Poison control is provax



For the past month or so, the following post has been going viral on Facebook.  The poster, Ms Figueroa, is a well known antivaxer from New  York who posts a great deal on vaccine-related threads.  She routinely blocks anyone who is provax so please don’t think she is interested in learning from any of us.  I am refuting her post for others.

She claims that she called poison control and had the following conversation:

“I gathered all vaccine ingredients into a list and contacted Poison Control. After intros and such, and asking to speak with someone tenured and knowledgeable, this is the gist of that conversation.
Me: My question to you is how are these ingredients categorized? As benign or poison? (I ran a few ingredients, formaldehyde, Tween 80, mercury, aluminum, phenoxyethanol, potassium phosphate, sodium phosphate, sorbitol, etc.)
He: Well, that’s quite a list… But I’d have to easily say that they’re all toxic to humans… Used in fertilizers… Pesticides… To stop the heart… To preserve a dead body… They’re registered with us in different categories, but pretty much poisons. Why?
Me: If I were deliberately to feed or inject my child with these ingredients often, as a schedule, obviously I’d put my daughter in harm’s way… But what would legally happen to me?
He: Odd question… But you’d likely be charged with criminal negligence… perhaps with intent to kill… and of course child abuse… Your child would be taken away from you… Do you know of someone’s who’s doing this to their child? This is criminal…
Me: An industry… These are the ingredients used in vaccines… With binding agents to make sure the body won’t flush these out… To keep the antibody levels up indefinitely…
He: WHAT?!
Your conclusion?”


Now, anyone with any knowledge about how toxicity works would understand that vaccine ingredients are not toxic in the doses they are in vaccines. Nothing is toxic at all doses. Do you know who especially knows this is fact?  The nurses and pharmacists who work for Poison Control!  How do I know this? Because I called American Association of Poison Control Centers  (PC) at (800) 222-1222 and talked to Joan, RN with Washington Poison Control.  We had a very nice conversation.  She laughed at the idea that anyone at PC would be read a list of ingredients and call them toxic in all doses. They are specially trained to know that toxicity is based on dose. They are very provax, at poison control, she told me.  She said that, in her opinion, everything in the above conversation goes against the standardized poison control training nurses and pharmacists receive to be employed by PC. Also, she said a PC employee would never talk to someone about an action being liable for criminal negligence.  Finally, they know very well that THE DOSE MAKES THE POISON.  That is what they do at PC, they talk about dose.  For example, when my then one year old ate some christmas berries, I called poison control and we talked about how many she had eaten and how there is nothing toxic in the berry but the seeds do have cyanide. Since humans don’t masticate (I learned that word that day) much, there was little to no chance of my child actually getting any cyanide. The seeds would pass through her digestive system whole, just like apples seeds.

Nothing in vaccines is toxic at those doses. Don’t fall for bullshit.


Think for yourself! And do call the nice people at Poison Control if you ever have any poison concerns!




Project: Why are you a provax advocate?

I often get called a pharma shill, in vaccine debates. That means the other person assumes the only reason I could possibly have for advocating in favor of vaccines is that I am paid to do so, likely by “Big Pharma.”  Vaccine advocates encounter this kind of name calling often.  When I explain to the name caller that not only am I not paid to post but I had a moderately bad adverse reaction to the MMR, as a college student, and have a child on the autism spectrum, they are shocked. They cannot fathom how a person could experience a vaccine adverse event and have a child with a disability that some blame on vaccines and still be provaccine.

I am not alone. I know many people who have children with autism, allergies, asthma, epilepsy or have those issues themselves or who lost a baby to SIDS and did not fall down the rabbit hole of antivax rhetoric.  They know vaccines can cause harm, in rare cases, but they also know what vaccines do not cause. And they continue to advocate for vaccines, for many reasons. I think our stories deserve to be heard.  Most people who experience autism in themselves or their families are not opposed to vaccines. Most people know a minor reaction to a vaccine is not a big deal and a health problem that pops up well after a vaccine is given is not caused by the vaccine. Most people know the stories of chronic illness related to HPV vaccine are not based on sound medical evidence.

Let’s share our stories of rational thinking about autism, allergies, epilepsy, personal health, vaccines, and public health.  Please cut and paste this questionnaire into an email and send it to me, with your answers.  You can share as little or as much as you like. You can have a pseudonym. I will never share your email with anyone nor will I publish it or add you to any list of any kind.  Please don’t use real names other than your own. My goal is to collect these stories and publish them on this blog, as a series.



  1.  What is your name or what name would you like me to use when I publish your story?
  2. What health issue do you have, in your life, that antivaxers blame on vaccines? This could be in you or a family member.
  3. How do you know this issue is not caused by vaccines?
  4. Have you ever experienced an adverse event related to a vaccine that was more than normal/mild?  Do you consider yourself injured?
  5. Why do you advocate for vaccines?
  6. What do you think of people who blame so many health issues on vaccines, despite the medical evidence to the contrary?
  7. Do you have any words you would like to share with us?
  8. Please feel free to link to your blog or published story, if you have one that relates to this project.
  9. If you have any photographs I could use in the blog post with your story, please include them in the email.


Thank you!






How did immunologist Tetyana Obukhanych become antivax?

The Vaxxed bus is in Washington state and they took some time to interview the world’s only antivax immunologist, Tetyana Obukhanych.  She is interviewed by Polly Tommy.

Skeptical Raptor has already published a nice post about Tetyana, so you can read it to learn about her background.

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First, she discusses her qualifications and how she has a PhD.  She only worked in research labs and has no experience in medical clinics. She claims to have done some research at  Harvard but I am only aware of a post-doctoral lab assignment at Stanford University. She explains how she is a not a clinical immunologist, but is a research immunologist and used mice models to study the human immune system. She says vaccines were not mentioned in her studies except to talk briefly about Edward Jenner.

She claims that, at one point, she started seeing “things” that did not quite fit into theory. For example,  she noticed mice could be immune activated but they would not develop immunity to a pathogen, which told her that immune response does not necessarily equal immunity. At that point, she started paying attention to vaccine research, comparing immune response to efficacy. She believes some vaccines are only studied for immunogenicity and not efficacy.  When she went to get her green card, she looked closely at her own medical records. She recalls having measles as a child. She found out she had a MMR at age 1 and another one at age 5 but still got measles at age 12. This didn’t make sense to her. How could a person get measles after vaccination, she thought? She then realized she had been “indoctrinated” into believing vaccines work but they clearly do not.  She started also looking into safety and efficacy studies for flu vaccine and research showing that flu vaccines do not work. She says she occasionally tried to bring this up with the senior research scientists but would routinely be told vaccines work and be quiet. She also told a strange story about a department at Stanford where psychologists are charged with talking to parents of children with autism about vaccines. Tetyana found this odd because psychologist don’t know much about vaccines, except Marcella Piper-Terry. (Tetyana claims Marcella is a psychologist). Tetyana then decided she should be the one to talk to parents about vaccines, as an immunologist. So, she started meeting with parenting groups and it grew into her writing her self-published book.  Note: To my knowledge, Marcella, founder of vaxtruth dot org, an antivax website, is not a PhD in psychology. She currently travels the country with the Vaxxed bus and is listed, on her Linkedin page, as a “biomedical consultant.”

Next, Polly asked Tetyana what she thinks about inserts and ingredients. Her answer is that pharmacology is not the focus but the vaccine reactions and immune reactions. She believes vaccines cause long term health issues. She is also concerned with why we need to eradicate diseases, that we should look at childhood infections as have positive benefits. She claims that the life long immunity one gains from having childhood diseases is beneficial in many ways as certain viruses are associated with lower risk of certain cancers.

Her latest project is lecturing about how to keep children healthy without vaccines. She discusses a new website, called bbch dot community, that will be launching soon. Building Bridges in Children’s Health will help parents learn about vaccines and develop communication resources. The goal of the community is to educate about vaccine dangers, the benefits of childhood diseases, and how to manage if you are being bullied by a pediatrician or reported to CPS for your healthcare choices.

She also helps “educate doctors” so they can overcome their “indoctrination.” She does this at Physicians for Informed Consent. She and Polly fervently believe autism, allergies, epilepsy, asthma, SIDS and other issues are all caused by vaccines and doctors need to be “awake” to see this reality. She wants to see legislation passed at the state level so doctors will be free to practice medicine the way they see fit.

Polly asks Tetyana about the criticism that she, Tetyana, is not a vaccine expert. Her answer is that no one is a vaccine expert because no one is trained in vaccines. (I guess she has not met Dr Paul Offit or any other immunologist or epidemiologist who works with vaccines. Or a person with a public health degree who specializes in vaccines.) Tetyana’s theory is that people just don’t want to listen to her expertise. She also explains that she left academia because the focus was too much on sick people, not on the healthy immune system. She claims research grants all come from drug companies wanting to expand their markets.

My thoughts:

Tetyana seems sincere, in this interview. She seems like she believes what she has read. What confounds me is why she has chosen to cherry pick studies that back her point of view (vaccines cause autism, etc) rather than look at the whole body of science. She also makes some outrageous and false claims, such as pharmaceutical companies stopped paying attention to vaccine safety in 1986, after the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986  (NCVIA )was passed. She says that because pharmaceutical companies have no liability any more, for injuries, they don’t need to make safe vaccines. Apparently, she is completely unaware that you can sue vaccine makers, after you first go through the “vaccine court” system. That is outlined in section 300-21aa in NCVIA. Skeptical Raptor blog explains more about the legalities in this blog post.  She also seems unaware of all the ways vaccine safety is assured, through legislation and testing standards.

I also wonder why she does not understand that vaccines do not confer 100% immunity so it is not unheard of for a child, like herself, to get measles in a big outbreak.  If she did, indeed, have two MMRs as a child, she would theoretically have been 99% likely to be immune. If she did get measles, she was in the 1%. According to numerous records I read on the WHO website, measles is a problem in Ukraine and has been for years. So, it is not surprising that a vaccinated child could still get sick. Natural immunity also does not necessarily confer 100% immunity for life. As I often say, I had chicken pox twice in my childhood. It is well known you can get pertussis and tetanus more than once. Natural immunity lasting a lifetime is a myth.

Tetyana ends the interview with the idea that humans have survived for millennia without vaccines. Diseases only became a problem, she says, due to crowded conditions and unhealthy food and water. Now that we know how to eat well and clean our water, our bodies will handle infection just fine. The healthy body will “sail right through” without complications. This is a very naive manner of thinking that puts the blame for disease complications squarely on the shoulders of the parents, mostly the mother since most children have their mother in the primary caregiver role. If as many as 90% of pediatric flu deaths are unvaccinated, then this line of thinking says the deaths are the fault of the parents for not nourishing the children properly. I find this way of thinking abhorrent. Survivorship bias downplays real risk and real efforts to minimize or prevent them and distorts reality. It is also a form of deception, in my opinion, because parents are led to believe they can control the course of illness. It is like telling a veteran soldier that war is not bad because, hey, you survived.



In conclusion, Tetyana buys into all the usual antivax tropes and has not used her formal education to her best advantage. She has cherry picked the science to show what she wants it to show, that vaccines are not perfect. This is a real shame. No, Tetyana, we are not ignoring you. We just know better than to believe your version of science.

Remember to always think for yourself. And don’t cherry pick!





Vaxxed bus in my state, Washington: Dr Suzanne speaks to the “vaccine religious.”

Update June 30, 2017: Amusingly enough, Suzanne Humphries actually took the time to rebut my blog post.  You can read that here.  I find it interesting that she really just repeats a lot of the same things I wrote, but from her point of view these are not a big deal. Most people will survive vaccine-preventable diseases fine, after a week or so of suffering. We vaccine to prevent that suffering and also prevent the cases that will cause permanent damage or death. She also claims most people bring mumps to schools instead of catching mumps in school.  So what? We know diseases are more highly contagious when people are in close quarters.   I also find it interesting that she confirms that she is a licensed doctor but never links to her practice. Because, as I stated, she is not a practicing physician right now. She begins her rebuttal to me claiming I am stalking her. I would like to point out that when I was the administrator/founder of Informed Parents of Vaccinated Children, Suzanne, you came to my page more than once and engaged me in debates. This was during the time you were studying homeopathy and learning a lot from Hilary Butler. I vividly remember you writing about how you were studying homeopathy. Why you have removed this part of your life from public view is beyond me.  But, I am certainly not stalking you.  I only wrote about you because you came to my town.


This week, the Vaxxed rv (or, as they call it, the bus) is in Washington state, where I live. They are being hosted by Informed Choice of WA, a local antivax group. They were in Tacoma yesterday and are heading to Seattle, Redmond, Bellingham, and then Spokane where they will interview people who don’t vaccinate as well as “vaccine injured” persons or families.  Headed up by known antivaxer and autism antagonist (opposite of advocate), Polly Tommey, the Vaxxed tour also includes Suzanne Humphries, a former kidney doctor who is no longer practicing medicine. They are both convinced all stories of vaccine injury are absolutely true. They will interview anyone who claims a vaccine injury and put the names of “victims” on or in the bus, to memorialize them. Supposedly, there are about 5000 names on and in the bus and many of them are babies who died of SIDS or children or adults with autism. Of course, science advocates will know that SIDS is not a vaccine injury and neither is autism. There is also a name on the bus of a baby who died of Krabbe Disease, a 100% genetic, 100% fatal disease. Her parents refused to believe doctors and, instead, blamed vaccines. Their story has been spread far and wide, by antivaxers, without regard to medical facts.

vaxxed copy

I do not doubt the suffering of these families but I fail to see how irrationally blaming vaccines helps anyone? In fact, all it does is harm. Blaming vaccines for autism harms children who are denied vaccine protection. It also causes grave harm to the autism community. Think about it. When a child is deemed “damaged” and exposed to unproven, dangerous, even illegal treatments to “undo” this “damage,” the very humanity of that child is being denied. This rhetoric damages families.

“This “deficit model” of thinking about autism, “which focuses almost exclusively on impairments and limitations, ultimately leads us to see autistic individuals as broken people who are ill and, as my child’s first psychologist explained, need to be fixed.”

“I look at autism like a bus accident, and you don’t become cured from a bus accident, but you can recover.”

Jenny McCarthy

Hopefully, no one looks at their autistic child and thinks about a child in a bus accident, or a child who has lost their soul, been kidnapped by autism, or that they have a damaged child.  That kind of thinking is offensive to many, and hopefully more and more people.”

source: Vincent Ianelli, MD

Update: There are many parents of children with autism who do not think of their children as damaged. They do not expose them to unregulated, potentially dangerous treatments like chelation or lupron or bleach.  Calling children with autism “damaged” is extremely negative, particularly when all valid science points to autism being mostly caused by genetics. One would be appalled to hear the mother of a child with cerebral palsy or microcephaly call her child “damaged” but, somehow, this crew thinks it is perfectly fine to call children with autism damaged. I find that vile. Thankfully, the majority of the autism community is on my side in that debate. I feel very sorry for the children who are exposed to these dangerous treatments.  There is no valid excuse for using them on your child.   Autism symptoms can be treated with valid treatments.  The editor of The Thinking Person’s Guide to AutismShannon Des Roches Rosa  agrees that children do not need these dangerous and unregulated.

So, I am rightfully upset that this group is now in my state, spreading this message, and I am going to follow their activities online and counter them, as best I can with, actual facts.

suzanne copy

First up, Suzanne Humphries was on periscope this morning talking to us “vaccine religious” about how it is utter nonsense, in her opinion, that the unvaccinated spread disease. If this link does not work for you, try going to this Facebook link.

This video is so full of lies and mistruths, it’s astounding. Let’s go through them.

  1. Suzanne claims to have done 9 years of immunization research. She means reading. She has published no studies of any kind. Search pubmed. Nothing. Update: I should have clarified she has published nothing to do with immunizations. Also, since I don’t use my own qualifications as proof of my authority on the topic of immunizations, then my own resume is not applicable to this discussion.  I link to the valid science (not cherry picked) to back my claims. That should suffice.
  2. She claims we vaccinated persons “almost don’t have a prayer” against diseases because of our poor, unnourished status.  I challenge her to find any research backing up that claim. Update: Suzanne did not address this in her rebuttal.
  3. She claims “96.8% of children in WA are fully vaccinated for MMR.” I know see where she got that number. She went to the spreadsheet for K-12 immunization data and saw there isa 3.1% exemption rate for MMR for k-12 students.  But, there are other places to find immunization data at the state Department of Health website. There is school data and state immunization registry data.  According to the most recent state data, 90.5% of kindergartners enrolled in school for the most recent school year are fully vaccinated for MMR and 81% of 19-35 month olds in WA state have had more than one MMR while 66% of 4-6 year olds have had more than two MMR.  Update: According to the state, there are 1,088,959 in public and private schools. According to the census, there are 1,632,512 children under 18 in WA state. So, there are almost 600,000 children NOT in school. That is why I prefer the statistic that only 66% of 4-6 year olds and only 90.5% of kindergartners more telling than the exemption rate of all K-12 students in public schools.  Not all children in Washington state are in school.  Many are homeschooled. Some are too young for school.  Preschools are terrible at collecting immunization data.  Therefore, no, you cannot say that 96.8% of WA children are fully vaccinated. NOT TRUE. 
  4. She claims mumps outbreak in WA state has been 100% in vaccinated populations.  But, for Spokane county, here is the data: 334 cases, 197 vaccinated, 15 unvaccinated, 122 status unknown.  For King County, 311 cases, 64.6% vaccinated. In Arkansas, the rate of fully vaccinated who got mumps is about 35-46%.  Definitely not 100%.  Update: In the rebuttal, she posted a lot of statistics about how mumps outbreaks still affect the vaccinated and how the vaccine is not 100% effective. Moot point.  She claimed mumps outbreaks are in 100% vaccinated and she was wrong.  Suzanne spent about 10 minutes going on and on about all the classification statuses. I do not care about that.  My point was the outbreaks are not in 100% vaccinated. Period.  So, yes, that 100% was still a lie. Or a mistake. On her part.
  5. She claims mumps vaccine is “impotent” because of claims it may only be 69% effective by virologists who used to work at Merck. (see this article from my friend Dorit for explanation) The claim is that the CDC and Merck say the mumps portion of MMR is about 88% effective but that may not be accurate. It may only be 69% effective. Since 69 is still a great deal larger than the zero you get from not vaccinating, I find this claim highly misleading. It is not an outright lie, but 69% is still highly effective. It just means 31% might still be susceptible. Yes, the vaccine could be better. Doesn’t mean it is “impotent.” Update: She tried to defend this choice of wording, in her rebuttal, but 69% is not impotent. Impotent means helpless or powerless.  69% is not powerless. 69% is far better than nothing, which is what all the literature concludes. I am 100% confident Dr Stanley Plotkin would agree with me.
  6. She says “Vaccinated people have an inferior ability to fight off wild strains” and the best immunity is when children should get these diseases “at the appropriate age” so they get lifelong immunity. This is a fallacy.  To gain natural immunity, you have to suffer disease. Suffer. Yes, suffer because all vaccine-preventable diseases cause suffering, even in mild cases. Why should we allow our children to suffer, particularly when a high percent may suffer horribly and some may die? “Cases of such “mild” childhood diseases as pertussis dropped from more than 147,000 per year to less than 7,000. Annual measles cases dropped from more than 503,000 to less than 100. Diphtheria, polio and congenital rubella nearly disappeared. And if you don’t get the diseases, you can’t die from the diseases, can’t be rendered paralyzed, blind or deaf by the diseases. The difference between vaccine immunity is the difference between prevention and treatment … and prevention is always superior.” Source: Skeptical OB   Update: Here, again, Suzanne missed the point. The point is that wild disease causes suffering and natural immunity is not worth going through that suffering.
  7. From there, Suzanne goes on to mention several conspiracy theories. I call them conspiracy theories because there is no evidence to support them and they are based on paranoia, in my opinion. For example, she says MMR is a failure because a lot of people get measles but stay home and are not counted. This is ridiculous. They probably had Hand Foot Mouth disease or some other mild rash. And, “vaccines create a very loose net of pseudoprotection in the population” and “that is leaving those of us who are older susceptible to measles should it come back in.”  I am not at all sure what she means by the “pseudoprotection” statement. I had an MMR 26 years ago, had my titers done two years ago, and still have actual protection.  Update: In the Disney California outbreak, 88% of patients were unvaxed or no history of vaccine (likely unvaxed).  So, I feel pretty good about MMR’s protective abilities.
  8. She claims babies never got measles, pre-vaccine, because they got protection from their mother’s milk, which had measles antibodies in it.  She doesn’t seem to realize that not all babies, before 1963, were breastfed.  My own mother, born in 1941, was not breastfed. And, I have a friend who had measles encephalitis at four months of age, before the vaccine started. Also, I went to the vital statistics data for USA for 1955 and found a measles death rate of 2.2/100,000 for American infants under age 1 year. So, clearly infants were getting measles, pre-vaccine, if 2.2 per 100,000 cases were dying. Update: Suzanne did not actually state, in the first video, that breastmilk protects infants. I assumed that was implied because I am so familiar with her stance on breastmilk protecting infants.  You can read about that on her website. Furthermore, she never addressed the fact that babies did die of measles before 1955.
  9. She claims a properly nourished child will survive diseases just fine. This puts the blame for disease suffering squarely on the shoulders of the mother. A good mother, according to Dr Suzanne, does not work but stays at home to breastfeed her baby and feed her child “nourishing” food, according some mysterious standard. I find this point of view highly offensive. First of all, it is sexist to imply that mothers who do not breastfeed and do not stay home and prepare “nourishing” meals are bad mothers. But, that is exactly what she is implying. Secondly, there is no research whatsoever supporting her claims. I am sure we can all agree that a steady diet of soda pop and Cheetohs would not be healthy but there is no data supporting what she is implying. What exactly is nourishing, to Suzanne, and what is not? It’s a mystery.


As you can see, there is a great deal of misinformation both INSIDE and outside this bus. I honestly question their motives and, also, I would love to know who is funding them.


Remember to always think for yourself.


And Suzanne?  Vaccines do not cause autism. Autism has always been here.





10 Things I Want Parents Who Don’t Vaccinate Their Kids To Know

I read a blog post today, entitled “10-things-want-parents-vaccinate-kids-know” and I felt the need to respond.

1.Most of the time the diseases we vaccinate for are very mild and unlike vaccine injury, they last only a short time. This is not true. Back when vaccine-preventable diseases were common, disease injury was common. 30% of measles patients suffer complications and many require hospitalization. Some of those will be permanently injured. Back when nearly all children got measles, this mean thousands suffered injury every year.  Polio was also very bad in the 1950s.  “In 1952 alone, nearly 60,000 children were infected with the virus; thousands were paralyzed, and more than 3,000 died. Hospitals set up special units with iron lung machines to keep polio victims alive. Rich kids as well as poor were left paralyzed.”  source  Before the hepatitis V vaccine was recommended for all children in 1994,  30% of infected adults had no risk factors and 10,000, of children under age 10 were found to have Hepatitis B yearly. source

I could go on but, no, these diseases were not mild for everyone and yes they did cause permanent injury.


2. Even if you choose to vaccinate, please please make yourselves aware of the adverse events that can occur.  Yes, by all means,  check the vaccine information sheets. If you read the vaccine inserts, be sure to be aware that they do not list side effects. Inserts list adverse events reported during the clinical trials without regard to causation. There is always more to read than inserts. Vaccine information sheets list actual, proven side effects.

3. If you are really are worried about viruses and bacteria, you might want to also read about vaccine ingredients.  Sure, by all means ask questions about vaccine ingredients.  But, know that the dose makes the poison and nothing in vaccines is toxic. MSDS are not helpful, as they refer to pure mercury and pure aluminun, neither of which are in vaccines. Antivaxers will refer to the limit for aluminum in IV feeding  but that is not a helpful thing to read because vaccines are not TPN feeding. The Children’s Hospital of Philadephia has great resources on vaccine ingredients. Remember, the dose makes the poison.

4. Your children will be shedding their live virus vaccines (this includes the measles and chickenpox vaccine) after their shots. Just big fat no. Here is a great article for you to read about why vaccine shedding is theoretically, but not actually, possible. Measles and chicken pox rates are down. Because shedding is myth.


5. The Mawson study of vaccinated vs unvaccinated children, found significantly higher rates of autism, allergies, ear infections, learning disabilities and chronic diseases in those vaccinated to the schedule.  The Mawson study is completely invalid.  Don’t just read my take. Read all the links.

6. Vaccines are far from perfect… but there is not a huge failure rate. Many vaccines have 95% or greater efficacy.  Measles vaccine, for example, is 99% effective for life after two shots. Rubella vax is 95% effective for life. Tetanus vaccine is nearly 100% effective but only for ten years.   You can find all the efficacy rates here.


7. If you are worried about where to get good and unbiased information from. Look at vaccine inserts, VAERs reports, studies that aren’t funded by pharma companies, and most importantly, parents of vaccine injured children. By all means, look at VAERS reports but understand that nothing about them is valid. They are not valid because no medical information has been analyzed to confirm those reports. Also, most vaccine studies are NOT pharma funded, so using pubmed, you should be easily able to find many studies to read. International scientific consensus will show to you that vaccines have far greater benefits than risks.  Finally, parents are not great resources. We are not medical experts.  For example, if you read the Brian Hooker vaccine injury claim, you will see how one parent, even one with a PHd in a science-field, can make mistakes and miss early warning signs.

8. The people trying to convince you not to vaccinate have only one motivation, and that is to prevent more suffering, because they have either witnessed it first hand in their own family or know someone who has.  Okay, moving past the bad grammar in that sentence, which pains me, the reality is that there are people who have been duped by others into believing everything under the sun is a vaccine injury. And, those doing the duping are shysters and snake oil salesmen and women. They call themselves “experts” but they are really selling you products in lieu of modern medicine.   Be wary. Science should verify the validity and reliability of data. Shysters do not.


9. In the time you have spent reading this, more children have been damaged by vaccines, because they believed what Doctors and the government told them. In reality, 5482 vaccine injury claims have been compensated in the last 30 years.  2,845,946,816 doses of vaccines have  been given out in that 30 years. That means that vaccine injury rate is 0.00000195%. That is incredibly rare.

10. It’s not too late to change your mind. I agree. It is never too late to vaccinate.


Remember to always think of yourself and verify your claims using valid science.





All vaccine infographics come from here


How a Bout of Rotavirus Made Me Appreciate Vaccines

This article was originally published as part of Project Muse From: Narrative Inquiry in Bioethics Volume 6, Number 3, Winter 2016  pp. 161-163 | 10.1353/nib.2016.0073



When my first baby was about 11 months of age, she got rotavirus. There was not a vaccine on the schedule in 2003. She went to play at a city recreation center for toddlers and ended up being part of a large outbreak of this horrible virus, diagnosed by her doctor. She was incredibly sick for 10 days. She reverted to exclusive breastfeeding and refused everything else, including popsicles or Pedialyte. She would only breastfeed, which was comforting for her as well as life saving. She had a very bad case of rotavirus, with diarrhea and vomiting at least 10 times each a day for 10 days. It was pure hell for me as I barely slept for ten days. And I worried non-stop that she would die from dehydration and organ failure.


Two weeks later, she got it again. Even though I keep a clean house, in my attempt to keep a healthy house I did not realize I had not actually killed the rotavirus. It can live for ten days on hard surfaces and for weeks on wet surfaces. The healthy, ‘green’ cleaners that smell good do not kill it. Vinegar does not kill it. Bleach kills it but I was not using bleach as I thought it was toxic. And, I had not washed the stuffed animals.


When she got it again, it was just as bad as the first time. This time, I also took her to a local naturopath, thinking she might have some ideas about how to help my poor baby. She recommended two things: probiotics and bleach. Probiotic powder on my nipples during nursing eased the tummy troubles. Bleach solution cleaned and killed the virus. I washed and cleaned literally every thing in my house, from Duplos to stuffed animals to the window blinds. Every thing got a wash down with a mild bleach solution, the kind daycare centers use to clean surfaces. Thankfully, I have never experienced another tummy bug with any of my kids ever again. Twelve years later, I still consider this one of the worst experiences of my life. I commiserate with other rotavirus moms since they are the only ones who truly understand the experience.


This experience that made me realize how fragile our babies can be. In olden days, the infant mortality rate was very high not only because of sanitation and nutrition issues, but because babies are fragile and can die easily from diseases. Even after we had clean water and good food in the USA, babies still died or suffered greatly from these diseases. I am very thankful for modern medicine.


In 2004, I discovered the online world of parenting groups. These groups can help you connect with other people during the day. But, they also bring up a lot of issues for you to stress about which may not be issues with busier moms. Not that busy moms are negligent but stay at home moms have more time to worry about little things that may or may not be important. I have found that only other mothers who have been through having a child with rotavirus understand how awful this experience can be. With chatting online came questions about vaccines. I was a teacher before becoming a mom yet I had never heard of anyone not vaccinating. I was completely unaware, before children, of the extent to the antivax movement.


I studied social networking in college years ago, long before online social networking was even a dream. The principles of connecting people together via social groups are very interesting and I really appreciate how amazing it can be to connect with like-minded people from all over the world. When you are parenting alone, because your partner is working and your friends are working and your mom is far away, then online chatting is a real blessing. I have learned a lot from all the chat forums I joined over the years: Mothering, Babycenter, Pregnancy, Diaperswappers, and many others. I learned about and practiced attachment parenting, baby wearing, cloth diapering, co-sleeping, home birth, and making health choices in the home.


But nothing prepared me for what I learned about vaccines.


The first time I ventured into a vaccination forum, in an online group, was to ask why people discount the science? I asked that most sincerely because, it seemed to me that people were not actually paying attention to what science tells us about vaccines. Little did I know that there are different ideas amongst those who oppose vaccines about what constitutes a risk and what defines risk. I found people who would read the same study as I and see different things in it. For example, a study discussing one very rare reaction, out of millions or billions of vaccines given, could dissuade some from vaccinating even if most people understand the risk is greater with the diseases. For some, a large list of studies showing the aluminum used in vaccines is safe does not counter one study showing it could be dangerous. Cherry picking information is common amongst those opposed to vaccines. I don’t blame them for not understanding cherry picking versus scientific consensus, as most of them have not been taught what it means. Most people opposed to vaccines are sincerely interested in good health. Natural health gurus have misled them.


I also found a common argument that vaccines did not really end disease outbreaks and good nutrition and a healthy immune system is all one needs to avoid disease. As a teacher, I approached these discussions like research assignments. I did as much research as I could by reading studies and books. I read all the books I could find, whether for or against vaccines. I got my then-husband in on my research. He is a toxicologist and we looked at the EPA IRIS database and other sources for defining toxicity of ingredients. I consider myself quite open minded and really went into this research assuming I would find out that vaccines are horrible for us. But, quite the opposite, I found the risks associated with vaccines to be extremely miniscule and the ingredients to be not toxic at all at those doses.


I assumed I could tell people what I had found, politely, and they would agree with me. I have been doing so for thirteen years and, yet, still there are people who persist in the belief that vaccines cause autism and autoimmune disease and epilepsy and SIDS and a great many other horrible things. Even when I present study after study demonstrating vaccines are far safer than diseases and nutrition doesn’t prevent or cure them, there are still people who won’t agree. And the debate grows more and more contentious as people have gotten caught up in the ideas from the film Vaxxed, which I have seen, and believe in them, despite them all being proven false.


It is very frustrating.


I wish I could convey to those opposed to vaccines that we all just want children to be healthy. Those of us who advocate for vaccines are parents, adults with autism, adults with injuries from vaccine preventable diseases, researchers, doctors, nurses, and scientists. We aren’t paid to advocate for vaccines. I get accused of that all the time and it makes me very sad. Even if I was paid, which I am not, how would that negate the value of the thousands of safety studies from all over the world, most not conducted by pharmaceutical companies, that demonstrate scientific consensus showing vaccines benefits far outweigh risks?


I wish I understood why someone would believe a blog post from a holistic doctor selling an unproven treatment for autism but not a research scientist working for a children’s hospital. I wish I could help people opposed to vaccines understand that most “vaccine injuries” are really not caused by vaccines. I recently read a story of a child diagnosed with a tragic genetic condition that rarely enables the child to live past age two. The parents refused to believe the diagnosis and, instead, called it a vaccine injury. The child’s symptoms worsened, in keeping with the original diagnosis, and then she passed away shortly before age two. The story is tragic but I cannot understand how they can ignore the diagnosis. It doesn’t help anyone to blame vaccines for something that is genetic.


For me, too, this decision to vaccinate is about being part of a community. We advocate environmental awareness, in our house, and try to tread gently on earth. We recently switched to having all our sources of energy come from renewable resources. We take the bus often instead of driving a lot. We buy local food so our food’s global footprint is not large. Vaccinating is part of not being a selfish person, in my opinion, and understanding we all breathe the same air. We must take care of each other as well as the environment. I teach my children this lesson, as I want them to understand that the community is important, than the individual’s needs never outweigh the group’s needs.


I am not sure how we can bridge the divide between those who vaccinate and those who do not vaccinate. What I can do, however, is help those on the fence about vaccines understand that the rational argument is in favor of vaccines. In my online and local advocacy, I try to always be polite and rational. I hope that helps the science stand out clearly. I was the Washington State CDC Immunization champion for 2015 for my advocacy. When people post articles in which I am quoted or a stolen picture of my award, it is an opportunity to remind them they are proving I am not a paid advocate. To qualify for the award, I had to prove I have no financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry or government. I am proud of my advocacy and have never done anything disrespectful.


I have read a great deal about vaccines in the last 13 years, both pro- and anti-vaccine. I fully understand the ingredients, the safety studies, the risks, and the benefits of vaccines. To that end, I have started blogging to share what I have learned.


Kathleen Hennessy

2015 CDC Washington State Immunization champion







Why this vaxed v. unvaxed study is not valid: Update: Study retracted AGAIN.

Update: This study has been retracted for the second time. 


For the last few days, people opposed to vaccines have been posting a link to a study called Pilot comparative study on the health of vaccinated and unvaccinated 6- to 12- year old U.S. children. The lead author is Jackson State, MS, University professor, Anthony R. Mawson. This study is not valid and here is why.


First of all, I need to explain what is meant by validity and reliability, with regards to science.  The University of California, Davis, has a very good synopsis. “In order for research data to be of value and of use, they must be both reliable and valid.” Reliability refers to how well the findings of the study can be repeated. If a study was done in a manner that is objective and well-executed, then other scientists should be able to repeat (or replicate) it and get the same findings. Validity refers to the believability of the research.  How well do the findings answer the study hypothesis.  There is internal validity, which refers to how well the procedures in the study measured what they were supposed to measure. And, there is external validity, which refers to how well the findings can be generalized.

So, in an ideal study of children’s health, we would not need to take the researcher’s word for anything. The data would be reliable because all claims would be verified. For example, if the the study claims that 5% of children got colds twice a year or more, it would be reliable data if the researchers used the children’s medical records to determine how many colds they had a year. We would know that the data had been compiled by the children’s healthcare providers and analyzed by the researchers. Nothing would be left to interpretation.

But, if we just ask parents, how many colds a year do you think your child has had, those answers are not necessarily reliable because parents don’t always know the difference between a cold and influenza or allergies. And, they would not be basing their answers on data they collected but rather memories. Memories are notoriously inaccurate.

That brings us to the Mawson study.  First of all, you need to know that there was an attempt to publish this study last year but the methods the study used and the fact that there were only two peer reviewers ( one being a chiropractor) caused alarm in the scientific community. The journal pulled the study before publication.  Many of us found out this was happening from Retraction Watch, a very interesting source to follow if you like reading about how science works and how studies are monitored.  Based solely upon the abstract, the study was criticized by many, including Respectful Insolence blog.

I must take a moment to point out that I homeschool one of my children so I am not biased in any way towards homeschooling. 

At Respectful Insolence blog, ORAC (aka Dr David Gorski, oncologist) rightfully criticized the methodology of the study as well as the fact that a chiropractor was used to peer review an epidemiology study. Chiropractors are not the peers of epidemiologists. ORAC also noted that this study was funded by Generation Rescue, a notoriously antivax group.

These are problems. Real problems. So, the original journal, Frontiers, took note and pulled the study.

Now, months later, the study has been published in a pay-to-publish journal online called Open Access Text. Reputable scientists don’t pay to publish their studies. Journals like Pediatrics or Vaccines or The Lancet don’t require authors to pay and they are considered far more respectable when it comes to considering authors for professorship positions. Scientists know these facts. They know that publishing in a predatory journal is not a good career move.

So, what happened after this study was pulled by Frontiers? It was submitted to Open Access Text, a predatory, pay-to-publish online journal, and published this week. And it is being spammed everywhere as a valid study.

It is not valid and here is why.

One: It was funded by two known antivax groups, Generation Rescue, Inc., and the Children’s Medical Safety Research Institute (CMSRI).  Both are well know to be opposed to vaccines. CMSRI is funded by the Dwoskin Foundation, who are big money behind a lot of antivax operations. This does not negate the results, by any means, but it does beg the question – what was the motivation for the study. By the same token, I would look very skeptically at any study published by a pharmaceutical company.

Two: Read the introduction. The authors went into the study assuming vaccines cause grave harm. ” The aims of this study were 1) to compare vaccinated and unvaccinated children on a broad range of health outcomes, including acute and chronic conditions, medication and health service utilization, and 2) to determine whether an association found between vaccination and NDDs, if any, remained significant after adjustment for other measured factors.”  That is serious bias.

Three: The study design was flawed. “The study was designed as a cross-sectional survey of homeschooling mothers on their vaccinated and unvaccinated biological children ages 6 to 12. As contact information on homeschool families was unavailable, there was no defined population or sampling frame from which a randomized study could be carried out, and from which response rates could be determined. However, the object of our pilot study was not to obtain a representative sample of homeschool children but a convenience sample of unvaccinated children of sufficient size to test for significant differences in outcomes between the groups.”  Right from the start, Mawson, et al, admit that they aren’t really able to do a good, quality study.  “A number of homeschool mothers volunteered to assist NHERI promote the study to their wide circles of homeschool contacts.”   This is also problematic. They had participants promoting the study to their own friends. How did they account for bias? They did not.

Four: Methods were flawed. The authors categorized the children as unvaccinated, partially vaccinated, or fully vaccinated based only on word of the mothers. They did not consult medical records. Mothers were then asked to indicate which illnesses their child had had but no medical records were consulted. This data was analyzed statistically but how can they analyze data they have not verified as accurate? They purposely did not use medical records because they said that would have led to low participation.

Five: The limitations. Oh my, the limitations. “We did not set out to test a specific hypothesis about the association between vaccination and health.”  So, this was not even science.

So, what does all this mean? It means we cannot validate the information the mothers gave is accurate or real. It means none of the data in this study means anything, because no one would ever be able to completely replicate it. They would never be able to go back in and find all the same anonymous mothers and guarantee the same answers from them. This kind of survey does not add anything of value to the body of literature on children’s health. Honestly, I could have done better as a freshman in college, in my introduction to research methods and statistical analysis class.

If you want a real, valid, reliable study on vaccinated versus unvaccinated, the KIGGS study is the place to go. Because the researchers used not only a parent survey but also a “standardized, computer-assisted personal interview (CAPI) of the accompanying parent by a doctor,” this data can be verified as authentic. That is reliability. This study could be repeated. Children’s vaccination status was documented. “The questions about diseases were followed by data collection on the basis of medical records in the vaccination card, about data concerning the administered vaccinations and the timing of the vaccination”  So, everything was verified. KIGGS is everything this new study is not. There is no reason whatsoever to think this new study is anything but bunk.

Remember, always verify claims and always think for yourself,


Updated2: Other bloggers have been tackling this study and since their blogs are just as good as mine, I would like to share. Please check them out.



Respectful Insolence: A boatload of fail: Were two horrendously bad zombie “vaxed/antivaxed” studies retracted—again?

Respectful Insolence: The Mawson “vaxed/unvaxed” study retraction: The antivaccine movement reacts with tears of unfathomable sadness

Respectful Insolence: The check must have finally cleared, or: Mawson’s incompetent “vaxed/unvaxed” study is back online

Snopes: ‘First Ever’ Study Comparing Vaccinated and Unvaccinated Children Shows Harm from Vaccines?

Science Based Medicine: Two (now retracted) studies purporting to show that vaccinated children are sicker than unvaccinated children show nothing of the sort

I Speak of Dreams: About Those “Homeschooled, Unvaccinated Children are Healthier” Studies.

The Truth about vaccines 2, more lies

This episode is sub-titled What is in vaccines, are they effective, and what about polio.

I accessed the documentary by joining the email list. From there, I got a daily email with a link to watch today’s episode free for 24 hours. After the 24 hours, the episodes are available for purchase at the Truth about Vaccines website. I am not going to share a link to the video because I don’t want anyone to think I am an affiliate with them, trying to earn referral dollars. On their website, you will see that they have a referral program where can earn $1 per person you refer. (I have taken screenshots)

My goal in watching this series is to “take one for the team” and blog about the worst mistruths and list in each episode.

The series is hosted by Ty Bollinger. Ty is a CPA. See episode 1 for information about Ty. 

So, let’s look at the top ten lies from episode two.

One: Robert Kennedy, Jr states all vaccine safety studies are epidemiological and they are notoriously prone to manipulation.  Epidemiology is the study and analysis of the patterns, causes, and effects of health and disease conditions in defined populations.  For example, he states, the CDC eliminates all autists from safety studies.

Let’s look at the reality. There are three parts to this claim: A, that all the safety studies are done by the CDC; B, that all safety studies are epidemiological; and, C, that children with autism are not included in these studies.


A. There are many different sources for vaccine safety studies. In the USA, one source is the Vaccine Safety Datalink, which is collaborative project between CDC’s Immunization Safety Office and nine health care organizations. These studies are published in journals, but the CDC also has a link to them their website. These studies are not conducted by the CDC. The CDC also publishes yearly reports on vaccine safety. Some of these studies have authors who are affiliated with the CDC and some of these studies were done by the CDC but by far most are NOT affiliated with the CDC. Vaccine safety studies are also done by researchers in other countries.

B. Safety studies are all epidemiological.  ‘Epidemiology is the study of how often diseases occur in different groups of people and why.” Thus, all safety studies are epidemiological. This is true.  But, this is a deceptive comment in that it implies that safety studies should be not epidemiological.  I think what RFK means is that there should be a study on a group of children purposely left unvaccinated for the sake of science, a vaccinated versus unvaccinated study. This would leave those children vulnerable to disease, for the sake of science, and would never be approved by any ethics committee in any country. Even this study would be epidemiological. In other words, there really isn’t a good alternative. It appears the RFK does not understand the term.

C. Children with autism are not included in safety studies.  This is simply untrue. Here is a study from Denmark. The implication is that vaccine safety studies are not done on special populations but that is simply untrue. Here is a study from Cuba that included physically and mentally disabled persons. Here is a study from Japan that included handicapped persons. Here is another Japanese study.  Much thanks to Dot for helping me to find these.

Two:  Brandy Vaughan, who sold Vioxx for Merck for two years, makes a claim that no vaccine safety studies include sick or disabled children. See 1C for refutation.

Three: Suzanne Humphries and Sherri Tenpenny state vaccine studies never use saline placebo.  But, here is a flu study that used a saline placebo. Here is a literature review of HPV studies, some of which used saline placebo. Here is another flu vaccine study with saline placebo.  Here is a meningococcal serogroup B safety study with a saline placebo.  Why am I easily able to find many saline placebo studies on Pubmed when these two doctors cannot?

Four: Mike Adams appears in his lab to tell us that healthy people will always make a strong immune response to wild flu because they will immunize themselves. This is simply untrue. Studies show that more unvaccinated children die of influenza than vaccinated, even in those previously healthy.

Five: A common topic, in this series, is that vaccine ingredients are toxic. Not once does any of the so-called experts mention how toxicity varies by dose. Irvin Sahni, MD, claims vaccines have the herbicide glyphosate in them as well as anti-freeze. What is amazing about these claims is this man has a bachelor’s degree in chemistry.  He should know better than to make claims not grounded in science. Parents need to know that the glyphosate in vaccines issue has been debunked and there is no antifreeze in vaccines. A single component of anti-freeze, polyethylene glycol, is used in some flu viruses but it is not anti-freeze and it is not toxic.

Are you beginning to be as annoyed as I am at these lies? I make this face a lot lately.



Six: There is glyphosate, an herbicide, in vaccines. This is a claim made by many of the “experts” in the documentary but no one discusses the reality, which is that there is one study done by Moms Against Monsanto, where in glyphosate was found in vaccines which use mammal cells. The theory is that the animals who eat the grain which has been sprayed with glyphosate have it in their tissue, which is then used to grow vaccine viruses, and that is transferred into the vaccines. A great discussion of the reality of this claim comes from The Genetic Literacy project. As you can see, the results of this MAM study have been challenged by many and they have been replicated by no one.

Seven: Ty claims formaldehyde in vaccines is not the same as what is made in our bodies or what is in our foods, naturally, because it cannot be broken down by the body. Formaldehyde is used to inactivate pathogens and toxins. Ethyl acetate is used to precipitate formalin out of solution in a gas chromatography tube. So, there is not actually any formaldehyde in the vaccines. It is just used in the process of manufacturing. The CDC explains how some ingredients are removed before the vaccine is given. Just the Vax blog explains how even what is possibly left is not a health concern.

Eight: This is a new claim, for me. Toni Bark and Lawrence Pavelsky, both doctors who are against vaccines, claim that polysorbate 80, when used in conjunction with other drugs, opens the gut and blood brain barriers. Further, they claim, because everything with them also gets into the gut and brain, then nanoparticles of viruses, bacteria, and aluminum are also getting into these parts of our bodies. Larry says polysorbate 80 binds to the viruses and and aluminum and “walks into the brain the way a ghost can go through a wall.”  He concludes that this is what is causing vaccinated children to have autism and other neurodisabilities.

Now, first of all, we know vaccines are not causing autism. Secondly, aluminum salts in vaccines are microparticles, not nanoparticles. Polysorbate 80 is used with nanoparticles of certain drugs, like loperamide, to deliver them to the brain when necessary.  These drugs only cross the blood brain barrier  when loaded onto polybutylcyanoacrylate (PBCA)-nanoparticles and coated with polysorbate 80. But, aluminum salts are microparticles, not nanoparticles. There are experiments underway using aluminum salt nanoparticles but all existing vaccines use microparticles of aluminum salts and those are much too large to cross the blood brain barrier.

Nine: Ty, and others, claim the amount of aluminum in vaccine exceeds the FDA limit. Ty is referring to a document on the FDA website which refers to aluminum use in total parenteral nutrition. The TPN limit is 25 micrograms per liter. TPN is a method of feeding people bypassing the gastrointestinal tract. Sick newborns, for example, may receive TPN via a vein. Children and adults with bowel disease may also get TPN. Adult daily requirements for TPN are 30–40 mL Water (/kg body wt/day).  This has nothing to do with vaccines and is not the aluminum limit for vaccines. In fact, an “FDA study found that the risk to infants posed by the total aluminum exposure received from the entire recommended series of childhood vaccines over the first year of life is extremely low” and  “the maximum amount of aluminum an infant could be exposed to over the first year of life would be 4.225 milligrams (mg), based on the recommended schedule of vaccines. Federal Regulations for biological products (including vaccines) limit the amount of aluminum in the recommended individual dose of biological products, including vaccines, to not more than 0.85-1.25 mg. For example, the amount of aluminum in the hepatitis B vaccine given at birth is 0.25 mg.”

Ten: I cannot believe I got all the way to #9 and I still am only half way through this episode!  The rest of the episode is about polio and Salk and SV40.  Suzanne plugs her book and claims there was a diagnostic criteria change around the time the polio vaccine was invented and that is the reason polio rate dropped. She claims the vaccine had nothing to do with it. Sayer claims women pass SV40 to their fetuses and he got it from his mother who had that vaccine. Toni claims the polio vaccine causes massive paralysis in developing countries, but it is not tracked.


In lieu of debunking all these claims, I am going to link to Mr Skeptical Raptor, who has done a find job debunking polio vaccine claims. These all specifically address claims made by the movie, although these blog posts were written well before the movie. Antivaxers like to recycle the claims. Skeptical Raptor fully cites all sources and backs all claims.

Polio, and SV40 do not cause cancer

Jonas Salk is an American Hero

Polio vaccine did not cause 47,000 cases of paralysis in India

Bill Gates is not trying to depopulate the world with vaccines

And, finally, to learn more about the single greatest public health initiative of all time, wherein we went from polio paralysing 1000 children a day in 1988 to 37 cases of polio (wild and vaccine-derived) last year, please visit the The Global Polio Eradication Initiative website.

Remember to always think for yourself,





The Truth about Vaccines Episode 1: Top Ten lies debunked


This episode is sub-titled The History of Vaccines, Smallpox, Vaccine Safety and the Current CDC Schedule. I accessed the documentary by joining the email list. From there, I got a daily email with a link to watch today’s episode free for 24 hours. After the 24 hours, the episodes are available for purchase at the Truth about Vaccines website.


The series is hosted by Ty Bollinger. Ty is a CPA. He runs a seemingly successful business and website telling people factoids about cancer. For clarity, I am going to refer to everyone by their first name, after introducing them.

The first guest is author Jennifer Margulis. She makes a point is that if a patient did not want an antibiotic for a viral infection, they would never be called anti antibiotic, so why do we call people who question vaccine safety “antivax?”  Now, dear readers, do you see the logical errors here? As someone who is actually allergic to two different kinds of antibiotics, I know that being unable to take certain antibiotics and asking questions about antibiotic risks and benefits does not mean one is opposed to all antibiotics. It behooves my health to double check with my doctor that any antibiotic they are prescribing to me (on the rare occasion I need one) is not related to the two types which caused me allergic reactions.  By the same token, if you had a bonafide allergic reaction to a vaccine, you would want to find out which ingredient caused the reaction and avoid that one ingredient. Asking your doctor questions about your reaction and future vaccines does not make you antivax. What makes a person antivax is, for example, assuming that everything bad is a vaccine reaction or that a minor reaction is cause to avoid all future vaccines.  Also, doctors do not prescribe antibiotics for viral infections, so Margulis’ comment doesn’t actually make a lot of sense to me.

I do agree with Ty and Jennifer that we all want our kids to be safe. As I am oft to say, there is nothing wrong with asking questions. It’s the answers that are the issue.

The documentary says many falsehoods, such as the one above. I chose to narrow it down to ten and debunk just them.


One: The first lie comes from Dr Paul Thomas, a pediatrician from Oregon.  Paul explains that the AAP does not investigate vaccine safety. Ty claims that the issue is that we need to entertain the vaccine safety discussion. Now, do you see the lie?  The American Academy of Pediatricians is a professional organization.  They publish several journals, including Pediatrics.  They also research pediatrician office practices and they do research issues related to immunizations. In a way, Paul is correct that the AAP does not specifically research vaccine safety but this does not mean members are not involved in vaccine safety research nor does this mean that AAP ignores vaccine safety. In the journal Pediatrics alone, there have been many vaccine safety studies published. Therefore, it is untrue that the AAP does not investigate vaccine safety.

Two: Paul brings up iatrogenic, the idea that doctors cause harm by what they do. He says that doctors have lost their way and don’t look at the harms vaccines do. He discusses the connection between autism, vaccines, mercury in vaccines, the hepatitis B dose at birth, aluminum and how, in 2008, he had to make a decision to slow down and analyze vaccines for toxicity issues. His implication is that doctors cause grave injury to children, with vaccines, but they are not interested in learning why or how. This begs the question why then are doctors reporting adverse events to VAERS, the vaccine adverse event reporting system? Why are other doctors studying the medical information related to these reports and publishing findings in the Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD), a network of nine healthcare organizations across the country? Why are these findings published in journals to which doctors subscribe, such as Pediatrics, wherein they can be easily read? I have to think that Paul must be aware of these facts and is simply misleading viewers on purpose.

ThreeNeil Z. Miller comes to discuss all the side effects he thinks vaccines cause but he never brings up how he got these ideas from raw VAERS data nor does he discuss issues of validity or reliability of using raw VAERS data. The problem is that anyone can report anything to VAERS and reports are made, in comes cases, without regard to proving causation. This is important because the CDC and FDA and the VSD will monitor these reports and do studies of actual medical records to see if vaccines really do cause serious issues. For example, it was the results of these kinds of studies that the first rotavirus vaccine was removed from market in 1999 for causing intussusception more often than would occur normally. Neil should know how this works but he does not have access to medical records, so his studies only look at raw VAERS reports. This is not considered valid since none of the reports have been verified by medical evidence. SIDS is an example of something that may be reported to VAERS but, in reality, is not caused by vaccines. In fact, studies show SIDS rate in USA is not only at an historical low but that vaccines cut the risk of SIDS in half.  Therefore, Neil has nothing valid to offer and it was remiss of Ty to not mention these facts.

Four: Ty then comes on to claim that the CDC states informed consent issues are, according to the 10th amendment, a state’s rights issue. Barbara Loe Fisher, NVIC founder, explains how vaccine laws are state laws. Vaccine laws are statutory, created by states. They are implying that vaccines are given to children without the parent being afforded informed consent; therefore, they argue, this is coercion. Dorit Rubinstein Reiss has written about the legalities this topic and states: “The informed consent process for vaccines is carefully regulated and thought through. A serious effort is made to provide patients with the information they need in a short, accessible format. As long as the healthcare provider performs the legal duty of providing the Vaccine Information Sheet before vaccinating, the patient – or parent – has before them the information necessary to make an informed decision.”  Therefore, patients and their parents are give informed consent and the filmmakers, again, have lied.

Five: From this point, Ty discusses how much medical education a typical doctor receives in medical school. Larry Pavelsky states vaccines are not very much discussed in medical school.  Suzanne Humphries says doctors are not taught anything at all about what is in vaccines. Paul talks about how his daughter is in medical school and she is still not being taught what is in vaccines. Shari Tenpenny says the problem is the “big ramp up in the number of vaccines.” Del Bigtree, film producer, comes on to explain that doctors entire understanding of vaccines is “just because.”   He says doctors know nothing about vaccines except that they were told vaccines are safe. This is fraud, in his opinion.  Ty spends some time going over the average medical school curriculum. He claims that only one course is offered, microbiology, which addresses vaccines at all.

standford copy.jpg


In reality, doctors spend a great deal of time learning about everything to do with the human body, disease, prevention, treatment, and more. As you can see from the schematic above, which is from Stanford University’s s 2016-2017 MD Program, doctors learn about immunology, microbiology, diseases, systems, and more. What those opposed to vaccines really mean, when they say doctors don’t learn about vaccines, is that doctors do not learn the ingredients to vaccines. This is true. There is nothing on this curriculum list about pharmacology. Do you know why? Because pharmacists learn about pharmacology, not medical doctors. Medical doctors don’t memorize the ingredients to the drugs they look up. They can look up ingredients and side effects on their laptop. If you want to discuss drug ingredients, find a pharmacist.

Six: Barbara Loe implies that all manner of pediatric health issues are all on the rise and, therefore, must be related to the increase in vaccines. She states that the worst public health report card in history coincides with the increase in vaccines. But let’s take a look at the actual data. This report, from AAP, noted that the prevalence of disability increased 16.3 percent from 2001-2002 to 2009-2010 with more children today having a disability than a decade ago, and the greatest increase is among kids in higher-income families. But, “while neurodevelopmental and mental health-related disabilities increased, those due to physical conditions decreased.” “The survey did not break out autism, but we suspect that some of the increase in neurodevelopmental disabilities is due to the rising incidence or recognition of autism spectrum disorders,” Dr. Houtrow said. ”

We also know, from my research project last summer, that shifting diagnosis codes is responsible for the increase in autism diagnosis. And, we know that increases in special education funding and programming have resulted in more children being diagnosed with learning disabilities who would have been ignored in past generations.

We also know that SIDS and infant mortality rates are at all time lows, in USA.

Therefore, it is a lie to say that pediatric health issues are on the rise.


Seven: Paul brings up how doctors were promoting cigarettes in the 1950s and implies vaccines are similarly waiting for studies to be done on them. This is a bit silly but since it is brought up often by those opposed to vaccines, I am going to give it some time. As you can tell from this 1956 Atlantic Article, science knew a great deal about how cigarettes were related to cancer, even back as far as the 1930s. “The year 1950 saw the publication of four independent statistical studies, each of which established a significantly higher percentage of heavy cigarette smokers among lung cancer patients than among any other group. There have now been more than fourteen similar studies, and without exception they arrive at this same conclusion.” So, why did doctors promote cigarettes in the 1950s? Well, because they were fake doctors in advertisements. The tobacco companies were not yet required to list warning about cigarettes and advertisers were allowed to lie back then. Laws changed in the 1960s. The Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act was not enacted until 1965. So, it is a lie to say that doctors were promoting cigarettes and there was not science about them being health hazards.

Eight: Paul comes back on to talk about how doctors don’t know what to look for, with regard to vaccine reactions. He says no one has looked at whether the unvaccinated have febrile seizures or die of SIDS.  He talks about how there are more allergies, more ADHD, etc and they have not been studied in relation to vaccines. (Does he really not know that these questions have been answered already? See #2)   Here is some information about febrile seizures. A lot is known about how they connect with vaccines. Some vaccines can cause a fever which could cause a febrile (fever) seizure. This is not epilepsy and it is not a vaccine issue, per se, but that some toddlers are prone to a seizure with a fever. An illness could also cause the seizure. We also know that vaccines cut risk of sids in half and that sids rate is at an all time low, in USA. 

Nine: Barbara  brings up how vaccines are unavoidably unsafe. Toni reiterates this point. Toni claims that judges don’t understand this point when she discusses it with them. Unavoidably unsafe refers to a legal case Bruesewitz v. Wyeth. Dorit Rubinstein Reiss explains that it means “these products are beneficial enough that society wants to encourage their manufacturing. Therefore, while strict liability would be applied to most products, a manufacturer that prepared a drug or vaccine carefully and warned consumers of its risks should not have to pay for the side effects of a drug or vaccine whose benefits outweigh the risks unless that manufacturer can be shown to have been negligent.” Therefore, vaccines are not unsafe.

Ten: Mike Adams, the Health Ranger comes on to claim that vaccines are advertised as 100% risk-free, that the vaccine risk are ignored. He claims the vaccine injury wants us to ignore the risk-benefit ratio. He does not explain why he thinks the risk from vaccines is “very very high.” I am sure Mike knows that vaccine information sheets fully state the risks and that disease risks are much higher. Therefore, he is lying to viewers.  Here is a great explanation of risks of diseases versus vaccines from the National Center for Immunisation in Australia.

Sidebar to #10: Ty brings up the vaccine injury awards paid out. He mentions the risks but does not qualify them. We know that 5200 claims of vaccine injury have been compensated, along with attorney fees, in 30 years. We also know that we’ve given out 3 billion (at least) vaccines in those 30 years. Why does Ty not mention that makes vaccines 99.999984% safe?


As you can see, there were a great many mistruths and outright lies told in this first episode of The Truth about Vaccines. I hope this information helps you to debunk the film. Look for episode 2 debunking soon!

Some information about Ty Bollinger

Official biography

Woman following his protocol died unnecessary death

Ty Bollinger’s pseudoscience


As always, remember to think for yourself.










Vaccines Revealed 3 – a provaxer’s view

Did you read about episode 1? Please check out this post, which has links to all the information about this series and it’s major players.

Patrick Gentempo interviews Robert (Bobby) Kennedy Jr. 

Right off the bat, Kennedy talks about studies that link vaccines, thimerosal and autism. He says the public perceives otherwise, but there is a large body of research supporting vaccines cause autism. Kennedy claims the pharmaceutical industry is paying of the press to post otherwise, to keep these studies out of the press.  One can only assume he is referring to work by Geier and Geier, and others, which have been debunked as very badly done studies. He essentially blamed it all on Rubert Murdoch, saying that only a few entities control the press and they are bought off by pharmaceuticals.

He says the CDC buys and SELLS $4 billion worth of vaccines yearly. However, he is referring to the Vaccines for Children program, which gives away FOR FREE vaccines to programs for children living in poverty.

So, let that sink in a bit. Robert Kennedy Jr is a conspiracy theorist. He believes theories not supported by science and that “BIG PHARMA” controls the media. He also claims Paul Offit is on the payroll of Merck. No, I am sorry Bobby, but Dr Offit works for CHOP. And, yes, he was on the team who developed one of the two rotavirus vaccines but he did recuse himself from voting on the approval for that vaccine. Also, he and the other vaccine developers sold the vaccine along with their employer, the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. And no one ever claimed the transaction was bad. Ever. Only you, Bobby.

Here is a large list of studies looking at thimerosal and vaccines and autism. Notice they all conclude no connection.

Bridges case, vaccine court

Bobby spends a lot of time talking about how many vaccines children are given today. He claims that the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 (NCVIA) is the reason we have more vaccines today, because pharmaceutical companies are immune to liability. But, this is all simply untrue. NCVIA mandates that you go through “vaccine court” first, in most situations, but section 300-aa21 does allow for when and how you can sue pharmaceutical manufacturers for claims.

Bobby also spends time talking about how there are no double-blind, saline-placebo or placebo-controlled studies on vaccines. But, most clinical trials are done as such. Pubmed has lists of them.

Again, I have the same impression as with other Vaccines Revealed speakers: Is he lying? Or ignorant?

Bobby goes on to spend some time linking thimerosal to autism and other neurological disorders, without regard to how diagnoses expanded and changed throughout the 1980s and beyond. He appears to not know anything at all about the history of special education and psychology.

He really is a conspiracy theorist, in the classic sense. This is a shame. He even brings up the Amish. This has been debunked.

The “very good science” he refers to is by Geier and Geier. Several doctor/bloggers I respect have written about this widely: Science-Based Medicine and Left Brain, Right Brain. In a nutshell, it has been completely discredited to the point where father Geier no longer has a medical license. That is because of shoddy research and practices.

Bobby closes up the interview claiming that we inject pregnant mothers and newborn babies with hundreds of times more mercury than is in fish.


Here is the thing. We give newborns Hepatitis B vaccine. There is no thimerosal in it. None. We recommend pregnant women get a thimerosal-free flu vaccine or a thimerosal-free TDaP vaccine. No thimerosal.  None. Nada.

In fact, there is no thimerosal in most vaccines and it is very easy to avoid it all together.

So, what is he talking about? Is he lying? Or ignorant?

If you want to learn more about thimerosal, or any vaccine ingredient, here is a good website.

After this, Kennedy spends some time talking about his project, The World Mercury Project, and how they need donations.

Next, there is an interview with Scott Miller, who made a film about The Gulf War Syndrome. I chose not to pay attention to this interview since he is not a vaccine information player.

The episode concludes with a shortened version of Vaxxed.

Remember, think for yourself!