s most potent known carcinogen which is lipid soluble and also activates Cytochrome P450 mechanisms………

        If they’re making a fuss over constantly-and-consistently disproven claims, are they even taking the time to worry about actual daily potentially detrimental circumstances or do they just lust for instilling their own fears in to others?

        Just a bit more food for thought!

      • Shelly April 3, 2014 / 1:26 pm

        should we be impressed? who cares about credentials, why don’t you guys pee on one another while your at it…. society is so sad..

        • vmcb April 3, 2014 / 1:58 pm

          Who cares about credentials, right? Albert Einstein only received a Nobel prize in physics, who is HE to tell me about quantum mechanics? Moo!!!!!!!!!!!!

        • sullivanthepoop April 3, 2014 / 4:24 pm

          Credentials? I am impressed with hard work. You are sad if you have a problem with that.

        • Anonymous April 3, 2014 / 4:59 pm

          Shelly, for someone who seems to have all the correct answers (and is ready to chastise anyone who believes in vaccines), you would think you should be able to spell YOU’RE correctly (you’re, not your). I think people like you, with your over-bearing personality and negativity, are sad – not society.

      • Legitimate April 4, 2014 / 12:10 am

        Well put Jennifer! I am a physician and support your well thought-out post and appreciate your time in helping this world understand the need for cohesion as a society. To those nay Sayers of the medical doctors, Believe it or not, we become physicians to help people by using the hard working and ever-improving science to accomplish that goal. You don’t have to be a physician to see the logic behind vaccinations. Like Jennifer says, look at the numbers, look at the proof. I.e. polio. It’s a no brainer.

    • Anonymous April 3, 2014 / 10:51 am

      Jenn, you have exercised your right to freedom of speech. But, on the other hand you speak of the efficacy of taking liberties away. Mandatory Immunizations? You lack credentials, and experience in the clinical field of Immunology. You are a liability to Texas State University at Austin. Stick to Anthropology. The Texan, and American people embrace civil liberties.

      • Jennifer Raff April 3, 2014 / 10:55 am

        How am I taking liberties away from anyone by posting links to peer-reviewed studies? Did I call for mandatory immunizations? (hint: I didn’t)

        And how does writing about scientific issues on my personal blog make me a liability? Can only immunologists write about these issues?

        And again, what are your credentials?

      • Anonymous April 3, 2014 / 10:55 am

        If you’re speaking for *this* American, you’re speaking in favor of communal / societal responsibility to vaccinate. Please don’t presume to speak for any group that hasn’t appointed you their spokesperson. I’m not in Texas, so I can’t speak for that state, but most assuredly you *don’t* speak on behalf of the American people.

          • Anonymous April 3, 2014 / 10:59 am

            Sorry Jenn… that was intended to be a reply to the Anonymous who claimed to be speaking on behalf of Texans and Americans… I think your reply came in while I was writing, and it appended my reply to your reply, and not his / hers.

            • Jennifer Raff April 3, 2014 / 11:01 am

              Ah, got it. Sorry about the confusion. Thank you !

      • sullivanthepoop April 3, 2014 / 4:25 pm

        Antivaxxers take every rights away including their own children. I am not sure what is right here. Most of all I do not understand why people need to be forced to provide the best care for their children. It is unfathomable to me.

    • Ross Aldridge April 3, 2014 / 11:59 am

      So… you don’t eat, Or breath, or… anything? You get more mercury from a tuna-fish sandwich than from a full run of vaccines. Jennifer already addressed the aluminum in breast milk. There is 50 to 70 times the amount of formaldehyde already NATURALLY present in a baby’s body at birth than they will receive in their full run of vaccines… What else are you asking about, the eggs? the mouse brains? is it any worse than what many people eat… no really, think about it. Looking at a list of ingredients with absolutely no context would make you afraid to eat anything, in fact if you broke a farm fresh apple down to it’s chemical compound building blocks, and took into account the nastiness that constitutes “organic” fertilizer and bug repellent, you would never eat again.

      • Shelly April 3, 2014 / 12:30 pm

        “One’s opinion should only be as strong as one’s knowledge on the matter.”
        ― Eric Hirzel

        Right so since there are so many toxins in the world might as well gag down some more cheeseburgers from Mcdonald’s… this was completely illogical to me.

        • TSD April 3, 2014 / 2:50 pm

          You missed the point Shelly. Why isn’t anyone blaming Chicken of the Sea for Autism? Or protesting breastfeeding? What they are showing you is that the ingredients in vaccines are no more harmful than anything else most people consume regularly.

        • sullivanthepoop April 3, 2014 / 4:27 pm

          There is nothing in vaccines at toxic doses. It isn’t true. You have been lied to and you keep blindly following the lies.

    • sullivanthepoop April 3, 2014 / 4:26 pm

      Shelly, we are educated. You have no idea what you are talking about.

    • Tracey April 3, 2014 / 7:57 pm

      You make no sense. Even when vaccines contained mercury, they contained less than a tuna fish sandwich. Not all “chemicals” are bad; in fact, many of them are produced by our own bodies and have a life-sustaining purpose. You know what I don’t want in the bodies of my children? Measles, mumps, rubella, chickenpox, polio, diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough.

  13. Amie April 3, 2014 / 11:03 am

    There are facts that support vaccines and there are facts that go against vaccines. People need to realize this isn’t as simple as yes I vaccinate or no I don’t vaccinate. It is parents reading both sides of a the topic of vaccines and deciding what is best for them and their families. It comes down to respecting that we don’t all make the same choices and stop telling everyone who makes a choice that is different then yours that they are horrible parents.

    • Nicola tohiariki April 3, 2014 / 5:21 pm

      Well said amie, most parents do what they think is best for their children and any parent who truly cares will look at whatever info they can find and make the decision that they feel best for their children. There’s a lot of disrespect, hurtful words, angry and fear going on here and that can’t b gd for anyone’s health. How about some more love and respect for people. I have 5 very healthy children and have very strong views on this subject and would share them only when I’m asked for my opinion, at this stage in my children’s lives I’m happy with the decision my husband and I made. PS….remember to be kind!!!

    • Tracey April 3, 2014 / 7:58 pm

      There aren’t two sides of this issue. There are facts, and there is anti-vax pseudo-science and hysteria. Just because some people believe that the sun revolves around the earth doesn’t mean there are two “sides” to the heliocentered solar system.

  14. Anonymous April 3, 2014 / 11:33 am

    I’m undecided on this issue. But just so you know. Most of the points you made did not have any facts to back them up. Saying “It isn’t,” “It is” “They’re wrong,” does not prove anything. It is just an opinion.

    • Ross Aldridge April 3, 2014 / 12:02 pm

      Did you bother to click the links? You know, the evidence behind her claims? Oh wait… you probably don’t get computers… When a word or phrase in a text field is a different color that the rest of the text (like those “it isn’t”s and “they’er wrong”s), you can usually assume that it’s a link to more information on the claim just made.

      • Colin April 3, 2014 / 12:14 pm

        It’s astonishing how many anti-vax commenters don’t realize those are links.

    • Anonymous April 3, 2014 / 12:50 pm

      You did realize that the two-word responses were links to studies that prove things, right?

      • Anonymous April 3, 2014 / 12:52 pm

        Gah, this was a reply to the one above, and it doesn’t show it that way. And has the same little pattern, so it looks like the same person. *sigh*

    • Goosetopher April 3, 2014 / 4:30 pm

      Are you a simpleton?

  15. Jair Garrido April 3, 2014 / 12:34 pm

    If you live in the Dallas or El Paso area, there’s this night clinic open 7 days a week from 5-10pm. They are a much better alternative than waiting HOURS at the ER for small sicknesses like diarrhea, fever, cold, toothaches, stomach aches, etc.

    They’re called Pediamed, they are all friendly and genuinely care for your child’s well being. I’d highly recommend them, they accept walk ins and you don’t have to switch doctor’s or insurance providers (Medicaid patients are FREE!!) You can reserve your appointment at

  16. Anon April 3, 2014 / 1:02 pm

    Autism is caused by ultrasounds.

    • Goosetopher April 3, 2014 / 4:31 pm

      And idiocy is caused by people making things up

    • anon April 4, 2014 / 8:25 pm

      hit the nail on the head there. But as most mothers are deliberately made to think that electronic heart monitors are not ultrasound even though they are 33 times more powerful than a normal ultra scan . the giveaway is there name Doppler’s. there is no per review research at all that says ultrasound technology is safe and a lot that say they are not.

    • Barry April 4, 2014 / 10:25 pm

      Oh, so that’s why I am autistic. I appreciate the information. But tell me, what type of ultrasound machines did they use to scan babies in the womb in 1948/1949?

  17. BethAnna Counsellor April 3, 2014 / 1:46 pm

    Wow… After all the government & pharmaceuticals have shown us, how can there still be sheep who follow their lies? Did it ever occur to anyone that quite possibly this outbreak of measles could have been and probably was spread by the governing agents of our country just to further enrich their system? Come on people… We have brains, souls and gut feelings. No offense to a chosen profession… But in this country, a doctor who studies modern medicine is doing no more than learning what they are warranted to learn by whomever is in power…and we know it’s not Winnie-the-pooh. Scientific studies have been hidden, changed and in some cases, destroyed because of the contents proving our pharmaceuticals/vaccination companies wrong. They rely on the “herding” of people for none other than the “almighty” dollar which gives them “power”. Before we go exalting vaccinations, perhaps we should look at a few things: How long did people live and exist, naturally, without them? How many children, statistically, are now, affected by autism, OCD, tourettes, ADHD, emotional and autoimmune disorders, and how connected are they? How many were realistically diagnosed before immunizations existed? The lack of wisdom astounds me on a disturbing level. I have been sick for years and the only way I have found my health is through a naturopath. Not modern medicine. My son is autistic and before he was immunized, he had intelligent cognition and natural behavior…. After immunization, his autism showed up and I became a very busy and heartbroken mommy. Our food in the US has ingredients similar to what our vaccinations hold. Plus worse. I should say “affordable” food. Organic foods and natural medicine is expensive… Why? Why, also, are other countries healthier than we are as a whole?

    • Anonymous April 3, 2014 / 2:21 pm

      “Before we go exalting vaccinations, perhaps we should look at a few things: How long did people live and exist, naturally, without them? How many children, statistically, are now, affected by autism, OCD, tourettes, ADHD, emotional and autoimmune disorders, and how connected are they?”

      Right, if only the government would release their concealed data on the rates of autism or tourettes from the 17th century (with a statistically-significant sample-size, and bound by common diagnostic criteria matched with today’s methodologies). Oh, wait… that’s right… people in the 17th century weren’t diagnosed with tourettes… they were called witches and burned / stoned / drowned.

      Did thimerisol, aluminum adjuvants, or formaldehyde contribute to the outbreak of demonic possession in 1692 in Salem?

      While we don’t have epidemiological data showing complex disease in detail from back then, birth and death records do exist… we know the average life-expectancy, and that it has increased during the time when water-treatment and plumbing became widespread, as well as with the popularization of many immunizations.

      Of course, when looking at changes over a large population over a long period of time, it is impossible to fully unconfound all of the concurrent factors and conclusive determine, say, that vaccines have added exactly 14.74294 years to the average life. But while we might not have the confidence to go out 5 decimal places, it seems that there’s pretty robust proof that the net benefit (in terms of life-expectancy and quality) is significant… even *with* the small proportion of people who did suffer unusual negative outcomes.

    • TSD April 3, 2014 / 2:46 pm

      Wow you proved my previous comment that vaccine opponents are likely to subscribe to other conspiracies. Do you have evidence the government is doing this other than conjecture? No? That is unscientific and not worth anybodies time. The difference between you and me is, if I was confronted with concrete evidence that I was wrong, I would change my opinion….you however, would not, you prefer to believe what you want to believe, proof be damned.

    • sullivanthepoop April 3, 2014 / 4:34 pm

      Well, first you needed science based medicine before you were going to find any of these thing which came along because so many people were dying of infectious diseases. Then they had to take care of the infectious diseases that people were wanting taken care of. Then there are other historic killers like heart disease of course you want to do something about that. Then when you are not worried about 1/2 of your children dying before they become adults you start worrying about things you wouldn’t have even noticed before. A little common sense and a little less herd mentality would work wonders for you.

    • Aly April 3, 2014 / 7:53 pm

      I totally agree. One day I just woke up and when I got to research…wow I felt so stupid for being so blind not to see it. Now I feel really sorry for so many kids and their parents that are only trying to protect them.

    • Tracey April 3, 2014 / 8:00 pm

      Right. The hundred of studies all over the world that have found no link between autism and vaccines are a giant global conspeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeracy led by a shadowy group. (The Illuminati are involved, no doubt.)

  18. TSD April 3, 2014 / 2:39 pm

    Problem with anybody like this, you will find these people often subscribe to other fringe ideas (conspiracies, believing the earth is only 6000 years old etc. etc.). When you look at overwhelming evidence and just dismiss it by coming up with some unsubstantiated reason it can’t be believed you are no longer being rational.

    • TSD April 3, 2014 / 2:40 pm

      I was referring to opponents of vaccines in my above comment, apologize about the lack of clarity.

  19. Anonymous April 3, 2014 / 2:59 pm

    What I would really like to know is why Jennifer, and especially Colin, are so passionate on the subject of vaccination. What drives you to see things from a strickly pro vaccine angle. Never questioning anything. Please don’t say you don’t because the pages and pages of disagreements and condescending comments towards anyone with differing views than you proves you do. Who (Colin) spends almost their entire day writing comments on a blog. Is this the job you are paid for? Who pays your paycheck? Because if you are paid for this, you are paid to promote a certain viewpoint and possible leave some personal views out of it. It just seems you absolutely refuse to question anything. Do you trust the government, any government 100%? Even many people that are pro vaccine, still respect others opinions and have questions of their own. But not you. You believe vaccines are safe and effective 100%. That says something. So we as humans have nothing left to learn about the human body, our environment, anything? I noticed throughout all the comments you try to negate EVERYONE who has an opposing view. Or you just don’t comment on them. Why? This makes many people question why you are doing this. You vehemently criticise and make condescending comments about non vaxers. That is immature and does say quite a lot about your character. I am just really curious as to why you are going on and on for pages like this. Do you have children? What drives you? Are you just passionate about this or do you have a job to keep? I’m sure, because you say you are an attorney and you have a way with words (as most lawyers do) you have will have a quick retort to my comment.

    • Jennifer Raff April 3, 2014 / 3:46 pm

      Hi there. My motivation for writing about this subject is related to my larger interest (and the goal of this blog) in improving people’s science literacy. The vaccine debate is one of the clearest examples of public misunderstanding of the scientific evidence on a subject, and the more that I’ve written about it, the more responses I get from people on both sides of the issue looking for information.

      I think that answers to many of your questions regarding funding can be found under the “Site policies” tab at the top of the page. This blog isn’t funded by anybody (other than a small amount from the ads that WordPress runs on it), and nobody gets paid to write articles or comments on it.
      Are you implying that I’m paid by some kind of pharmaceutical company for my position? I addressed this already in the article–I’m not.

      To help clarify my commenting policy to you, this blog is unabashedly pro-science and pro-empiricism. My motivation is to provide parents with links to the scientific research on this subject. My participation in the comments section is variable because my actual work takes precedence over this blog.

      Hope that clears a few things up for you!

      • Anonymous April 3, 2014 / 4:18 pm

        I agree that there is quite a bit of misunderstanding on the topic of vaccines. I find it offensive, however, how comments different from yours are immediately shot down at all costs here. You choose to have a comment section which means you must be inquisitive on peoples views on the subject. But why do you make the assumption that anyone who chooses not to vaccinate must be ill informed at best and a conspiracy theory, tin foil hat wearing loon at worst. Are you that self rightous that you will not consider any new viewpoint, studies or any other information for that matter on the subject. At this point I think it amuses you and your colleague Colin to see people go back and forth while making condescending comments in between. I am surprised you allow some comments on your blog quite frankly. The ones that favor your side you seem to praise often.

        And no, I do not think you are paid by Big Pharma. I already read that. I just think it is interesting that you do not consider any other idea outside of your beliefs or what you claim is science. It just makes it hard to believe that you are not paid for or at least expected by some institution or association to continuously have such a strong stance on this subject without questions of your own. Do you not believe pharmaceuticals are flawed? Every medication that is taken off the market by the FDA was once approved by the FDA. You can still be strongly pro vax and still question things you know. Instead of insinuating that people like myself don’t have enough higher education to make an educated decision on this subject, perhaps you should write articles that are less condescending and more informative on a deeper level. That would be better for everyone.

        I think if you were more respectful to all your readers, you may get more respect back. As a scientist and researcher I am surprised by the tone of your articles. You seem to be an articulate person (as does Colin) but the supercilious remarks make it hard to really have more respect for the information you provide. I think we as human can always improve ourselves and learn. It seems like having an open mind has stopped here.


        • Jennifer Raff April 3, 2014 / 4:35 pm

          Briefly (because I really do have to get back to work): I really wish that people understood more about how scientists function. If you guys only knew how hyper-critical we are of our own work (and of each others’), you might have a better idea of why I am firm on a position that is supported by such a strong consensus from so many independent studies. I believe in the process of empiricism as a means of uncovering truths about the natural world, and I won’t apologize for that.

          It’s not my intention to belittle anyone–I don’t assume that not necessarily understanding the science makes one stupid. That’s why I wrote this–I’m an educator and I actually care deeply enough about this subject to spend quite a lot of my free time on it. I don’t mean to come across as snarky (unless someone is snarky to me first, in which case I sometimes lose my temper. I try not to, though).

          You may suspect me of bad motives all you wish, but that’s the honest truth. And I absolutely agree with your statement “we as humans can always improve ourselves and learn.”


          • Anonymous April 3, 2014 / 5:08 pm

            Thank you for what appears to be a genuine statement. There are independent studies on both sides of the argument. I think perhaps you may be so deep into scientific evidence that you do not see what is happening to our children on a day to day basis. I hear about reactions often from other mothers hours after their children received a vaccine. Their children “left” overnight. Not just a few parents, many. This is not rare. You may believe in vaccines but to turn away from these vaccine injured children is doing them a terrible disservice. Who will stand up for them? If vaccines are effective, great. But they are not without risks, terrible risks. And they need to be made safer. I wish people like yourself would use your leverage to push for safer vaccines, not just defend them as they are.

            You can list all the studies all you want saying they are safe. But when you hear from countless mothers whose children changed after vaccines (and I am not just refering to autism) you take a step back and say something is going on here. These parents are down in the trenches, not some laboratory (no offense to you). Rather than just repeating that vaccines do not cause autism. Can you tell us what does so we can shut up? You may say this is correlation and not causation, but this keeps happening to our children. Why? You say you are pro-emipiricim, but doesn’t that mean verifyable by observation or experience? What about parents or even adults who are experiencing horrible reactions? Does it make it less true or credible because it is not observed in a laboratory setting? There are so many anti vaccine comments because something is going on here and people are seeing it happen first hand. More and more. I just want safer vaccines. Don’t you? Are you familiar with the MTHFR gene?

        • priceless123 April 23, 2014 / 3:16 pm

          Thank you! I love this post!

    • Colin April 3, 2014 / 5:36 pm

      I see that she answered already–I haven’t read her answer yet (I don’t want it to influence mine) so forgive me if it overlaps.

      First, let me correct some of your misconceptions. I absolutely question things; I was trained and practiced for years as a litigator, and my first thought when I see a statement I don’t understand or can’t personally verify is, “what are the incentives for the person who made this statement?” It’s one of the reasons I trust science as much as I do–as an institution, its incentives are structured to reward finding verifiable facts rather than pursuing agendas. That’s a very challenging idea for people who don’t like the conclusions scientists reach, which is most of us at least some of the time. And it goes without saying that as a human institution, science (and scientists) aren’t perfect. So I do question and probe. I’m not sure why you think I don’t; do you expect me to read someone’s comment about how vaccines are totally bad because of chemicals and stuff then respond, “Oh, I guess you’re right”? You’re encountering me after I’ve studied and considered this material; you’re not going to see me swayed by a one-paragraph blog comment any more than I’d expect to see you flip-flop here.

      Second, and this should be pretty obvious, Big Pharma isn’t paying me to blog or comment. I’m a lawyer, as I mentioned, but these days I don’t litigate anymore. I’m a consultant, which means sometimes I’m on the road and working long hours and some days I’m at home twiddling my thumbs. My consulting work has nothing to do with vaccines and is completely unconnected from my writing here. This week is (more or less) a thumb-twiddling week, so lots of commenting. I’m also writing a book about the ways in which people interact and debate controversial topics, so I use these comments as something of a laboratory in the sense that I watch how people interact. I’m looking at what styles of communication and tactics are the most effective at accomplishing various goals; not so much changing peoples’ minds (as numerous people have commented, that’s not really going to happen in a comments thread) so much as mutual encouragement, exploration of contrary opinions, education, etc. I’ve learned a great deal from these comments. Natphilosopher is a good example; I think his ideas are very wrong, but the work I had to do to conclude that was quite educational. I know a lot more about the safety of aluminum adjuvants than I did before he commented.

      Third, I don’t think that “vaccines are safe and effective 100%.” I’ve written a piece about the NVICP on this blog, and that exists to compensate people who are harmed by vaccines. And it’s common knowledge that vaccines aren’t 100% effective at preventing infection. But the analyses I’ve seen and that I credit are very clear that the efficacy is quite high and the rate of harm is quite low, such that vaccination is a rational choice. (Similarly, to use a common analogy, car seats are not 100% safe and effective. And yet using car seats is the rational choice.)

      Fourth, I’m sorry that you think that I “make condescending comments about non vaxers.” As I work on communication strategies for such debates, that’s one of the things that I know is ineffective at changing minds. I have a sharp tongue (perhaps sharper than my mind) sometimes, and I apologize if I have offended anyone. But I don’t think that I’ve condescended to anyone merely because they don’t vaccinate. I tend to express strong disagreement with people who adopt and defend irrational positions, such as that naturopathy is a scientific enterprise or that vaccinations are dangerous despite the evidence. Also, I tend to get sharp with people who seem like they are willing to have a blunt conversation; natphilosopher is a good example again. While I strongly disagree with him, and I think he with me, neither one of us are going to walk away from our discussion with hurt feelings. And probably both of us prefer being direct.

      Fifth, you ask what drives me. That’s a big question, with a long and boring answer. The short version is that I became interested in creationism a long time ago. In law school I got particularly interested in it and wound up writing an article about the constitutional implications of a type of creationism called “Intelligent Design.” (Piercing the Veil of Intelligent Design, C. McRoberts and T. Sandefur, 15 Kan. J.L. & Pub. Pol’y 15 (2005-2006). We got preempted by the Kitzmiller decision so the article is a bit of an odd orphan.)

      I started writing a book about creationism, but when people asked me why it mattered I had a hard time answering–it doesn’t really affect peoples’ lives if a minority of students reject evolutionary science. (Many scientists argue vehemently to the contrary, but–unlike your characterization of me–I disagree with them.)

      So I thought about what drove my interest in creationism, and discovered that I’m fascinated by irrationality. I’m using something of a technical definition here, but essentially I mean people who (a) believe something that is inconsistent with logic or evidence and (b) are certain that their belief is rational and/or right.

      That turned out to be a common thread that linked a lot of strange things I’ve always found fascinating: creationism, “alternative” medicine, sovereigntists and tax protesters (these are odd legal beliefs that many people have never encountered), theories about aliens building the pyramids, and so on.

      I’m driven to engage with anti-vaxers because the irrationality of many (although not all) people who reject immunizations falls within that academic interest, and particularly because unlike many of those things I listed vaccinations *matter.* No one gets hurt if a thousand more people become creationists, but if a thousand people decide that medicine is scary and refuse vaccines, then real harm is done to those who least deserve it.

    • Tracey April 3, 2014 / 8:01 pm

      What drives me to see things from a strictly pro-vaccine angle? A wish not to see children dead of preventable diseases.

    • Shank April 4, 2014 / 5:52 pm

      Who pays YOU, naturopath shill? Whoring yourself out like a common prostitute to discredit safe and effective vaccines online! Who’s PAYING you? Which quacks LINE YOUR POCKETS? Is it Mercola? Adams? Rashid Buttar? WHO ARE YOU WORKING FOR?!?

      Oh…sorry. Got a little carried away. All this anti-vax “Big Pharma” conspiracy bullshit is rubbing off on me. Time for a nice cup of tea.

  20. Anonymous April 3, 2014 / 3:07 pm

    I don’t vaccinate my kids, nor do I plan to unless they are older and they plan to travel. I have no argument to make because they are my children and it is my decision, if you wish to vaccinate yours go ahead. I am just explaining why I (and maybe other people loose not to)The truth is, most children ARE vaccinated which makes the chance of getting most of these disease much slimmer than if they didn’t exist. I am not willing to inject my child (especially to a small baby/child) with something that contains even small amounts of these horrible diseases and chemicals. Not to mention, I have no idea of what REALLY goes into them and regardless of what studies or fact sheets show. It would not surprise me in the least if they use our children as guinea pigs and I don’t care if that is some conspiracy theory to some or not. Look at the HPV injection, pretty sure someone associated with out came out and said it was complete bogus and a lot of people had side effects and even some died. No thanks…because whether or not you think it is ridiculous, the chances of contracting the disease is relatively small when most people will be vaccinated.

    • Anonymous April 3, 2014 / 3:29 pm

      So we take the ‘risks’ so you don’t have to. Socially selfish and irresponsible. Hopefully your children don’t get these preventable illinesses because you choose not to do some really easy research to look at the facts instead of listening to uneducated bloggers. Wow.

      • TSD April 3, 2014 / 3:32 pm

        Some people just choose to be willfully ignorant, it baffles me, it really does.

      • Anonymous April 3, 2014 / 3:51 pm

        Not vaccinating is not socially selfish or irresponsible at all if you don’t believe their touted effectiveness or safety. I don’t NOT vaccinate because you do. Sorry. It appears many pro vaxers are the ones making incorrect assumptions.

        • sullivanthepoop April 3, 2014 / 5:01 pm

          Anon, it is really hard to answer people like you and stay nice when you so smugly try to say things on this subject with authority when you clearly don’t have the knowledge to make an informed choice. No one has touted any effectiveness that has not been proven in the real world except with the acellular pertussis component of the DTaP, but that wasn’t a lie. It was a mistake because it seems to vary by person so the originals studies could not have been powerful enough to catch this when you need a population. Notice how no one hid it from you when they found out?

          Anyway, the measles portion of the MMR vaccine is great. It is very safe, the MMR is so safe it can be given to almost every immune compromised person even though it is a live virus vaccine. The measles portion provides most likely lifelong immunity (57 years at least) to 95% of people and a second brings that total to 99%. If you think about that, it means that if the MMR is working as they think 5% of people with 1 MMR will contract measles if they are challenged with it and 1% of people with 2 MMRs will contract measles if they are challenged with it. This has been the case in every measles outbreak in every country since widespread vaccination. The measles component of the MMR works as expected. The others do too but are less effective. So, the problem is you want to keep those people from having challenges in the first place. This would be possible if 95% of people were vaccinated with 2 doses of MMR, which was shown by the fact that we had several years without measles outbreaks. Not to mention all the rest about people that can’t get them, are too young, organ transplants, cancer … please don’t ask again.

        • Anonymous April 3, 2014 / 8:19 pm

          Mmmkay. You sound like a really big idiot that has done absolutely no research on vaccines whatsoever. Your arguments are based on nothing but fluff!! Fluff, fluff fluffery fluff!! ‘I have no idea of what REALLY goes into them…” Do some actual fact checking, then. There’s a thought. Don’t know where to go? There were some great links in the article. Don’t you think your kids are worth that? Or did you just type that into google and come upon the ‘anti-vaccine vixens’ blog’: everything bad you need to know about the chemicals in vaccines…brought to you by the Doterra Oil pusher down the street. Geez…I’m glad my husband waisted $380K on medical school to be shown up by some Doterra Oil Specialist converting people like you to the dark side. “I am not willing to inject my child with…horrible diseases…” What!?!? Let me tell you how a vaccine works since you don’t seems to really care… You know they aren’t full of live viruses!! I know, right!!! Who knew! Imagine a horse drawn carriage. It’s carrying a disease around, the disease mind you, never leaves the wagon (because it’s dead). The wagon continues to carry the disease around your whole body and shows it to everyone so they can be prepared to fight it when it comes back. NEVER is the disease un-leashed in our bodies. It’s a dead virus which means it can never give us that disease…only prepare our bodies for what my come. I just think it’s so incredibly sad that people are SOOO lazy and easily swayed when it comes to really understanding vaccines.

          • Tracey April 3, 2014 / 8:20 pm

            You totally rock.

    • TSD April 3, 2014 / 3:29 pm

      Nobody died from the HPV vaccine. That claim has been proven to be a falsehood. This is the problem, you may have “heard it” somewhere and just believed it without attempting to look it up yourself. The only place you will find anyone saying that is online conspiracy rags that have no real evidence to back up their claims.

      • Anonymous April 3, 2014 / 3:47 pm

        Would you mind citing the source where you read that NO ONE died from HPV vaccine, rather than insult others viewpoints?

        • Anonymous April 3, 2014 / 7:59 pm

          Are you seriously asking him to go through every recorded death and confirm that not one of them was caused by the HPV vaccine? The burden of proof lies on those who make the positive claim (that HPV has caused a death) to show from a credible source that there has been any death, linked without any doubt to complications from the HPV vaccine. This is not the same as finding someone who got sick and died after receiving the vaccine (correlation and causation are distinct relationships and do not imply one another), that is called anecdotal evidence, and while individual stories are compelling, they are highly susceptible to external factors which is why it is not accepted as fact in science or in court.

          I am not trying to pick on you, but as a scholar of logic in a family of scientists I feel compelled to educate you on what kind of evidence might change the minds of people like the authors.

          In the article above, there are several dozen citations of statistical studies trying to determine if there is a causal effect between the MMP vaccine and autism. Showing this is both easier and less strong of an argument than showing the mechanism which causes autism (which to my knowledge is still unknown) but still very nontrivial.

          If you can find a mechanism that supports your claims (1. HPV vaccine, 2. ???, 3. Death) that fits reasonably well with the current understanding of how the biochemical processes in the body work than you have a very solid leg to stand on and many scientists around the world will try to replicate your results. (I say reasonably well because we are very certain about a large body of this material, like how chemical bonding works, but less certain about more obscure interactions between complex biological compounds, it should fit at least with the former). If it is valid (ie how it actually works), then it will be repeatable in similar conditions at various times and locations, and you will become famous and win awards for saving lives. Congratulations.

          If that seems daunting (Biochem does sound daunting to me, so you aren’t alone), than you can try to make an argument using my bread and butter, statistical reasoning. Here you don’t claim to know the mechanism, but you are pretty sure that an effect, in this case death, is caused or amplified by some cause, which in this case is a vaccine. So you first crawl through mountains of data about all sorts of cases, you want to get a representative sample which means you want all types of data whether it appears to support your conclusion or not. Then you probably want to write a program to calculate statistics about your sample, and see if there is a “statistically significant increase” in the effect between the population of the sample that received the vaccine and the population that did not. If that exists, then you have a pretty strong case, but will still have to defend that your sample is representative of the whole population.

          The results of the studies on MMP (which took a decades worth of all children from two whole countries as a portion of their sample) found that there was no significant increase in autism between those that had vaccines and those that did not. If vaccines had an effect, we would expect to be able to measure the effect on large statistical samples. Because we can not measure it, we feel safe in saying that anti-vaccine propaganda is full of s***.


    • AK April 3, 2014 / 3:40 pm

      By not vaccinating your children you are putting other children at risk who are not old enough to receive some of the vaccines.

      • Anonymous April 3, 2014 / 5:00 pm

        It’s not only children who are too young who have problems. It’s children who are on chemotherapy for cancer or juvenile arthritis, have heart defects and can’t be immunised, or are immune compromised in any other way. (Kids with downs for example) For these kids, your decision not to vaccinate just caused their child to potentially die. Autism does not kill you. Measles, polio, chicken pox, h1n1, mumps etc? All deadly. But thanks for thinking your opinion is more important than actual safety of the thousands of kids who are actually sick.

        • Anonymous April 3, 2014 / 10:33 pm

          I missed the latest reports on deaths caused by chicken pox, measles, mumps and h1n1 and other flus. Please do post.

          • Anonymous April 4, 2014 / 4:42 pm

            See, now this is why we can’t have nice things. It’s not my job to educate you. If you don’t read the news and choose to remain ignorant, what can I say? I don’t bother dealing with people who choose ignorance. Next you will be saying no one ever died from the plague. lol

      • Anonymous April 3, 2014 / 8:17 pm

        How can you child be at risk if they are vaccinated?

        • Tracey April 3, 2014 / 8:19 pm

          Because some babies are too young to have reached their full vaccine schedule yet. (A “baby” is what we call a tiny human being.) So your unvaccinated child could give a deadly disease to a baby. Get it? Get it? Get it?

          • Anonymous April 3, 2014 / 8:31 pm

            I feel really sorry for you.

            • Tracey April 3, 2014 / 8:42 pm

              I feel sorry for your children.

          • Anonymous April 4, 2014 / 8:08 am


    • Old enough to know better April 3, 2014 / 4:46 pm

      Wow, so thoughtful of you to put us all at risk, THANK YOU!!

    • Tracey April 3, 2014 / 8:02 pm

      And when there’s more and more ill-informed people like you and herd immunity breaks down? Will you still be spouting sanctimonious drivel while you watch your children desperate to suck air into their lungs because they’ve got whooping cough? Or going into convulsions because their fevers are so high from measles?

      • Anonymous April 4, 2014 / 4:18 am

        Are you up to date with ALL your boosters? I really hope so. That means every 10 years minimum. No exceptions. You are responsible for the herd as well. Make sure you do your share.

        • Tracey April 4, 2014 / 11:37 am

          Yes, I am up on ALL my boosters thanks for asking. Just got a DTaP last month, as a matter of fact.

    • Shank April 4, 2014 / 6:00 pm

      “Not to mention, I have no idea of what REALLY goes into them and regardless of what studies or fact sheets show. ”

      Here’s a crazy idea, why don’t you try fucking listening to the people who DO know? Why should your kid have to suffer because you’re too thick to understand studies and too paranoid to believe the fact sheets?

  21. Greg April 3, 2014 / 4:08 pm

    I can’t imagine why you people are arguing with these anti-vaccine yahoos. You aren’t going to change their opinion via message board. Let them do what they want, and if/when their child dies from a completely preventable disease we all know they will change their tune. Yet, they will get no sympathy from me.

    • Jennifer Raff April 3, 2014 / 4:13 pm

      Because I care about science literacy, and I have sympathy for parents who are being confused by the mixed messages out there. I may or may not change anyone’s minds, but at least I can try to counteract some of the terrible pseudoscience out there.

      • Greg April 3, 2014 / 4:19 pm

        I see your point to some extent Jennifer, and I admire the fact that you take the time to attempt to help them. However, the fact of the matter is that there are no mixed messages. There are all the medical and scientific messages on the pro-vaccine side, and everything else on the anti-vaccine side. That’s not a confusing situation, it’s a situation in which people are intentionally choosing to be idiots, knowing full well what the right answer is. You can’t fix that.

      • Old enough to know better April 3, 2014 / 4:49 pm

        Pseudoscience lends too much credibility. The Anti vaccine folks should not have any word containing “science” used to describe them!

    • Tracey April 3, 2014 / 8:03 pm

      That’s the problem. If it was just the idiots themselves at risk, I wouldn’t care two figs. But they are putting children at risk who didn’t ask to be born to stupid parents, not to mention babies, pregnant women and immuno-compromised people.

      • Lee Strader April 3, 2014 / 8:11 pm

        your believing someone who does not even say what field there in. where they got there facts if any. i think your the idiot sheep. keep following what the government says and you’ll see.

        • Tracey April 3, 2014 / 8:16 pm

          Sweetie, with literacy skills like yours, I wouldn’t expect you to understand, but the different color text in the writer’s piece are what we call Internet “links.” Links lead us to other places on the Internet, including several peer-reviewed scientific studies, which is where her information is supported. See how that works?

        • Jennifer Raff April 3, 2014 / 8:21 pm

          Wait, are you referring to me, Lee? I’ve mentioned at least 3 times what field I’m in here in the comments. (I’ll do so again: I am an anthropological geneticist, with PhDs in genetics and anthropology). I have posted a link to my CV in the article. I literally don’t know what else I can tell you about my background that I haven’t already told you.

      • Anonymous April 3, 2014 / 8:20 pm

        Ok, so you vaccinate your kids against these diseases and then you claim your child is at risk from unvaccinated kids. Why did you bother to vaccinate your kid if it doesn’t protect them from other kids? You see the nuttiness here? You just suggested the vaccine you gave your kid was useless, so whats the point?

        • Jennifer Raff April 3, 2014 / 8:21 pm

          This question has been answered already, both in the article and in the comments.

        • Tracey April 3, 2014 / 8:24 pm

          [Bangs head against hard surface]. Herd immunity has been repeatedly explained to you. You are either 1) unwilling to recognize it because it puts a kink in the knickers of your pet pseudo-science; 2) you are congenitally stupid and unable to absorb factual information or 3) freaked out that you’ve been a terrible parent for years, which is why you’re unwilling to acknowledge facts. Which is it?

          • Anonymous April 3, 2014 / 8:42 pm

            I think its time to trace your IP and have a little fun….

            • Tracey April 3, 2014 / 8:44 pm

              Now there’s the kind of mature response I’ve come to expect from anti-vaccine conspiracy theorists. Sorry Sweetie, you’re not bright enough.

          • Anonymous April 3, 2014 / 8:51 pm

            I was just messin with your, thought you needed to lighten up a tad. You have posting to do..lots of it…have at it and have a good night sweetie

  22. AK April 3, 2014 / 4:16 pm

    It is just astounding that anyone who has an IQ over 70 would think that not vaccinating is a good option. In the 1940s and 50s there were 35,000 cases of polio. This left children in hospitals where the best case scenario left them paralyzed. Too often they died from the disease. This is not government propaganda. This happened and still happens in countries where the vaccine is not available! After the vaccine was introduced the reported cases went down to 61! Parents who choose not to vaccinate should watch a video on the devasting effects of polio and the diseases that’s have been eradicated due to vaccines. As parents it is your responbility to protect your children. Not vaccinating puts your judgment into question.

    • Lee Strader April 3, 2014 / 8:09 pm

      get some facts before you put into question of parents not getting flu shot , my daughter got extremely sick from it the 1 time she got 1 and since then have not gotten anymore flu shots and no flu.

      • Tracey April 3, 2014 / 8:17 pm

        Yeah and I’ve never been to Bolivia, and I’ve never gotten a boil on my butt, so it MUST be true that not going to Bolivia causes you not to get boils on your butt. Or something.

    • tamaralaschinsky April 3, 2014 / 8:53 pm

      I think the problem is #1, the CDC changed the vaxx schedule in 1995 and introduced WAY more injections that our kids get under the age of 2 and #2, other vaccines, like chickenpox (also introduced in 1995) were introduced and they correlate with the rise of autism cases. When you put the charts in comparison you can see a similarity which brings up questions of safety.

      Yes, the vaccines eradicated many illnesses which is great but the long term effects of some of the vaccine ingredients are in question (heavy metals) and there is the question of too many shots (ie. flu shot instead of depending on your body’s natural immune system)

      • Tracey April 3, 2014 / 8:55 pm

        You know what also correlates with the rise in autism rates? The introduction of SpongeBob SquarePants. Ergo (I guess), SpongeBob causes autism?

        • tamaralaschinsky April 3, 2014 / 9:09 pm

          Now that’s just being silly. Show me the charts. I know you randomly pulled that out of your hat.

          • Tracey April 3, 2014 / 10:07 pm

            Ding-ding-ding-ding! The lady gets a prize! A random, non-scientific correlation pulled out of my posterior, in precisely the same way anti-vaxxers pull random correlations out of their posteriors.

            • tamaralaschinsky April 4, 2014 / 10:24 am

              This was not pulled out of my posterior and there you go being silly again, showing your level of ‘expertise’. There are charts that show many viruses were on the decline LONG before vaccines were introduced and other charts to show increases of side effects around certain time frames (1995)

    • Anonymous April 3, 2014 / 10:28 pm

      part of the problem is many people are ignorant about the diseases and how serious they are, they havn’t seen it first hand so distance themselves from thinking about them. I have seen children die during my career, and also given many vaccinations. I have never seen a major reaction yet, I have seen minor reactions, but that does not compare at all to the heartbreak of seeing a parent lose a child.
      as for relying on the rest of the population who are vaccinated, and say these diseases don’t exist anymore…..a totally selfish attitude to have IMO

  23. james April 3, 2014 / 5:15 pm

    yeah, just look at all that scientific research that went into putting fluoride into our water, which has been directly linked to the rise of cancer in our country. no worries just get stuck by this needle and in 20 years when the actual results come to fruition and you get some random ass shit that there was no way to test for, just remember that you got that flu shot.

    • Colin April 3, 2014 / 5:40 pm

      What persuaded you that fluoridation is dangerous?

    • Monster April 3, 2014 / 5:43 pm

      ” …putting fluoride into our water, which has been directly linked to the rise of cancer in our country.”

      OK, “linked” in scientific parlance means correlation. Correlation ≠ causation. If you have a study that shows CAUSation of fluorinated drinking water causing cancer, that’s meaningful.

      I can correlate the first network broadcast of of the Smurfs cartoon to the fall of the Berlin Wall (linking them in time), but that doesn’t mean that those two things actually have anything to do with one another. And just because two things happen within your body in a tight time frame (get an immunization, notice a mole on your buttock that looks strikingly like Elvis), well… proximity (in time or space) *and* correlation still doesn’t equal causation.

      And as for getting “some random ass shit” 20 years down the line, it’s hard to know what you don’t know. Maybe your favorite pair of boxers somehow got dipped in some pesticide and that Elvis mole will turn into a melanoma in 20 years. Maybe that 6-month old grey and fuzzy tub of leftovers in the back of your refrigerator is spewing botulism over everything on that same shelf. You *could* elect to go hungry and ‘go commando’ for the rest of your life to protect against these potential outcomes, but you recognize that I’m being facetious and these possibilities, while they physically can’t go to zero, are ridiculously small.

      What if someone (actually, hundreds and thousands of someones, each of whom know more about this than you and me put together) told you that the risks of adverse outcomes from getting a vaccine were just as remote as contracting botulism poisoning from leftovers in your fridge?

    • Tracey April 3, 2014 / 8:04 pm

      No, Sweetie. Fluoride in water has NOT been directly (or indirectly) linked to the rise of cancer in our country. You people will believe ANYTHING, won’t you? Scientific literacy is your friend.

      • Anonymous April 3, 2014 / 8:37 pm

        sigh…this is the true definition of a troll. You cant stand anyone not sharing your views and opinions, so you result to insults and barbs. We’re all students of life, and while you’re obviously passionate about your views, you lose all credibility in your delivery. Instead of focussing so much energy on attacking others on this topic and on every post on this thread, why not take some time to reflect on making a productive change? Or consider the kind of behaviour you exhibit? You had a chance to help here, with a solid viewpoint and quality answer..and you blew it with your viscousness. Its a shame, really.

        • Tracey April 3, 2014 / 8:40 pm

          How about this? You post us your links to peer-reviewed studies that show that widespread fluoridation of water causes cancer? We’ll wait. And wait. And wait.

          • Anonymous April 3, 2014 / 9:01 pm

            I don’t think its as black and white as you make it. You said “NOT” as though it was proven and concrete and as such you should provide proof that it isn’t.

            This article:


            In its review published in 1987, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), part of the World Health Organization, labeled fluorides as “non-classifiable as to their carcinogenicity [ability to cause cancer] in humans.” While they noted that the studies “have shown no consistent tendency for people living in areas with high concentrations of fluoride in the water to have higher cancer rates than those living in areas with low concentrations,” they also noted that the evidence was inadequate to draw conclusions one way or the other.

            End snippet

            So, there are some articles and scientific literature exploring and considering the link between fluoride and cancer. There are many against the notion. To suggest there isn’t any leaning toward the link is irresponsible. But that seems to be your pattern. Insult and attack anyone who doesn’t agree with you right off the mark without offering to discuss it calmly and rationally. its just narcissistic blathering and time wasting.

            • Tracey April 3, 2014 / 10:14 pm

              Do you know why cancer is in the rise in the U.S. and other developed nations? Because today, we live long enough to get cancer. Two hundred years ago, few people lived long enough to develop cancer, since it tends to be an older person’s disease. Now that we’ve made such strides in treating heart disease, cancer is the next big thing on the list to die from. If we ever cure cancer, the leading cause of death with then be Alzheimer’s disease, and everyone like you will start screeching that it’s a lack of organic yogurt or malevolent moonlight or some such B.S. that’s causing the spike in Alzheimer’s disease.

          • tamaralaschinsky April 3, 2014 / 9:01 pm

   High doses caused increase in rats, it accumulates in the bones and water is not the only source we get fluoride from so who can determine ‘how much’ is safe?

   The risk seems to deal largely with osteosarcoma (bone cancer) and some studies point to a link, others do not. Some studies say it’s ‘not proven’ to cause cancer, while others say it’s ‘uncertain’.

            The government has set limits, anytime limits are set, there is a reason.

            • Tracey April 3, 2014 / 10:10 pm

              The British don’t fluoridate their water. Their cancer rates are no lower than ours, nor are their life expectancies any higher. You know how they are different, though? They have really bad teeth.

              • tamaralaschinsky April 4, 2014 / 10:22 am

                They don’t all have bad teeth. The close together teeth would be a genetic disposition and you would find that in that genetic line that was born and raised here too. (The Royal family does not have bad teeth)

  24. John April 3, 2014 / 5:28 pm

    why do the people who get vaccinations on this board really care if people choose not to? You are vaccinated, what do you have to worry about. If vaccinations were so safe why is the government trying to mandate them?

    Food for though below.

    UCLA finds demyelination in autistics….

    and there is a company who is “selling” antibody against myelin basic protein….

    Of course, antibody against myelin is what causes demyelination…caused by the measles virus (which is antigenically similar to myelin basic protein), not to mention the tissues used to culture the viruses, which include neural tissue…THUS, AUTISM IS SUBACUTE SCLEROSING PANENCEPHALITIS.

    • Colin April 3, 2014 / 5:39 pm

      If you had to give a number to express how confident you are in that conclusion, what would it be? 100%? 80%? 50%? And how did you arrive at it?

    • AK April 3, 2014 / 6:02 pm

      The reason people on this board care so much is because by not vaccinating your children these diseases are backing a comeback!

  25. Halie S. April 3, 2014 / 6:50 pm

    I think it’s beautiful how many passionate parents exist today. But when you are thinking about your child, don’t forget about mine.

  26. Phil Rocci April 3, 2014 / 7:27 pm

    This whole ordeal demonstrates how powerful the media, scare tactics, and pseudoscience can be. As sad as they are, these recent outbreaks will hopefully be the wake-up call so many vaccine = autism supporters need. It absolutely boggles my mind that, for many supporters, all it took to turn them against vaccines was a celebrity endorsement, tabloid headline, or single journal article. We now have COUNTLESS well-researched articles discounting the claim, not to mention the retraction of that infamous journal article, yet supporters are STILL SUPPORTING. Why is it that it took so many supporters almost nothing to change their minds originally, yet seemingly NO AMOUNT of proof to the contrary can change their minds back? People need to check their egos, side with FACT and REASON, and just admit they made a boo-boo before more and more people get sick and die.

  27. Beth Wales April 3, 2014 / 7:38 pm

    Interesting article. Perhaps some children do have severe adverse reactions to vaccinations, but I’m probably older than most commenters here and i remember the bad old days of polio and TB .I therefore vaccinated my child.I did not, however take her for vaccination when she had a cold/flu/fever.And I tried to let her body recover from one vaccination before she had the next.Her GP would not vaccinate my child if she had a viral illness or fever and i reckon that’s pure common sense.(the body does not naturally contract multiple viral illnesses at the same time-why do it by multiple vaccinations?)There is often a reaction (raised temp) with some jabs,so I spaced them out and made sure she was well when she went for them.To not vaccinate is foolhardy and selfish.(But I’m not sure chicken pox is in the same league as measles or polio either).

  28. Lee Strader April 3, 2014 / 8:05 pm

    and just who are you to be making these big claims that vacancies are a miracle drug?
    the way you talk you make it sounds as if these will stop all diseases. if they were that good then there wouldn’t be so many problems with them. i know first hand of several people who have had severe reactions even died. i know people who got flu vaccine and got a really bad case of flu and i didn’t and guess what i have never had a flu shot. you make big talk of saying there are nothing bad about vaccines , but where do you get your facts? what is your expertise?

    • AK April 3, 2014 / 8:42 pm

      It’s been proven that these vaccines work because after they were developed and administered the epidemics ceased in the parts of the world who had the vaccine. Even if you believe there could be harmful side effects to the vaccines you can’t argue they do not prevent diseases that would otherwise be deadly.

    • Barry April 4, 2014 / 1:56 am

      Isolated anecdotes are meaningless when it comes to statistics. On the rare occasions I have a flu or cold (about once every 5 years) they are extremely mild. I have never had a flu shot, so using your measure, flu shots are a waste of time.

      On the other hand, my wife who is a teacher used to get multiple episodes of flu every year, and she would exceed her allowable sick leave each year because of it. Since free flu shots were made available to teachers, she has had the shot every year. In the week after the shot she feels tired and exhausted and has body aches. Yes, she has a mild reaction to the shot. But she hasn’t had a day off work due to the flu in over 10 years.

      As to why she gets a shot and I don’t. It’s free for her. but not for me. Due to health issues, sometimes I don’t come in contact with anyone other than my wife for weeks at a time. I have a stupid fear of needles. If I’m unwell, I discourage visitors, and in a few years time when I join the “at risk” group. I too will happily join the queue for an annual flu shot.

    • AK April 3, 2014 / 8:53 pm

      This website is still citing Wakefield’s now debunked study. His study was shown to complete junk.

  29. JE April 3, 2014 / 8:52 pm

    There is a middle ground between vax and anti-vax. I call it “vaccinating on an alternative schedule.” If a parent is truly concerned about immunizations, talk to a doctor about a slower schedule. Get only one or two at a time and watch for reactions. We had to do this with our youngest child due to her exposure to my steroid therapy during pregnancy and while nursing.
    I wish I’d been informed of this option with my older children. It was less traumatic, she had NO reactions of any kind (such a fever and rash at injection sites) and she was fully immunized by age 6.
    I did not immunize my child for the sake of “the herd.” i did it because I knew that at some point she will be visiting in some third world countries where these illnesses still exist and I want her to be protected in the future–even if there is no risk of exposure in our community now.
    As a family, we do not participate in the yearly flu vaccine, however.
    This does not have to be an “all or nothing” issue or an “us against them” issue. Let’s find the middle ground.

    • Tracey April 3, 2014 / 8:53 pm

      Do you imagine the current vaccine schedule was created arbitrarily just to give the AMA and the Amer Acad of Pediatrics some kicks and giggles? They were created that way for a reason: the best interests of the child.

      • JE April 3, 2014 / 9:12 pm

        I think the schedule has always been approximate and set to be “easy to remember.” And while it may be in the best interest of many or most children, it is not in the best interest of all (such as my child who was exposed to my steroid therapy.)

        I don’t think any of this is designed for kicks and giggles.

        I also trust that our medical doctor, who recommends vaccinations, knows what she’s talking about when she suggests and “alternative schedule” which culminates in a fully immunized child.
        It’s a real pain in the behind to have to go to the health department every two weeks during a child’s first year of life to get these shots one-at-a-time, but this is an excellent solution for some situations.

  30. tamaralaschinsky April 3, 2014 / 9:08 pm

    There is much research to be done and parents need to weigh all options and even look at the alternative schedule. Plus, you don’t have to get ALL the vaccines. I didn’t choose the chicken pox one for example but did get MMR for my child. But I won’t get Gardasil or the flu shots etc. The body is equipped to fight off illnesses and viruses, we have to give it a chance. As for the author saying people who promote ‘herbal’ remedies are just trying to make a profit – that’s calling the kettle black isn’t it? What is big pharma doing? They make ba-jillions (yeah, it’s a word!) off the vaccines and when people don’t vaccinate what happens? The media explodes with ‘new’ cases of the flu or they run an article on H1N1 and BAM! Everyone runs down to the clinic (now THAT’s herd mentality!).

    Do the research but don’t forget to feed your body properly so it can take care of illnesses itself. The body is designed to remove toxins and heal itself but if you pump it full of chemicals, heavy metals and poisons from your scented baby products, perfumes, cleaning supplies, makeup, crappy food etc, then your body is overloaded and it can’t work as good.

    • JE April 3, 2014 / 9:50 pm

      We were not going to do chickenpox vaccine, but eventually it was mandated for our school aged children. We don’t do flu vaccine. We opted for Hep A before it was recommended b/c of travel to a third world country. Now it’s on the list of recommendations.
      While I agree with precautions, I detest that we live in an era where illness is so feared.
      After all, there are so many treatments available when one does get sick!

      • Tracey April 3, 2014 / 9:54 pm

        “there are so many treatments available when one does get sick!

        And they all cost a lot more and cause a lot more misery than a simple injection to prevent them.

        • JE April 3, 2014 / 9:57 pm

          You get the part where I state, more than once, that we immunize our kids? I’m not knocking vaccines. That was part of a discussion about fear of illness in general.
          I support immunization. You get that, right? Or are you just picking out phrases to to start an argument?

      • tamaralaschinsky April 4, 2014 / 10:50 am

        I would agree with Hep when travelling for sure but we’re lucky chickenpox wasn’t mandated here. I have known other parents to home school in order to keep their kids from unwillingly being vaccinated against the chicken pox.

        Illness shouldn’t be so feared, there are many ways to keep the body healthy and strong. We use more chemicals on our bodies, in our foods, clothing, housing etc. It’s no wonder cancer and other degenerative diseases are on the rise. It doesn’t mean our bodies can’t fight this off naturally, we have to give it a chance. Eat fresher foods, use chemical-free products, get more fresh air and exercise, drink water, and learn a little about herbalism and what herbs can help detoxify your body and build a strong immune system. It’s what our ancestors did and many of the drugs Big Pharma uses are based on plants and herbs, but without all the properties, which is why they work differently.

        • JE April 4, 2014 / 2:13 pm


    • Anonymous April 4, 2014 / 9:16 am

      So when people who lived before industrial chemicals got decimated by plagues, it was because they weren’t getting enough fiber in their diets?

      • tamaralaschinsky April 4, 2014 / 10:17 am

        If you are referring to time of centuries ago when the living areas were filthy, sewage systems inadequate and diets consisted of potatoes boiled in water, sure, that can be a factor. We all know we need the 4 food groups in our diet in certain quantities to remain healthy and in many places years ago they did not have that luxury. They did not have the shopping chains we do to have certain foods year round, nor the money to buy them. So yes, diet played a big role in health, that’s a no-brainer.

    • tamaralaschinsky April 3, 2014 / 9:26 pm

      Love it! Thanks for those charts! I do agree and appreciate the information!

  31. Anonymous April 3, 2014 / 9:24 pm

    As an ICU and ER nurse, I can tell you how often we see kids come in with weird diseases that SHOULD be eradicated if it was not for their uneducated parents who are now in panic mode running around like headless chickens because there kid, now horribly sick is screaming while we try to stabilize them. Please VACCINATE your children!! We say we live in an advanced and educated society but fail to realize how important vaccinations are!! Great article.

  32. Jo April 3, 2014 / 9:59 pm

    I’m educated. Highly educated. BEFORE kids I was 100% on board vax. Now that I have kids of my own (1 vaccinated, 1 due to get MMR in 3 months) I’m terrified. I question everything. The whole purpose of my existence is to keep them safe. I’m scared my little girl will go in healthy and come out injured. I believe in herd immunity and I so believe in doing the responsible thing BUT I’m terrified. What about all the people who claim vaccinations changed/injured their kids? Can they all be wrong? Can it all be coincidence?

    • Tracey April 3, 2014 / 10:04 pm

      “What about all the people who claim vaccinations changed/injured their kids? Can they all be wrong?”

      Some kids have minor side effects from vaccines. A low fever. A sore arm. Irritability. All tiny prices to pay for the benefits. Severe reactions to vaccines are incredibly rare, and your children are at far far greater risk from the diseases they will prevent, particularly since the anti-vaxers’ irresponsibility is causing some of those diseases to come back. You want to see scary? See measles on a newborn. A child who recovers from mumps but is forever sterile. Listen to a very young child struggling to breathe from pertussis. And what would these people do if their unvaccinated child ever contracted tetanus? Watch them die in agony and think, “Well, at least he’s not autistic”?

      • Jo April 3, 2014 / 10:54 pm

        Oh. I agree. That’s the logical/rational way of thinking;however, when it comes to parents protecting their children and the means by which they do it-that may not be rational or logical. I, unlike many people here, have done an immense amount of research, from online to speaking directly to immunologists plus all the doctors, nurses and healthcare professionals in between. But the thing is, there is so much misinformation out there that the truly concerned and scared parents are finding it extremely difficult to make informed decisions because for every “it’s safe” fact, there’s an “it’s the devil” fact. All very well for immunihologists who study these things or medical professions who experience the pro’s and the con’s of vax…but…what about us? What about the scared parents who only want what’s best for their kids? What about the parents who don’t have a medical background or enough medical sense to see this decision as a “no brainer?” For many parents, the very essence of your being is to keep your children safe and keep them from harm…so when misguidings of “autism” and “my child was never the same” start circulating, I think the knee jerk reaction is to second guess, research or decline. I am not a sheep. I research, I weigh, I decide what’s best for the people within these 4 walls. I, as mentioned, vaccinate my children but I do fully understand why some people don’t. I don’t agree with it but I understand. I don’t want to vaccinate my kids but I feel a strong pressure to do so…for them and the community as a whole. I see that the premise of this article is trying to do what our governments/ trusted medical hierarchy’s SHOULD be doing…and that’s to publish/provide truthful, sound and evidence based information to the public. I shouldn’t be losing sleep worrying about if I’m doing the right thing or not for my family. I SHOULD be able to trust in my government and their recommendations. Sadly, I don’t.

        • Barry April 4, 2014 / 4:30 am

          I think you may be confusing anecdotal examples with statistical data. For every bad anecdote there’s at least one good anecdote. The issue is that good anecdotes, like all good stories, seem to be ignored as they don’t grab the headlines the way bad ones do. Sure, some children with have an adverse reaction to a vaccination. However, most reactions are mild, and serious reactions are extremely rare. If a reaction is serious it should be reported to the appropriate authorities. I wonder how many of those who claim an adverse reaction have done so. If there is enough anecdotal evidence that adverse reactions are common, then you can be sure that it would be investigated using proper scientific methods. You would have to be a conspiracy theorist to believe that science would prefer a cover-up to finding the truth.

    • Anonymous April 4, 2014 / 5:46 pm

      Vaccines are based on the old weatherman trick. “tomorrow has a 50% chance of rain” if it rains I am right, if it doesn’t I am right. So, they always say it works in 90% of cases…..but if you get the disease, well you were just part of the unlucky 10% but “thank god you were vaccinated” cause it could have been “much worse” if you weren’t. The other trick is claiming the injuries are “rare” if they are so rare, how come I have read about a thousand different parents with the same sad and terrible story? But if their kids were vaccine damaged right after their vaccinations, well it is just one of those “rare” occurrences. whoopsidoodle. sorry your kid is mentally challenged for life, at least they didn’t have to stay home from school for a week.

  33. Anonymous April 3, 2014 / 10:30 pm

    Please site all sources. Until then, your words are merely an opinion. We all know what people say about opinions…..

    • OpenYourEyes April 4, 2014 / 12:40 am

      Exactly my thoughts. Have you read a vaccine insert? You can google them and read them. The insert says to report any reaction to physician…what if they won’t listen. tried to report to physicians that my son was reacting to the Hib vaccination and I was told I was crazy. He wasn’t vaccinated again, but we still had two years of nursing him back to “normal” through diet and alternative medicine. Experiences change your opinions. Until you walk in someone’s shoes don’t judge. I’m just thankful my child got better and wasn’t damaged for life.

  34. David Boccabella April 3, 2014 / 11:42 pm

    I have only one word regarding the argument against vaccination.


    Read about it and hope your unimmunised child NEVER gets it. Due to immunisation it was almost stamped out – but without immunisation it’s just waiting to return. Polio has Never gone away.. It’s just waiting for the right conditions to return in an unvaccinated child.

  35. David Boccabella April 4, 2014 / 12:01 am

    When reading about Polio I found this.

    In 2003 in northern Nigeria—a country which at that time was considered provisionally polio free—a fatwa was issued declaring that the polio vaccine was a conspiracy by the United States and the United Nations against the Muslim faith, saying also that the drops were designed to sterilize the true believers.[95] Subsequently, polio reappeared in Nigeria and spread from there to several other countries.[96] Health workers administering polio vaccine have been targeted and killed by gunmen on motorcycles in Kano.[97]

    15 cases were confirmed among children in Syria between October and November 2013 in Deir Ezzor. Later two more cases,

    Doesn’t the above seem awfully familiar – a vaccine being some kind of a conspiracy, and the aftereffects on the community.

  36. Anonymous'ish April 4, 2014 / 12:12 am

    I am not going to discuss my personal decisions on this subject. However, I will tackle the scientist vs non-scientist debate. While I appreciate the knowledge, and rational thinking that comes from higher education, with our knowledge of the world as it is today, I cannot agree that in having such knowledge and education, one can confidently say that a causation link does, or does not exist between these two correlative items. Every day new discoveries are made that break apart prior scientific proofs. This is the way of science. However, science is pretty stinking awesome, and I would say a lot better than irrational connections and opinions. Go Science (or, logic. Logic works, too)!

    We do not know the cause of autism. Therefor, we cannot agree on what does, or does not cause autism to happen. This is in part why HHS settles cases (See United States of Federal Claims #: 02-0738V 2007) related to autism, as one cannot easily prove the affirmative or negative, thereby relying on the before, and after of an event. A recent finding in that individuals with a mitochondrial disorder seem more prone to forming autism after vaccinations does show a link between the two items. However, as autism is a grouping of symptoms, and covers a wide range of symptoms, one can not say that any single item in itself is the cause of something that, itself, is simply a grouping out of a larger bunch of items. As long as autism is an umbrella over many different groupings of possible symptoms, no single item can ever be said to cause it. This is sort of like saying oxygen (specific) causes fire (not specific), when fire is one of many different accelerates (but not always all, yet can be 1 or more), aided by oxygen (simplified, we’ll accept oxygen). Not the best example, since vaccines are made up of many different items, but we’ll stick with the oxygen fire thing.

    Let’s also keep in mind that vaccines are reactive in an attempt to be proactive. Vaccines are reactive in that they are made (through science) based on an assumption (through logic(math, evidence in infected areas)) in that a strain of a specific virus will spread through a given population. Let’s add to that that vaccines also lose their % of effectiveness over time. The first part of that is why the flu epidemic of 2003-2004 happened. The vaccine was for the wrong strain (oops). However, even so, it provided some protection which probably (no scientific facts here) lessened the impact on the population. The second part is why vaccinated individuals can still get the virus (time, effectiveness, etc).

    So, dig into the whole mitochondrial disorder thing, keep researching scientific studies not only in the U.S.A., but also around the world, and decide for yourselves.

  37. Wipeout April 4, 2014 / 2:46 am

    I just spent roughly 3 hours reading every comment and clicking on the links provided. There is a lot of emotion mixed in with a fair amount of support for the opinions expressed. I will try to be as objective as possible in sharing my comment.
    I was vaccinated for mumps, measles, polio, and whooping cough at the recommended times prior to starting public school. I had no reactions to any of the vaccines. At the age of 14, I had a very severe case of flu. I don’t remember which particular strain (bird, Asian…whatever). The flu vaccine was introduced after I became an adult and I elected to not get the flu shot.
    I have never had any type of flu symptoms since that one time. I do get mild seasonal sinus symptoms. That’s normal in my geographical area. I eat a very healthy diet, exercise regularly, and never smoke or consume more than an occasional glass of wine with food.
    I am 65 years old, in perfect health, and tested for, and received black belts in multiple types of martial arts, at the age of 54. I have no idea where I may fit in on a statistical analysis. Keep in mind that my experience is not unique or unusual. Many beneficial nutrients in food are quite poisonous, if indested in large amounts. Things like, Potassium, Iron, Magnesium, and Sodium can be deadly if taken in pure chemical form.
    Enjoy life to the full, take measured risks (such as is required for physical fitness), and be informed by research and life experience. Thanks to all of you for a very lively discussion!

  38. Pam Whitney April 4, 2014 / 3:54 am

    Embedded in your report: “….. tested the safety and effectiveness of the pneumococcal vaccine in more than 37,868 children.”. Really? “Tested” on children??! Surely Vaccines should be thoroughly tested for safety BEFORE being introduced to a child’s delicate system? This part of the report rang alarm bells, yet no-one else seems to have noticed it!

    • JerryA April 4, 2014 / 10:05 pm

      Pam- Vaccines are tested for safety and effectiveness well before human trials begin. However, at some point, all drugs and vaccines have to be tested on people (almost always on adults first), carefully, in stages, going from small groups to larger, finally to release as an approved medication. Indeed, most prospective drugs fail the process and never get approval. No alarm bells rang because this is a normal part of the process. You were scared because (a) you’re probably already scared of vaccines (judging from your wording), and (b) you’re not familiar with drug safety testing procedures.

  39. Anonymous April 4, 2014 / 4:20 am

    I really hoe you are all up to date with ALL your boosters? I really hope so. That means every 10 years minimum. No exceptions. You are all responsible for the herd. Make sure you all do your share. Most of you have no protection and are a risk to everyone else.

  40. Anonymous April 4, 2014 / 4:34 am

    “Over the past two decades the pharmaceutical industry has moved very far from its original high purpose of discovering and producing useful new drugs. Now primarily a marketing machine to sell drugs of dubious benefit, this industry uses its wealth and power to co-opt every institution that might stand in its way, including the US Congress, the FDA, academic medical centers, and the medical profession itself.” Marcia Angell, M.D., former editor of The New England Journal of Medicine.

    Fear runs the machine. If you don’t vaccinate: your child cannot go to school, you can’t go to work, you are told that you are putting your children and other children at risk, and you may be deemed an unfit parent and possibly lose your children. No guns, no concentration camps, no gas chambers, just fear and manipulation, leading to a massive cultural hypnotic trance.

    There are five things that have continued to rise over the last forty years: 1) vaccines, 2) genetically modified food, 3) industrial toxins in homes, cars, personal care products, 4) the rates of every disease especially among children and 5) the profits of pharmaceutical like Merk and chemical corporations like Monsanto. In the US more than 50% of children now have significant illnesses including: allergies, asthma, ADD, ADHD, autism, seizures, autoimmune diseases, obesity, diabetes and cancer. There is something going on here, something very bad and it’s only getting worse.

    Part of the problem is that we have put western chemical medicine and medical professionals on a pedestal. These doctors who are well intentioned and good people have adopted a dangerous philosophy of health and healing. The thousands of doctors and nurses who administer these vaccines have not tested the efficacy or safety of them. They have bought into the dogma taught to them in medical school which has it’s roots in germ “theory,” which is just a theory unproven and not law. A majority of doctors and nurses don’t question practice or policy because they have been fully hypnotized and truly believe they are serving the populous.

    • Monster April 4, 2014 / 8:22 am

      “There are five things that have continued to rise over the last forty years: 1) vaccines,”

      (and thank god for the corresponding stark decline an vaccine-preventable illnesses!)

      “2) genetically modified food,”

      (Ummm, Ok…)

      “3) industrial toxins in homes, cars, personal care products,”

      (Again… Ok…)

      “4) the rates of every disease especially among children”

      (Aaaand here’s where we go off the rails. Really? ‘every disease’? Polio rates are on the rise in the US over the last 40 years? Mad cow disease? Leprosy? Dengue fever? If you want to make a convincing argument, resist the temptation to make statements that are sooooo hyperbolic that there’s so clearly no substance to your assertion.)

      “and 5) the profits of pharmaceutical like Merk and chemical corporations like Monsanto.”

      (I refer the author to M-U-T-I-P-L-E posts, here and elsewhere, which distinguish between correlation and causation. Grouping multiple things that you find distasteful might be great for a click-bait internet article, but it in no way demonstrates that the cause of any one of these has anything to do with the cause of any other on your list.)

      “In the US more than 50% of children now have significant illnesses including: allergies, asthma, ADD, ADHD, autism, seizures, autoimmune diseases, obesity, diabetes and cancer. There is something going on here, something very bad and it’s only getting worse.”

      (First, as clinical / biological sciences advance, one of their chief missions is to identify things that have been debilitating to people. As discoveries are made, we categorize illnesses differently, because we can better define and differentiate what individual diseases are. My daughter has a coagulation disorder that is rare enough that it – probably – doesn’t have a name… we’re undergoing our umpteenth battery of tests to try and classify it. The fact is that she has this disorder, whether or not medicine found it, put it in her medical record, and tagged it with a name. As medicine advances, there will necessarily be more diseases identified and diagnosed, so please keep that in mind.

      And to your statement about ‘50% of children now have significant illnesses’, a big statement like this should probably come with some sort of attribution. And, by the way, in the part of the country I live in I really don’t know anyone, adult or child, who doesn’t suffer from seasonal allergies, so if that falls into your allergy category, then your percentage should be 100%. I’m not trying to equate seasonal allergies with ADHD, rather illustrating 1. your list is so umbrella like that, depending on how you count different conditions, it could include everybody, and 2. there is no such thing as a perfectly healthy individual. We all have susceptibilities, genetic differences, or disorders that make us likely to contract *some* disease / illness during our lifetime, and this includes the time of our youth.

      • Anonymous April 4, 2014 / 5:08 pm

        An estimated 43% of US children (32 million) currently have at least 1 of 20 chronic health conditions assessed, increasing to 54.1% when overweight, obesity, or being at risk for developmental delays are included; 19.2% (14.2 million) have conditions resulting in a special health care need

        • Monster April 4, 2014 / 6:38 pm

          So, are you also bundling obesity (and the rest of this list) in with the other health concerns that you would attribute to vaccines?

          If no, then how is this germane to this conversation? (Or did it get caught up in a hysterical-rhetorical vortex along with concerns about vaccine safety?)

          If yes, seriously? SERIOUSLY?

          If the general contention is that there are widespread and serious health problems in the US… of course there are. Again, this is correlation, not causation. Getting whipped into a fervor about collateral issues isn’t the least bit constructive. It loads a conversation that is already over-brimming with emotion with needless extra for issues that are entirely off-point.

  41. Jen April 4, 2014 / 7:07 am

    See, it’s post like these that actually make me quite frustrated. I have degrees in physiology and pharmacology and clinical research methodology and actually work for companies to get drugs approved so I know/understand the science and I KNOW the rules of what is required to get a drug or a vaccine approved. I also know how to read the data on adverse events.

    What that all means is that SOME of this is true and accurate. Other parts could be viewed as misleading. The standard 5 (MMR, Polio, Whooping cough – I agree they are deadly and on the most part preventable). The others, well, I respectfully disagree.

    You are very accurate when you say chicken pox CAN be serious. The flu CAN be deadly. Look at the rate of adverse events and death compared to the rates of serious events, hospitalization etc on chicken pox and the flu. In developed worlds the rates of adverse events potentially linked to the vaccine are higher than the rates of the disease naturally occurring. So, this TO ME means, THOSE vaccines in healthy individuals with no immune issues is of higher risk than the naturally occurring disease.

    I also have to state that actually, vaccines are NOT the most regulated drugs globally. For some categories of vaccines they are exempt from testing requirements. They are exempt from specific chemistry assessments. There are some vaccines with years and years of data and research behind them (the standard 5 I mentioned above) but new variants of the vaccines are coming out and they don’t have that same level of data supporting them.

    Finally, with all due respect to doctors – they are very knowledgable but many (not all, just many) do NOT know drugs. They can’t. There are too many new ones, too much new and developing science for them to stay on top of all the research. They learn quite a bit in school and I am sure they work to keep up on some of the science but if you are a GP or a pediatrician there is just too much for you to stay on top of all of it. Yes, speak to your doctor, discuss your concerns/fears/worries and get answers to your questions. If you trust your doctor (and I hope you do) take their advice. Just don’t be scared to ask the questions. I asked my doctor and we had GOOD conversations and we looked at data and I decided the path I wanted to take with immunization of my children. He respected that. He uses me as a “test patient” for his student doctors because, some of us, do research and don’t just jump on the media bandwagon. Respect my knowledge and my choice and don’t assume things about me as I don’t assume things about you.

    I also wonder – where is your info on the increased rate of Shingles and concern over lack of exposure to chicken pox? It is a consideration.

    My point is – not all vaccines are equal. Not all diseases are equal so please know there are those of us that aren’t anti-ALL-vaccines. Just anti-stupid vaccine or no real benefit vaccine. Also, for many vaccines, it isn’t the children that are the risk – it is the parents that haven’t had boosters in 15+ years that are of concern too.

    • JerryA April 4, 2014 / 10:19 pm

      Jen- please clarify. When you claim that the _rates_ of adverse events due to vaccines is higher than the rates of adverse events due to vaccines, I wonder if you are being sloppy in your wording. When the vaccination rate is very high (~95%) and as a result the actual disease incidence is very low (~2-3%), the absolute number of adverse events may be comparable, but the _rate_ of adverse events is still a lot higher in the case of diseases than for vaccines. Furthermore, the severest long lasting effects or mortality directly caused by vaccines (as opposed to simply being linked in time, but not caused by) is so low (a few per per million) as compared to the death rate due to the disease (measles) or disease complications (e.g. pneumonia or encephalitis) that the risk of being harmed by most vaccine-preventable diseases is still 1000 times greater than the same level of harm caused by its’ vaccine. That is not to say that vaccines are perfect and never cause harm, but the relative rates have to be examined, not just the absolute numbers, which can be misleading.

  42. mom of chd baby April 4, 2014 / 7:22 am

    Just wait till your child was hospitalized twice from a vaccine, almost ended up in the picu twice from a vaccine, had a home care nurse for 4 months to monitor weight gain cuz of a vaccine. Or how about my sons heart defect that can be linked to my gardasil shot I got 5 years ago. How about the fact a friend of mine miscarried her twins at 20 weeks from the flu shot. Or my other friend who’s little brother was never the same after his mmr shot… just wait till your own flesh and blood suffers from a vaccine injury and then tell me they’re safe. And in the case of polio… The decline in polio is credited to cleaner drinking water and more sanitary living conditions. .. it was already on a vast decline before the vaccine for it came out. Do research and present viable articles when writing your ridiculously ignorant blog post….

    • AK April 4, 2014 / 8:34 am

      Mom of chd baby. Are you KIDDING me!?!? Polio was on the decline because of safer drinking water!!!! That’s just an insane and terribly ignorant thing to say. You seem to making a lot of statements in your post that are based on assumptions. I find it difficult to believe vaccines were linked to all the statements you made. You maybe believe that YOUR child had an adverse reaction to a vaccine and if they did than I am very sorry. But you cannot discredit that vaccines have saved the lives of many people especially the polio vaccine.

    • Shank April 4, 2014 / 6:09 pm

      Oh, fuck off you hysterical liar. You honestly expect people to believe that litany of outlandish sob stories?

      • priceless123 April 23, 2014 / 3:23 pm

        Wow. Your reasoned and intelligent responses astound.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s