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Are Vaccines Safe? To Vaccinate or Not? These 60 Experts Weigh In

Are Vaccines Safe? To Vaccinate Or Not? 60 Experts Way in...

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Over 60 Medical Doctors, Research Scientists, and Consumer Activists Explore Why Some Vaccinations Are Dangerous

If you know me or you’ve stopped by before, you probably already know that I recently wrote a book about vaccines, vaccine safety, and the immune system with a medical doctor named Paul Thomas, M.D. The book is called The Vaccine-Friendly Plan. But if you haven’t read the book (since I can’t even get my friends to LIKE my Facebook page, I suspect you haven’t) or if you’re here for the first time, you probably don’t know that my co-author, Paul Thomas, was born in the United States but grew up in Rhodesia. By the time he was in his early teens, Paul had seen more deaths in Africa than most Americans will see in their lifetimes. Newborns and infants succumbed to infectious diseases. Adults and children alike died of fulminating infections, dysentery, and malaria.


But no death was more devastating to him than the death of his playmate Taurai.


Taurai died of the measles, a vaccine-preventable disease.


So when the World Health Organization’s truck arrived at the village of Arnoldine, where Paul and his three younger siblings lived, the children happily lined up for their shots. In the heart of rural Africa, support was universal for this potentially life-saving technology.


Most medical doctors and health care providers agree that there is little question that vaccines have been one incredibly effective tool in modern medicine’s toolbox to help children around the world more successfully fight off infectious disease. It never would have occurred to Dr. Paul when he was first practicing medicine to ask the question, “Are vaccines harmful?”


Vaccines work like homeopathy. By exposing children to a weakened form of the disease agent, vaccines allow the body to build an immunological memory of the disease. If and when a child is exposed to that disease in the future, her immune system has already been primed to recognize and fight against it. So, when the vaccines work, children who have been vaccinated either do not get the infectious disease or get a much milder case.


According to a report published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2014, in the past twenty years routine vaccination has prevented 322 million diseases, 21 million hospitalizations, and 732,000 deaths among children in America.


The same CDC report found that the positive financial benefit to society from routine vaccination in the past twenty years has been tremendous, saving us $295 billion in direct costs for medical expenses, and a total of more than $1.38 trillion in indirect costs to society.


Yet many American parents today are choosing to delay or forgo some, or even all, vaccines for their children.


Why is that?


These parents fear both the immediate and the long-term side effects from vaccines, they are concerned that vaccines may be one trigger for autism, they do not understand why we have so many more vaccines on the schedule than ever before (in the late 1950s American children were only vaccinated against five diseases; today’s children get more than three times as many vaccines), and they feel unsure about what to do.


The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System is the government's passive vaccine injury tracking system. Screenshot from the

The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System is the government’s passive vaccine injury tracking system. Screenshot via

The Supreme Court of the United States has found that vaccines are “unavoidably unsafe,” but also that they are products that are so valuable that the risks associated with their use is justified.


The fact that vaccines seem to be essential for public health and children’s well-being but that the current CDC childhood vaccine schedule seems to carry more risk and be resulting in more vaccine injury than ever before has created one of the most difficult parenting dilemmas of our time. Parents also wonder why there is legislation that protects vaccine manufacturers from liability and why there is a consumer tax on each vaccine used to fund pay-outs for vaccine injuries.


To vaccinate or not to vaccinate?

What do you do?

What vaccines to choose?

When is the best time to start?

What if the doctor gets angry at me if I don’t want to vaccinate?

What if I’m told my kid can’t go to school?

What in the heck is a thoughtful parent to do?


Enter Ty Bollinger’s new 7-part mini-series, The Truth About Vaccines. After his parents and five family members passed away from cancer, Ty Bollinger set out to investigate why. The result was a tremendously popular series that over three million people have watched called The Truth About Cancer. When he was researching it, he says, the number one question people were asking on the ground—a question that he and his wife have also been facing as they raise their four children—was about vaccines. This series is a deep dive into the topic in order to give worried parents all the facts they need to make truly informed decisions about vaccines. Ty personally interviewed over 60 experts and medical professionals for the film, including Dr. Paul Thomas and me.


(If this is your first time on my site, I’m Jennifer Margulis, Ph.D. You can read a brief biography here and more about my Amazon bestselling book here. If you’re in the mood to surf or up in the night nursing a baby with nothing else to do and you feel like having some fun, you can also read the reviews of my previous book, Your Baby, Your Way, here. Like marmite, people seem to either love it or hate it.)


Dr. Paul has over 280,000 subscribers on YouTube and 13,000 patients in his practice in Portland, Oregon. He gives vaccines in his office, Integrative Pediatrics, every day. But he does not follow the current CDC childhood vaccine schedule. Instead, he has made some scientifically grounded, evidence-based changes to the current vaccine schedule in order to keep children protected against succumbing to infectious diseases and keep their brains and bodies healthy.


Does that make Dr. Paul “anti-vaccine”?


Does making sure your car has the safest airbags make you “anti-car”?


I do not believe there is any “pro” or “anti” vaccine movement, even though you read those words, “pro-vaccine,” and “anti-vaccine,” on social media and in the mainstream media every single day, sadly.


Dr. Paul went to Dartmouth Medical School and has been practicing medicine for over 30 yearsI graduated magna cum laude from Cornell University, got a Master’s from the University of California at Berkeley, and earned a Ph.D. from Emory. I’ve been researching and writing about children’s health for over 15 years and written/co-written/edited seven books, three of which have won national awards. We both believe it’s time to change the conversation about vaccines.


Questioning the necessity of an antibiotic for a viral infection does not make you “anti-antibiotic.”


Questioning the need for so many vaccines given to such tiny infants, including for a sexually transmitted disease in the first 24 hours of life to newborns who have no chance of catching it, does not make you “anti-vaccine.”


As you can hear me say in this preview for the series, I believe we all want the same thing: healthy children.


This 7-part mini-series about vaccines could not be more timely.


You need to watch it.


I need to watch it. (I haven’t seen it yet.)


Whether you are pregnant, a teenager, or a 65-year-old adult, chances are you are facing decisions about vaccines.


The health of all our children is at stake.


“The Truth About Vaccines” airs for free on-line beginning on April 12, six days from now! You can sign up to watch it here. Don’t let this free viewing pass you by. With 60 experts weighing in, there is bound to be something worth watching that may just give you the information you need and deserve to have to make truly informed choices for your family.


Jennifer Margulis, Ph.D., is the author of Your Baby, Your Way (Scribner), co-author of The Vaccine-Friendly Plan (Ballantine), and editor of Toddler: Real-Life Stories of Those Fickle, Urgent, Irrational, Tiny People We Love (Seal Press). Follow her on Facebook (here and here), Twitter, and Pinterest. Watch her in the upcoming documentary mini-series, “The Truth About Vaccines.”


The Truth About Vaccines Cast

The Truth About Vaccines is a 7 part mini-series directed by Ty Bollinger to help parents make the best vaccine decisions for their children


Broadcasting schedule for the Truth About Vaccines, which you can watch for FREE on April 12

Broadcasting schedule for the Truth About Vaccines, which you can watch for FREE on April 12

Over 250 Doctors and Research Scientists Ask Trump for Independent Vaccine Safety Commission

More than 300 doctors and scientists call on President Trump to form an independent vaccine safety commission

More than 300 doctors and scientists call on President Trump to form an independent vaccine safety commission

This letter from medical doctors and research scientists calls on the president to convene an independent vaccine safety commission.

“I am a clinical researcher long experienced in trials. An unbiased inquiry is never dangerous nor superfluous … The gold standard in medical problems is a randomized clinical trial with and without the agent. Everyone will benefit from the answer, particularly children.” ~James Holland, M.D.

“I am a practicing medical doctor, neuroscientist, geneticist, and scholar who was trained at Johns Hopkins, where autism was first described by Leo Kanner … When doctors first started vaccinating children, the benefits clearly outweighed the risks. We are seeing more complications now, most of which could be prevented by taking into consideration factors such as gender, age, nutritional status, and exposure to neurotoxins. We need to redefine this debate in scientific, and not political terms. Then we can vaccinate safely.” ~Diane Hennacy Powell, M.D.

As a journalist and book author who has been researching and writing about vaccine safety for over 15 years, I believe we need an independent vaccine safety commission. Some small evidence-based changes to the current CDC vaccination schedule could significantly improve health outcomes among America’s children.

I call on the media to:

1) Investigate and report on the growing body of scientific evidence that shows that acetaminophen/paracetamol given before or after vaccines is directly contributing to the autism epidemic. This brand new (March 16, 2107) peer-reviewed article by researchers at Duke and Harvard Universities should be making headline news.

2) Investigate and report on the fact that the United States is one of the only industrialized countries that gives a vaccine against a sexually transmitted disease (hepatitis B) to infants at birth regardless of risk. This vaccine contains 250 mcg of aluminum, more than ten times the safety limit for newborns, according to the FDA. We know now that its efficacy wanes by the time children reach the age where they are sexually active or using drugs. In this peer-reviewed study, for example, only 24% of those vaccinated in infancy had protection (which indicates a 76% failure rate) without an extra (“challenge”) dose.

3) Investigate and report on the dozens, if not hundreds, of medical doctors who are making evidence-based changes to the vaccine schedule and seeing excellent results. These doctors argue that they are able to keep children safe from infectious diseases without compromising their brains or immune health. My co-author, Dartmouth-trained pediatrician Paul Thomas, M.D., has 13,000 children in his pediatric practice in Portland, Oregon. He is available to the media who would like to speak with him. His phone should be ringing off the hook.

Vaccine Safety Advocates Call for Honesty in Medicine and the Media

Vaccine Safety Advocates Call for Honesty in Medicine and the Media

Paul Thomas, M.D.; Brian Hooker, Ph.D.; Judy Mikovits, Ph.D.; Jennifer Margulis, Ph.D; and Toni Bark, M.D.

Medical doctors, PhD scientists, and a science journalist will speak to the press on behalf of over 300 doctors, scientists, and scientific organizations who have written to President Trump in support of an independent vaccine safety commission.

Zenger Room, National Press Club, 529 14th Street NW, 13th Floor, Washington, DC 20045

Friday, March 31, from 9:00am to 10:30am Eastern Standard Time.

Since 1986, the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, established through legislation signed by President Reagan, has paid out more than $3.5 billion in claims for injuries caused by vaccines. It is estimated that only a small fraction of people injured by vaccines pursue remediation through the Program’s “Vaccine Court” and that two out of three claims are denied. Despite these figures, the nation’s prominent news agencies consistently fail to acknowledge the inherent and extensive risks of vaccines. Medical professionals and members of the scientific communities are coming forward to demand more accurate and unbiased reporting to better serve the public’s interest.

Credentialed members of the media who plan to attend must RSVP to It is not open to the general public. This event will be live streamed on Facebook via Your Baby, Your Way.

Media interviews are available. Please contact Caroline Kennedy at (703) 801-9319 or to make arrangements.

More information is available at

**PLEASE NOTE: This post was edited on 3/29/2017 at 9 p.m. Pacific Time. It originally read “well over 300.” While this was accurate when it was first published on 3/28/2017 at 12 p.m., the signatures have since been reviewed and verified. It was found that some signatures were not valid. As of this writing, a more accurate count is over 250 medical doctors, researchers, and organizations.

The Proof is in the Pudding: Our Medical System is Making America’s Children SICK

I put to you that no thinking person can look at the American childhood vaccine schedule today without having grave concerns.


I’m stealing an expression from a friend who probably wouldn’t want to be named, the pudding. The proof is in the pudding. If your children are healthy, there’s nothing to see here. Business as usual is working just fine for your family. Your doctor is your ally. All is well.


But if your child is sick, there’s a problem.


And, in the United States anyway, so many of today’s children are so sick. (There’s your pudding.)


Four children in my daughter’s fourth grade class were on the autism spectrum.


A middle schooler I know was recently diagnosed with diabetes.


My daughter’s friend has such severe eczema all over her body that her face and arms are blotchy with angry rashes.


It’s a Sisyphean task to stand up to the medical establishment. Why would anyone want to?


I spoke at a conference with James Lyons-Weiler, PhD; Mary Holland, J.D.; and Tetyana Obukhanych, Ph.D. this Saturday, which was organized by Informed Choice Washington and the Institute for Pure and Applied Knowledge.


Among the amazing people who participated were Alan Phillips, Del Bigtree, Bernadette Pajer, Drella Stein, bestselling author of The Art of Racing in the Rain Garth Stein, Leah Houser, Jena Hensler Dalpez, Alissa Desancic, and many more.

Signature of Garth Stein, author of "The Art of Racing in the Rain." Garth Stein has two sons whose health was harmed by vaccines.

Signature of Garth Stein, author of “The Art of Racing in the Rain,” on Jennifer Margulis’s arm


I talked to parents who attended the conference who have children who:


  • Are nonverbal
  • Smear their own feces
  • Stim
  • Scream in pain
  • Have unusually severe and early onset food allergies
  • Are uncontrollably violent
  • Cannot concentrate
  • Have multiple seizures a day
  • Have leaky gut syndrome
  • Cannot tolerate even basic foods without severe stomach pain


Many of these children will never go to college, get married, have a career, or start families of their own.


These parents are not the crunchy granolaheads who had home births, breastfed exclusively, ate kale popsicles, didn’t bother with pediatricians, and skipped diapers. (Yes, that’s a thing. Yes, it works. Yes, it’s weird. And yes, it’s awesome if you’re open-minded enough to try it.)


These are the parents who did EVERYTHING their doctors told them, followed medical advice at face value, and listened when their doctors insisted they keep vaccinating, keep using Tylenol, and keep taking antibiotics, usually for ear infections. They asked their doctors, “Could some of my child’s health problems be caused by vaccines?” and they were told no. The timing of the problems was just “an unfortunate coincidence.”


These doctors would even go on to insist that their sick child needed vaccination and other treatments MORE URGENTLY than healthy kids.


A lot of older people wonder why on earth would my generation of parents be rejecting some vaccines? My 72-year-old aunt has friends who get upset with my vaccine safety Facebook posts. They believe parents who forego or delay vaccines are “selfish” and “irresponsible,” that not vaccinating is like putting kids in a car with no seat belts.


Back to the pudding: I’ve seen time and again that many (not all) kids who are completely unvaccinated within the same family tend to be healthier than their fully vaccinated older siblings. I heard dozens of stories to that effect at the conference: the oldest child gets all the vaccines and his health starts to decline, as does his younger brother’s. But by the third child the parents have wised up and are no longer following medical conventions. Their unvaccinated youngest is by far their healthiest and smartest and best adjusted kid.


Of course those kids are also avoiding Tylenol (which can be neurologically devastating), eating real food, and not being exposed to as many neurotoxins and endocrine disruptors, which are present in everything from conventional baby shampoo to building materials.


I put to you that no thinking person can look at the American CDC childhood vaccine schedule today without having grave concerns.


A Washington State epidemiologist came to Saturday’s conference as a private citizen and she, too, has concerns.


If you use your logical thinking skills you quickly see that something is very, very wrong.


We are giving a vaccine against a sexually transmitted disease, hepatitis B vaccine, at birth and in infancy when it should be given preteen if needed.


We vaccinate against rotavirus and chickenpox, two mild childhood illnesses, which flies in the face of good science and common sense.


As William Parker, Ph.D., at Duke University’s medical school explained to me, the human immune system is like a well trained army, always on high alert, always wanting to attack. We evolved to fight off and cohabitate with bacteria and viruses. You can’t remove those illnesses from the human landscape and expect not to disrupt the organism.


We continue pushing a yearly flu shot for children and adults when a double-blind ferret study published in PLOS One showed that exposure to flu vaccine makes the flu more severe and a Canadian study published in Clinical Infectious Diseases showed that consecutive shots make the flu vaccine LESS effective. Yet we give six month olds the flu vaccine, which still contains mercury, one of the deadliest substances on earth.


It’s irresponsible and unscientific to have such an aggressive and unnecessary schedule.


The proof is in the pudding.


The emperor is naked.


Whatever metaphor you choose, we can do better than this.

Jennifer Margulis will be speaking at the Architects of a New Paradigm Conference in Ashland, Oregon

Jennifer Margulis will be speaking at the Architects of a New Paradigm Conference in Ashland, Oregon on March 25 and 26, 2017…


Jennifer Margulis will be speaking at the Revolution for Truth rally in Washington, D.C. on March 31, 2017

… And also at the Revolution for Truth rally in Washington, D.C. on March 31, 2017.


Related posts:
It’s Time to Start a New Conversation About Vaccines
13 Reasons Why the CDC is Right and You Should VACCINATE Your Kids
My son’s SPD was caused by the Hib vaccine


Jennifer Margulis, Ph.D., is an award-winning science journalist and investigative reporter whose work has been published in the New York Times and the Washington Post, and featured on the cover of Smithsonian magazine. A Fulbright awardee, she has a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University, a master’s degree from the University of California at Berkeley, and a doctorate from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. She is the author of Your Baby, Your Way: Taking Charge of Your Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Parenting Decisions for a Happier, Healthier Family (Scribner, 2015) and coauthor, with pediatrician and addiction specialist Paul Thomas, M.D., of The Vaccine-Friendly Plan: Dr. Paul’s Safe and Effective Approach to Immunity and Health—from Pregnancy Through Your Child’s Teen Years (Ballantine, 2016). Learn more at Follow her on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest.

My Son’s Sensory Processing Disorder Was Caused By the Hib Vaccine

My son was damaged by the Hib vaccine. Now he has a sensory processing disorder. This is my story.

Lyle in the car seat at 3 months old. He was always alert and attentive until his vaccine reaction at 15 months.

Editor’s Note: This post is written by a 38-year-old California mom who prefers to remain anonymous to protect her family’s privacy. I have interviewed her and reviewed the court documents that provide evidence that what she has written is true.

My Son’s Sensory Processing Disorder Was Caused By the Hib Vaccine

My son was vaccinated on schedule.

Lyle was born via C-section. The day he was born he had a hepatitis B vaccine and a vitamin K shot. A week later he was circumcised.

He was vaccinated at 2 months, 4 months, and 6 months, exactly according to the CDC schedule.

The day of his 6-month shots he ran a fever of 103 and broke out in a rash.

I called the doctor and asked her about the rash and fever. I was a worried new mom—panicked that my beautiful baby had such a high fever.

The doctor was unconcerned. I distinctly remember her telling me that it was his immune system working after being vaccinated and that if he was uncomfortable to give him Tylenol.

She said to call the office back if the fever lasted more than 3 days.

I still felt worried. Even though the doctor seemed to think this was normal, my healthy baby was now lethargic and burning up with fever. He could barely lift his head. His eyes were glassy.

I went to set up his online medical portal and, looking through his medical records, I noticed that Lyle always had a fever within days of vaccination. I mentioned my concern about the fevers to my husband and we talked about delaying his vaccines.

We never intended to not vaccinate, but we thought if he was having a fever after each vaccine then maybe his system was too immature to handle so many shots at once.

At his 9-month visit the doctor recommended the flu shot. She was surprised we declined. We explained that we were going to wait. She seemed miffed at us about wanting to wait and asked why. We mentioned our son’s fevers. She immediately told us that fever was a normal response to vaccines. We also mentioned our concern that certain vaccines contain cells grown from aborted fetal tissue, something I had uncovered on-line.

“UGH!” The doctor cried. “I hate misinformation! That is a complete lie. The things people make up!”

Several vaccines on the U.S. childhood vaccine schedule are made with cells grown from aborted fetuses. Via

We thought the doctor, who we had always liked, would agree with us—that it would be safer for our baby to delay vaccines. But instead she reacted with anger and impatience. It was after her strong emotional reaction that we started doing even more research on vaccines.

I found out that the children of my friends who were on a different healthcare plan were receiving fewer vaccines than my son. For some reason this bothered me. Did my doctor’s office urge more vaccines because we were on an HMO insurance plan and my friend’s children were getting less just because they were on a PPO plan?

At the same time, we wanted to make sure our son was protected against infectious diseases and that he got all the vaccines he needed. We did more research, mostly reading the information for parents at the CDC website. We decided that our son would get the flu shot at 12 months and then the wait until he was 2 years old for the DTaP, Hib, and MMR vaccines.

He got vaccinated with the flu shot at 12 months. He had a fever within 24 hours. Again we were reassured that this was normal.

In April 2013 I took my son to his 15-month well baby visit. He tested normal on all markers. My favorite thing at this age was that he was learning to sing. We sang together every night as part of his bedtime routine. I would snuggle him close to my chest in the rocking chair. My husband and I are both musicians and hearing him sing “ABC” and “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” in his little baby voice along with me brought tears of joy to my eyes.

At that 15-month well baby visit the doctor kept pressing both the pertussis (whooping cough) and the Hib (Haemophilus influenzae type B) vaccines. She mentioned getting those vaccines at least five times in that one visit. She would not let it go. She suggested we do the Hib vaccine then and the DTaP at a separate visit. I finally agreed.

My son was vaccinated for Hib that day.

A week later he spiked a fever of 105, which lasted for 8 days.

Lyle didn’t sing again for 3 years.

Along with the fever, he became extremely lethargic. My toddler, who had been walking on his own for about 5 months, now spent his days lying in my arms. He had no appetite, and would only drink milk through a bottle. He spent his nights thrashing in bed, screaming and arching his back.

I called the doctor in the middle of the night the first night of the fever. She recommended alternating between Tylenol and Advil, which we did. The medicine did not seem to give him any relief.

The next day we brought him to the doctor. The on-call doctor said he possibly had a viral illness and to call the office if the fever lasted more than 3 days. The fever lasted for another 6 days (8 days total).

After that Hib vaccine, our whole world changed.

After my son had a bad reaction to the Hib vaccine, he started getting rashes several times a year. Via

A few months after Lyle had a bad reaction to the Hib vaccine, he started getting rashes. He gets impetigo numerous times a year since that injury.

Lyle would no longer respond to his name.

He started having long staring spells.

He still spoke but only repeated words instead of responding to our questions.

Our days were filled with tantrums, which involved extreme head banging, mostly on the floor to the point that he would get big bruises.

He became obsessed with anything with wheels and would sit there for hours in one spot on the floor playing with trains.

Once a social toddler, Lyle stopped responding to his friends and seemed to physically not be aware of his surroundings. He would crash into walls or tables and bang things—like his toys— on the walls, tables, and floor.

At his 18-month well baby visit I mentioned all of this to the doctor and she said that he seemed normal!

I remember calling his name to show her that he didn’t make eye contact. She repeated that it was normal for an 18-month-old to tune out his parent’s voice.

At that visit, like at every visit, they measured his head circumference. When I looked back at his records, I realized that my son’s head circumference grew 34 % between his 15-month appointment and his 18-month visit, which is anything but normal.

We lived this way for a year (head banging, wall crashing, lights flickering, wheels spinning, and toys banging). He also stopped eating any food except macaroni and cheese. I decided to stop seeing that doctor because she was not able to offer any support for any of the issues we were facing with Lyle. It was like she was in denial. We had followed her advice, ignored our instincts as parents, and now our son’s health was in jeopardy. But this doctor’s only comment was that he was normal.

We enrolled Lyle in a local Special Education program as a mainstream student. Being a mainstream student meant that he was there to volunteer his play in the Special Ed preschool class to help the children with developmental delays. He went there two half days a week for about 2 hours.

After the first week of school, the Special Ed teacher approached me and asked if Lyle always banged things and crashed into things like she had observed him doing. I said yes. I told her that our old pediatrician said it was “normal.” Every week the teacher would pull me aside and ask me questions about Lyle. I felt like she was picking on me, and on him, for just being a high-energy kid.

In January the following year we found another pediatrician. This doctor noticed right away that our son had some developmental concerns and recommended that Lyle get evaluated by our local regional center. I mentioned this to the Special Ed teacher. Looking relieved that I had finally figured out what she had been hinting at for some time, she enthusiastically agreed.

Lyle was not normal. The pediatrician who had dismissed our concern about the fevers, rash, and lethargy after his infant vaccines and had basically bullied us into getting the Hib vaccine when we thought it would be safer to wait had been wrong the entire time.

Lyle was diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) at 26 months of age. He started Occupational Therapy around this time also. It was challenging to get him to therapy due to his extreme behavior issues. At that time he was almost always sick with a low-grade fever.

When he was 3 years old, we had him evaluated by a pediatric neurologist who confirmed his SPD diagnoses and also diagnosed him with ADHD. She spent extensive time looking over his medical records and asked detailed questions about his behavior, fevers, and when/if we had noticed any significant changes.

After extensive blood tests and brain scans, this pediatric neurologist, who had trained at Harvard University and Oxford, determined that our son had experienced something called encephalopathy (brain swelling) and suffered from mitochondrial dysfunction. She said that the unusual change in his head circumference between 15 and 18 months was another sign of swelling. She told us the encephalopathy was caused by the high fever he had following his Hib vaccine at 15 months.

Having this incredibly smart, well-trained, kind, attentive, and thorough pediatric neurologist confirm that Lyle had been brain damaged by vaccines filled me sadness, rage, and relief. I felt heartbroken that I hadn’t been smart enough to know better or strong enough to follow my instincts. I felt angry at myself that I had let this happen to my son. I also felt vindicated—I had known for a long time that Lyle’s behavior wasn’t “normal,” and that there was something wrong after he had the Hib vaccine. The neurologist wrote us a medical exemption and told us it was not safe for Lyle to ever have another vaccine.

She also told us that an infant should never be given Tylenol before or after vaccines, and that the Tylenol may have contributed to his brain swelling. Acetaminophen, the main ingredient in baby Tylenol, depletes the body of glutathione, which is a natural chemical that helps the body remove toxins. Without glutathione the body cannot effectively detoxify harmful substances. So when we called the pediatrician in the middle of the night and she told us to give our son Tylenol, she was basically serving a death sentence to his brain.

We decided to reach out to a vaccine injury attorney. The Vaccine Injury Compensation Program has paid out over $3.5 billion to families whose loved ones have been injured by vaccines. In America vaccine manufacturers cannot be sued if their products harm children. Instead a “no-fault court,” paid for by a consumer tax on every vaccine given, was set up to help families like ours. Our bills were piling up and insurance was not covering most of the therapies we were trying to help Lyle with his Sensory Processing Disorder. After about a year of researching, the attorney agreed to take Lyle’s case. He filed a petition against Health and Human Services on behalf of our son.

After about 8 months we received word from our son’s vaccine injury attorney that the Special Master (that is, the judge) in the case determined that our son could only have sustained a compensable vaccine injury if he had documentation of regression within 2 months of getting the Hib vaccine. Since his well baby visit wasn’t until 3 months after he had the Hib vaccine and the doctor did not document the noticeable developmental delays that my husband and I pointed out to her, we only had the documentation of the high fever that lasted for 8 days followed by the documented regression about 6 months later. We also had a note from the teacher at the school that our son showed sensory issues (about 5 months after the Hib vaccine). But the judge—who presumably knows more about brain encephalitis than a Harvard-educated pediatric neurologist who submitted written testimony and clinic data on Lyle’s behalf, determined that our son did not have a vaccine reaction because there wasn’t any documented regression within 2 months of the Hib vaccine.

The Special Master also determined that my son’s symptoms of Sensory Processing Disorder were too similar to autism. Since the Vaccine Court (as it is popularly called) will not award damages for autism, the judge demanded that our case be withdrawn.

He threatened our attorneys, who have an excellent track record of helping families (mostly because they only take on the most air-tight cases), that he would fine them if they did not withdraw the case.

The attorneys believe that the judge was afraid of setting a precedent. If our son were awarded damages for what his doctors would verify was a vaccine reaction, then the court would be flooded with parents whose children also got Sensory Processing Disorders after the Hib vaccine. Why a Special Master has the right to determine that there may only be a 2-month deadline for documented regression is inexplicable. Most cases typically accept 6 months as a standard time frame.

Most nights I can’t sleep.

I replay this story over and over in my head and imagine what would have happened if I never vaccinated my son, if the pediatrician paid attention to his developmental delays following the vaccines and documented them, if I had noticed the infant reactions and not continued vaccinating on such an aggressive schedule, if my doctor had been paying attention to the scientific literature and not recommended Tylenol when my baby was spiking fevers…

Would Lyle be able to sit and learn like a typical 5 year old?

Would Lyle be able to eat normally? (Because of his SPD he can only chew soft food.)

Would Lyle have grown up singing and dancing and making friends instead of banging his head, banging his toys, and unable to relate to other children his age?

Would our family be spending more than $15,000 a year out of pocket for his complicated medical needs?

What would have happened if the Special Master in the vaccine injury case listened to the 2 doctors who testified about my son’s vaccine injury? How does that judge sleep at night throwing out case after case after case? Does he really believe my son’s SPD was not caused by vaccines or does he care more about precedence than he does about people?

Lyle is supposed to start kindergarten this year. The encephalitis causes him unspeakably painful headaches. He has behavioral issues throughout the day. Is there a school that can handle and treat my child with the kindness and attention that he deserves?

I sit here on the floor playing with trains with my son. After 3 years of silence he tries to sing again. The words do not flow like they used to. But he sits here and tries and he sings. I know a lot of parents who are still waiting to hear their children speak after a vaccine injury, and I feel grateful for how far he has come.

But I also feel angry.

I hear stories daily of children who lose developmental skills after being vaccinated yet doctors, public health officials, and mainstream journalists—duped by the lie that vaccine injury is not real—refuse to pay attention.

I’m angry that parents like me continue to be told the lie that vaccines are safe and effective, that vaccine injury is rare, and that it is our responsibility to the community to immunize our children.

I’m angry that the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program doesn’t even pretend to be fair, and that they bully parents into withdrawing their legitimate cases because they are too afraid that if vaccines are found to be causing Sensory Processing Disorders the floodgates will open.

I’m angry for every parent whose child has a Sensory Processing Disorder caused by vaccines.

It happened to our family. I don’t want it to happen to yours.

I cannot have any more children due to a medical issue. If I could, I would do everything differently. We wouldn’t circumcise, give the baby Tylenol, or vaccinate.


My son got a Sensory Processing Disorder after his 15-month vaccine against Hib

Lyle is five years old now. He recently had an EEG because the doctors think that he might be having seizures from his vax injury.


Jennifer Margulis is an award-winning health journalist, Fulbright grantee, and mother of four. She has worked on a child survival campaign in Niger, West Africa; appeared live on prime-time TV in Paris, France; and taught post-modern literature in inner city Atlanta. She has a B.A. from Cornell University, an M.A. from the University of California at Berkeley, and a Ph.D. from Emory University. Jennifer Margulis is the author/editor of seven books, including Your Baby, Your Way: Taking Charge of Your Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Parenting Decisions for a Happier, Healthier Family and The Vaccine-Friendly Plan: Dr. Paul’s Safe and Effective Approach to Immunity and Health From Pregnancy Through Your Child’s Teen Years.

Medical Doctors Concerned We Are Giving America’s Children Too Many Vaccines Too Soon

Medical doctors are concerned that we are giving America's children too many vaccines too soon

When Mark Zuckerberg posted a photo of his baby daughter on Facebook with the chipper caption, “Doctor’s visit–time for vaccines!” last January, the post garnered an enormous amount of attention: 36,255 shares, 3.4 million reactions, and 83,000 comments.

Screen shot from Mark Zuckerberg's Facebook post announcing his daughter was getting her vaccines

Screen shot from Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook post announcing his daughter was getting her vaccines

The extensive comments on the post caught the interest of some scientific researchers, who analyzed over a thousand of them. Their analysis yielded what media outlets described as a “surprising” result: the “anti”-vaccine comments were more scientifically based and carefully worded than the “pro”-vaccine comments.

In the words of the researchers: “Although the anti-vaccination stance is not scientifically-based, comments showed evidence of greater analytical thinking, and more references to health and the body. In contrast, pro-vaccination comments demonstrated greater comparative anxiety, with a particular focus on family and social processes.” (My emphasis.)

The problem responsible scientists are faced with right now is that the evidence is accumulating that the CDC’s childhood vaccine schedule is not scientifically-based. The medical doctors, academic researchers, citizen scientists, and concerned parents who are taking the time to read the science and educate themselves about what we know and what we don’t about vaccines are all coming to the same conclusion: something is very wrong with today’s childhood vaccine recommendations. Our current medical recommendations seem to be harming children’s bodies and their brains.

Let’s hear from a few of those on-the-ground medical doctors themselves. These are not crackpots. These are not crystal-slinging tree-hugging hippies. These are top doctors and thought leaders, physicians who care deeply about the health of our children and our nation. So what do they have to say?

Bose Ravenel believes that vaccines are triggering autism in susceptible children

“There is clearly a relationship between vaccines and autism,” –Dr. Bose Ravenel, M.D.

Dr. Ravenel is a doctor based in Winston Salem, North Carolina and who has been practicing medicine for over 40 years. He used to be the first to dismiss the idea that vaccines might be contributing to autism. Why? Because he blindly followed the medical establishment and did not bother to do any research for himself. Denying a causal link between vaccines and autism was the most comfortable position to take. He chose his words very carefully when I interviewed him: “to say that ‘vaccines cause autism’ is an inaccurate, non-nuanced statement. At the same time, to say that ‘vaccines don’t cause autism’ is also inaccurate. In certain conditions, like with mitochondrial dysfunction, vaccines certainly can cause autism or contribute to it.”

Dr. Kelly Sutton, M.D., treats patients with vaccine injuries every day in her office

Dr. Kelly Sutton, M.D., treats patients with vaccine injuries every day in her office

“It’s not a rational thing to think that we can just give an ever-increasing number of vaccines without causing damage. There’s a tipping point for many people in terms of the toxins that they can handle.” –Dr. Kelly Sutton, M.D.

Dr. Sutton has about 3,500 patients in her integrative medical practice in Fair Oaks, California. She is a founding member of Physicians for Informed Consent, a new non-profit made up of doctors and researchers who oppose mandating medical treatments.

Dr. Sutton is deeply concerned by the poor health of Americans who follow mainstream medical advice:

I think that in the 1980s we had a sweet spot with vaccines where most people could be vaccinated and tolerate the vaccines. At that point our health regulators and the vaccine industry could have created studies to understand those existing vaccines better so that the people who were damaged by vaccines, the most sensitive ones, were able to have different schedules. That’s totally possible now with the genetic understanding that we have. Unfortunately that didn’t happen, and money was spent instead on research and development of ever more vaccines.


It’s not a rational thing to think that we can just give an ever-increasing number of vaccines without causing damage. There’s a tipping point for many people in terms of the toxins that they can handle and the increase in chronic illness that was demonstrated by this study shows this, and the increase in drastic diseases with acute immediate reactions is also part of the profound neurodevelopmental things that are seen occasionally following vaccines.


I see daily in my practice evidence of vaccine injury and I hear stories almost every day of families that vaccinate children and then decide not to vaccinate and the unvaccinated children within the same family are healthier, more socially adjusted and more capable academically even though their parents are older than the siblings who were born first and were fully vaccinated.


I think we must look at vaccines as a changing picture because nature responds to the impact of vaccines. We should never consider vaccines a fixed item that’s a forever part of the medical landscape. An important example is the Hib vaccine. Which now has so little likelihood of happening as a disease that the vaccine damage frequency is at or higher than the likelihood of catching the Hib disease. The vaccine has shifted the structure of that germ enough that the germ is no longer the same aggressive germ that it was in the past. So should we still continue a vaccine that is not needed?


We also have to understand in this fluctuating scene that many things impact infectious disease, not just vaccines. The single most primary one was plumbing and the second, nutrition.


We’re making things black and white that really have many many shades to them. We have to get past sound bites and look at a complex picture with more accuracy. It is unethical to not study unvaccinated versus vaccinated. No question about that. There are plenty of parents who would prefer not to vaccinate their children and those can be the first to volunteer to check epidemiologically the health of those voluntarily unvaccinated children and see how that is with voluntarily fully vaccinated children.

Much of the science published in peer-reviewed journals is poorly designed and deeply flawed, according to the editor of The Lancet, one of the most prestigious scientific journals around

Is Dr. Sutton’s an “outlier” position? Does that even matter?

The interesting thing about science–and human health–is that 30,000 people can have one point of view and one person can have another point of view. And that one person with the dissenting point of view can turn out to be the one who is right.

As microbiologist Morten Laane points out, science is not a Democracy.

Consider Galileo whose idea that the Earth moved around the sun was in direct opposition to what the church authorities, and the majority of the people, believed and wanted to be true. However unpopular his theories, Galileo turned out to be right.

Or Dr. Frances Oldham Kelsey, who saved U.S. babies from thalidomide despite the fact that the medical establishment believed it was safe and it was given to pregnant women in dozens of places around the world, including Canada, Britain, and the Middle East. Kelsey’s skepticism and insistence on erring on the side of caution saved thousands of American babies from devastating health problems.

But so many parents and doctors have been seeing vaccines causing health problems with their own eyes–and so many have started speaking up about it and started sharing their stories–that they can no longer be dismissed as “outliers.”

Questioning vaccine safety does not make you anti-vaccine. It makes you pro-health, pro-child, and pro safe vaccination.

Dr. William T. Redwood, M.D. is one of the most well respected emergency room doctors in the state of Georgia. He, too, is concerned:

“If you summarily dismiss the possibility that the increasing rates of childhood illnesses, including ADD, autism, asthma and other auto-immune disorders are connected to vaccines, you can’t figure out if our children’s health problems are vaccine-related injuries. The people at CDC who should be helping set policy on vaccine safety—I don’t think they are asking the right questions.” –Dr. Tommy Redwood, M.D.

Dr. Paul Thomas, M.D., has over 13,000 patients in his pediatric practice in Portland. He believes that too many vaccines given too soon are causing autism in genetically susceptible children.

Dr. Paul Thomas, M.D., has over 13,000 patients in his pediatric practice in Portland. He believes that too many vaccines given too soon are causing autism in genetically susceptible children.

Dr. Paul Thomas, M.D., my co-author and a pediatrician with over 13,000 children in his practice in Portland, Oregon, has noticed that the children who are the most vaccinated in his practice are also the least healthy.

“As unpopular as this observation might be, my unvaccinated children are by far the healthiest.” –Dr. Paul Thomas, M.D.

Anyone who would smugly say, “The science is clear” or “The science is settled” profoundly misunderstands what science is. Science is a process of inquiry. Any scientific knowledge that any given generation has is always subject to scrutiny. Science is never settled.

We keep talking about vaccines being a potential trigger for autism because we keep seeing American children being harmed by our current CDC vaccine schedule. If the harm weren’t happening, we would not be having this conversation.

Is it the glutathione-depleting acetaminophen given before and after vaccination that is triggering autism?

Is it the cumulative toxic exposure, a negative synergy between vaccine ingredients?

Is the depleted microbiome because of the overuse of antibiotics playing a role?

Is there an in utero assault with ultrasound exposure and a trigger pulled by aluminum in the hepatitis B vaccine given at birth?

The honest truth is that we simply don’t know. But we can’t find out if we don’t ask the right questions. With 1 in 45 children diagnosed with autism today, we are in the midst of a national health crisis that can no longer be ignored.


Author Jennifer Margulis, Ph.D. Photo via Bryon DeVore.

Photo by Bryon DeVore

Jennifer Margulis, Ph.D., is an award-winning writer, Fulbright grantee, and sought-after speaker. She is the author/editor of seven books, including The Vaccine-Friendly Plan, co-written with Dr. Paul Thomas, M.D. (Ballantine, 2016). Follow her on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.