Vaccination During Pregnancy: Is It Safe?

 posted 11/12/2013

by Barbara Loe Fisher

It was 1977 when I found out I was going to become a Mom. I instinctively knew I needed to be careful while I was pregnant, especially during the first two trimesters when the major organ systems of the fetus develop at a rapid rate. In the 1960’s there had been a lot of publicity about babies dying or being born without arms or legs because women had taken a drug (Thalidomide) for morning sickness in the first or second trimester of pregnancy1  and I wanted to make sure I did everything I could to protect my health and the health of my baby before and after he was born.
Mothers to be in my generation were told to take extra vitamins and eat nutritious food but, most of all, to avoid anything that could harm the developing fetus like alcohol, cigarette smoke, medications, radiation, household cleaning products and other toxic exposures. Some of us were aware of the risks of heavy anesthesia during delivery and signed up for Lamaze classes to prepare for a drug-free birth, which many obstetricians discouraged, and we chose to breastfeed, even though a lot of pediatricians were pushing formula and bottles back then.
Today, pregnant women face a different set of difficult questions and choices about keeping themselves and their babies healthy. Among them are whether or not to get vaccinations during pregnancy that public health officials, obstetricians and pediatricians say will protect pregnant women and their newborns from getting sick with influenza and B. pertussis whooping cough.  
Toxic Exposures & Assumption of Safety - Is It A Good Idea?
Although since the 1970’s public health officials have recommended influenza vaccinations for pregnant women in the second or third trimester,2 relatively few obstetricians promoted the vaccine until the past decade when, in 2006, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) strengthened recommendations that all pregnant women, healthy or not, should get a flu shot in any trimester.3 Then, in 2011, a pertussis containing Tdap shot was recommended for all pregnant women, preferably after 20 weeks gestation.4  Both current vaccine recommendations5  6  7  are endorsed by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG)8 9 the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and other medical trade associations.10 11
With these recommendations, the time-honored rule of avoiding any potential toxic exposure that might interfere with the normal development of the fetus has been suspended and replaced with an assumption that vaccination during pregnancy is safe. But what is the scientific evidence documenting that this assumption is a well-informed one?
Glaring Lack of Safety Testing
You have to look no further than information in the vaccine manufacturer product inserts and posted online by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to quickly answer that question. 
FACT: Drug companies did not test the safety and effectiveness of giving influenza or Tdap vaccine to pregnant women before the vaccines were licensed in the U.S.12 13  and there is almost no data on inflammatory or other biological responses to these vaccines that could affect pregnancy and birth outcomes.14

FACT:  The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) lists influenza and Tdap vaccines as either Pregnancy Category B or C biologicals15 which means that adequate testing has not been done in humans to demonstrate safety for pregnant women and it is not known whether the vaccines can cause fetal harm or affect reproduction capacity. The manufacturers of influenza and Tdap vaccines state that human toxicity and fertility studies are inadequate and warn that the influenza and Tdap vaccines should “be given to a pregnant woman only if clearly needed.”16 17 18

FACT: There are ingredients in influenza and pertussis containing Tdap vaccines that have not been fully evaluated for potential genotoxic19 or other adverse effects on the human fetus developing in the womb that may negatively affect health after birth, including aluminum adjuvants, mercury containing (Thimerosal) preservatives and many more bioactive and potentially toxic ingredients.20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29

FACT: There are serious problems with outdated testing procedures for determining the potency and toxicity of pertussis vaccines and some scientists are calling for limits to be established for specific toxin content of pertussis-containing vaccines.30

FACT: There are no published biological mechanism studies that assess  pre-vaccination health status and measure changes in brain and immune function and chromosomal integrity after vaccination of pregnant women or their babies developing in the womb.31

FACT: Since licensure of influenza and Tdap vaccines in the U.S., there have been no well designed prospective case controlled studies comparing the health outcomes of large groups of women who get influenza and pertussis containing Tdap vaccines during pregnancy either separately or simultaneously  compared to those who do not get the vaccines, and no similar health outcome comparisons of their newborns at birth or in the first year of life have been conducted. Safety and effectiveness evaluations that have been conducted are either small,32 retrospective,33 34 compare vaccinated women to vaccinated women35 or have been performed by drug company or government health officials using unpublished data.36

FACT: The FDA has licensed Tdap vaccines to be given once as a single dose pertussis booster shot to individuals over 10 or 11 years old.  The CDC’s recommendation that doctors give every pregnant woman a Tdap vaccination during every pregnancy - regardless of whether a woman has already received one dose of Tdap - is an off-label use of the vaccine.37

FACT: Injuries and deaths from pertussis-containing vaccines are the most compensated claims in the federal Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) and influenza vaccine injuries and deaths are the second most compensated claim.38

FACT: A 2013 published study evaluating reports of acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM) following vaccination in the U. S. Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) and in a European vaccine reaction reporting system found that seasonal influenza vaccine was the most frequently suspected cause of brain inflammation after 18 years old, representing 32 percent of the total cases reported, and pertussis containing DTaP was among the vaccines most frequently associated with brain inflammation in children between birth and age five.39

FACT: When a pregnant woman is harmed by an influenza or Tdap vaccine, drug companies selling the vaccines in the U.S., doctors and other vaccine providers are shielded from vaccine injury lawsuits40 but it is unclear whether vaccine injuries sustained by an unborn child in the womb will qualify for federal vaccine injury compensation.41
Rush to Vaccinate: Policy Preceding Science

In addition to lack of credible scientific evidence to demonstrate safety,42 43 there is not enough credible epidemiological and biological mechanism evidence to demonstrate it is effective or necessary 44 45 46 47 for every pregnant woman to get an influenza and Tdap shot during every pregnancy. The rush to vaccinate pregnant women and reach into the womb to try to passively vaccinate the developing fetus48 49 is a clear case of policy preceding science.

An experimental genetically engineered nanoparticle vaccine for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and another one for Group B Streptococcus are in advanced clinical trials and reportedly likely will be exclusively recommended for pregnant women after they are licensed.50 With new vaccines on the horizon that will target pregnant women, it is critically important that more bad vaccine policy does not precede good vaccine science.

Pregnant women today need to take a long, hard look at the well advertised but theoretical benefits and unknown risks of getting vaccinated during pregnancy before making a vaccine decision. It is especially important when there are so many warning signs that America’s highly vaccinated child and adult population in the 21st century is not very healthy.
Maternal and infant mortality statistics are a classic measure of a nation’s public health status and, in this country, here are red flags that cannot be ignored any longer.
Maternal and Infant Mortality Rates High in America
How many young couples of child bearing age know that women getting pregnant and delivering babies in America today have more than twice the risk of dying during pregnancy, childbirth or after giving birth than they did three decades ago?51 52  Women having babies are dying of heart failure, high blood pressure and stroke, infection of the blood, diabetes and blood clots in greater numbers because the maternal death rate in America has been climbing since 1987.53 We now rank a dismal number 50 in maternal mortality in the world, which is worse than that of most European countries and some countries in Asia and the Middle East.54
Equally shocking is the fact that the U.S. now has the highest first day infant death rate of all industrialized countries55 and ranks number 31 among nations in infant mortality.56 Preterm birth rates have increased 36% since the early 1980’s57 and 6 out of every 1,000 babies born alive in America die before their first birthday.58
Birth defects, chromosomal damage, premature birth, low birth weight and sudden infant death syndrome are the leading causes of death for about 23,000 newborn infants every year,59 with half of those deaths occurring on the first day of life. A baby born in America is twice as likely to die within the first 24 hours as babies born in the European Union.60
Why Is Health in the U.S. on Such A Steep Decline?
U.S. public health officials say there are “no clear” answers for why our maternal mortality rate is skyrocketing.61 They don’t know why so many of our babies are dying on the first day and within the first year of life, in stark contrast to many other nations where maternal and infant mortality rates are declining.
Public health officials also can’t figure out why so many infants and children in America are plagued with brain and immune system problems. The unprecedented, unexplained chronic disease and disability epidemic 62 has gotten worse in the past three decades – with 1 child in 6 now learning disabled; 63 1 in 9 suffering with asthma;64 1 in 50 developing autism;65 1 in 400 becoming diabetic66 and millions more suffering with severe food allergies,67 inflammatory bowel disease 68 and other chronic illness.69 70
The health of American adults has also deteriorated during the past three decades compared to other wealthy nations where health is improving71  and our life expectancy is worse than many other countries as well.72 The CDC says that today chronic diseases are the most common and costly causes of death and disability with about half of all adults living with at least one chronic illness.73
U.S. Number One Market for Drugs & Vaccines
What is not on the list of potential causes for this failing public health report card is lack of access to drugs and vaccines. With a population of 316 million people out of 7 billion people on the earth, the U.S. spends nearly $3 trillion dollars per year on health care74 - more than any other nation in the world75 76 - and we consume 40 percent of all drugs sold globally.77 78 79 In addition, America is the leading purchaser of vaccines in the world’s $32 billion dollar vaccine market.80 81 82
Since 1981, 95 percent of all children entering kindergarten have received multiple doses of seven vaccines including pertussis and measles vaccines.83  In 1991, the CDC recommended all infants get a hepatitis B shot at 12 hours old84 and, by 2012, more than 70 percent of all newborns had received a hepatitis B shot at birth while between 80 and 90 percent of three year olds had gotten multiple doses of eleven vaccines.85
In a crusade to eliminate an expanding list of microbes, U.S. health officials currently direct pediatricians to give children 49 doses of 14 vaccines by age six starting on the day of birth with more than two dozen doses administered by an  infant’s first birthday.86 More than two dozen additional vaccinations are recommended or mandated for teenagers and adults, including annual flu shots throughout life.87
Has Mandated Use of More Vaccines Compromised America’s Health?
Every state in the U.S. has laws requiring dozens of vaccinations for daycare and school attendance88 in contrast to neighboring Mexico and Canada, which recommend but do not mandate vaccines (a provision in Canada’s Constitution prohibits compulsory vaccination).89 

Japan, New Zealand, Australia, Iceland and Norway recommend but do not legally require vaccines and 15 countries in the European Union, including United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, Greece, Denmark, Netherlands, Finland and Austria similarly recommend but do not mandate vaccines.90 All of these countries have lower infant mortality rates than the U.S. and do not recommend that infants under one year old get as many vaccines as American infants do.91 In fact, no other country legally requires92 the numbers of vaccinations that the U.S. does for children to attend daycare and school or for adults to keep their jobs.93
It is no wonder that more Americans are asking questions about why our children need so many vaccines and why adults need to get a flu shot every year – even during pregnancy – when our population is already the most vaccinated in the world but far less healthy than other countries that do not mandate or recommend so many vaccines.
Ask for the Science
If you are pregnant and have other children, be aware that the American Academy of Pediatrics is urging pediatricians to vaccinate parents bringing their children in for sick or well baby visits, especially pregnant women.94 If an obstetrician or pediatrician pressures you to get vaccinated while you are pregnant, ask the doctor to show you the science. If you conclude the vaccine’s benefits do not outweigh the risks for you and your baby but are threatened or sanctioned in any way for making an informed choice, you should find another doctor who will treat you with respect and honor your health care choices.
Go to to learn more and sign up for NVIC’s free online Advocacy Portal so you can work to protect the freedom to make voluntary vaccine decisions in your state.
It’s your health, your family, your choice.
Click to View and Access References

Measles Reports in America: What Does It Mean?

Posted 9/24/2013

by Barbara Loe Fisher

On Sept. 12, 2013, public health officials at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) called a press conference to announce that vaccination rates among pre-school children are “high and stable” and “less than 1% are unvaccinated.” 1 More than 90 percent of American toddlers have gotten a measles containing MMR shot by age three, along with many doses of 10 other government recommended vaccines.
159 Measles Cases Reported This Year in U.S.
But health officials warned there have been 159 cases of measles reported so far this year, the second highest number of measles cases reported in one year since 2000.  They put the blame on 92 unvaccinated Americans diagnosed with measles who had “philosophical objections” to vaccination, such as orthodox Jews in New York City and Christians attending a church in Texas, which they described as “clusters of people with like-minded beliefs leading them to forego vaccines.” 2 3 4
There have been no measles-related deaths in the U.S. this year; however one government official said that 160,000 people around the world die from measles every year and the infection is “literally a plane ride away.” She warned that “the measles virus can hang out in the air and if you are in the same waiting room as someone with measles you will get measles if you never had it.” 5
Americans Born Before 1957 Have Natural Immunity
In the interest of full disclosure, I should acknowledge that when I was a child I did get measles and so did my sister and brother and all my friends. It started off with a fever, runny nose, sore throat and white spots inside our mouths and then an itchy red rash on our faces that spread all over and I remember wearing sunglasses in the house because the light hurt my eyes. My parents and grandparents and their sisters and brothers also had measles when they were children. When I was growing up in the 1950’s, measles, mumps, rubella and chickenpox were infections we all experienced but our parents didn’t worry about those childhood diseases like they worried about polio.
Americans born before 1957 have naturally acquired immunity to measles and we passed antibodies on to our babies when they were born to protect them from measles during the first year of life. Because naturally acquired measles antibodies are different from vaccine antibodies, young vaccinated Moms today cannot give longer lasting naturally acquired measles antibodies to their newborns. 6
Things have definitely changed in the past 60 years.
American Children Highly Vaccinated
In August and September, the CDC published annual reports that once again confirmed American children are among the most highly vaccinated in the world. 7 8 9 In 2012, 95% of children entering kindergarten had gotten two MMR shots and so had more than 90% of high school students. About 1.8% of kindergarten children had a medical or personal belief exemption to vaccination on file with schools.
Bottom line: 95% of the approximately 75 million children under age 18 10 have gotten two doses of MMR vaccine and there is also a high measles vaccination rate among young adults in their 20’s and mid-30’s because, since 1981, 95% of all children entering kindergarten have received at least one dose of MMR vaccine and three or more doses of diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis and polio containing vaccines. 11
Now let’s take a look at what measles incidence and death rates looked like before and after the first measles vaccine was licensed in 1963.
Infections & Vaccine Reactions: Misdiagnosis & Underreporting
It is important to remember that, like B. pertussis whooping cough and other infectious diseases, measles has natural cyclical increases and decreases every few years in populations.12 13  Plus, not all pertussis 14 15 or measles infections 16 17 are diagnosed correctly by doctors and reported to government health officials  and the same is true for diagnosis and reporting of vaccine reactions, injuries and deaths. 18 19 20
Before Vaccine: Millions of Measles Cases Not Reported
Before measles vaccine was licensed in 1963, the CDC admits there was massive underreporting of measles cases and that “because virtually all children acquired measles, the number of measles cases probably approached 3.5 million per year (.i.e., an entire birth cohort). ” 21 Other doctors say it was more like 5 million cases of measles occurring every year. 22 In 1960, three years before the first measles vaccine was put on the market in the U.S., there were about 442,000 reported measles cases and 380 related deaths 23 24 among 3.5 to 5 million Americans.
After Vaccine:  Decreases & Increases in Measles Case Reports
After 17 years of giving children measles vaccine, in 1980 there were only 13,500 reported measles cases and 11 related deaths.  25 But in 1990, about 28,000 measles cases and 64 deaths were reported in a population in which 95% of children entering kindergarten had gotten one MMR shot that public health officials had promised parents would give their children life long immunity to measles. 26
So the CDC added a second MMR shot to the child vaccine schedule and, by 2005, there were only 66 cases of measles reported. 27 However, in 2008 and 2011, there were a total of 362 reported measles cases, even as there were no deaths. 28
This brings us to the question of why there is so much publicity today about 159 measles cases identified in the U.S. this year in a population of 316 million.
Global Measles Eradication Endgame: 2015 - 2020
Well, what a lot of Americans do not know but need to know is that the World Health Organization is partnering with government health officials, multi-national pharmaceutical corporations and medical trade groups in a global measles eradication campaign patterned after the smallpox and polio eradication campaigns of the 20th century. The goal is to eradicate measles (and rubella) from the earth by 2015 or at the latest by 2020. 29 30
Two Doses of MMR for Two Billion Children
In order to accomplish that goal in the next two to seven years, the plan is to make sure that at least 95% or more of the world’s two billion children 31 get two doses of MMR vaccine.
With a dose of MMR vaccine costing the CDC $20 to purchase from Merck while private pediatricians pay $56 a dose, 32 the cost of waging a global measles eradication campaign is astronomical. 33
Europe: Few Countries Mandate MMR
In Europe where many countries mandate polio vaccine and not MMR or other vaccines, 34 there have been tens of thousands of measles cases reported over the past decade.35 36 European health officials say that individuals with religious beliefs, as well as many “middle class people” using holistic health care alternatives for staying well, are resisting MMR vaccine promotion campaigns. 37 Public health doctors see the trend by educated consumers in many developed countries to move away from using lots of prescription drugs and vaccines  38 39 40 as a threat to infectious disease eradication programs.
Public Health Doctors: How Far Will They Go?
The question is: How far will public health doctors go to reach their goal of eradicating measles, rubella and many other infections with the mandated use of vaccines? 41 4243 44
  We have seen a militarization of the public health system in the past century 45 to justify global vaccination campaigns to eradicate smallpox and polio.46 47 48 49 After Sept. 11, 2001, Congress and state legislatures granted greatly expanded police powers to government health officials to detain, quarantine and force vaccine use without the voluntary, informed consent of citizens whenever government officials declare a “public health emergency.” 50 51 52
A War on Values & Beliefs
The public conversation about vaccination, health and autonomy has become ugly and divisive in the 21st century because the War on Disease has been turned into a War on Values and Beliefs. 53 54 55 56 57 58
And it is making many people afraid and distrustful of doctors and government health officials using threats and sanctions to enforce one-size-fits-all vaccine policies and laws that force them to get not just two doses of MMR vaccine but dozens of doses of other vaccines.  59 60 61 62 63 64
Will The Oppression Escalate?
Is the current government-endorsed criticism of the values and spiritual beliefs of unvaccinated Americans, who have been diagnosed with measles, just the first step toward even more oppression?  Will it escalate into what we witnessed in 2007, when parents failing to show proof their children had gotten a chickenpox shot or hepatitis B shot, were threatened with stiff fines and jail time before being summoned by government officials to a Maryland courthouse patrolled by armed police with dogs to make sure their children got vaccinated? 65
I don’t think any of us know how far doctors working for government or drug companies and medical trade groups will go to pit citizens against each other in an effort to shun and punish anyone defending the human right to exercise freedom of thought, belief, conscience and informed consent to medical-risk taking, 66 which includes taking risks with liability free pharmaceutical products like vaccines. 67
Philosopher and human rights advocate Elie Wiesel has said “When you take an idea or a concept and turn it into an abstraction, that opens the way to take human beings and turn them, also, into abstractions. When human beings become abstractions, what is left?” 68
Biological, Genetic & Environmental Differences Among Us
When public health officials embrace the concept of eradicating an infection from the world and achieving that goal means making sure that a certain number of children have gotten a certain number of vaccinations, it is very easy to turn children into abstractions and forget that human beings are not all the same and do not all react the same way to vaccines or infections.69 70 71 72There are biological, genetic and environmental differences among us and that is why some of us get an MMR shot or experience measles and do not suffer complications while others of us do suffer complications and are brain injured or die.73 74 75 76 77 78 79
When doctors cannot predict ahead of time who will be harmed by a vaccine 80 81 or an infectious disease and they cannot guarantee that those who have been vaccinated are incapable of being infected or transmitting infection, 82 83 84 85 the precautionary and informed consent principles should not be eradicated from vaccine policies and laws just because public health officials have decided to embark on yet another infection eradication campaign.
The National Vaccine Information Center supports your civil and human right to exercise freedom of thought, conscience and informed consent to vaccination  and make independent health care choices without being tracked down, bullied and punished by anyone. Become informed about measles and MMR vaccine and talk with one or more trusted health care professionals before making an educated health care decision.
Go to  to learn more and sign up for the online NVIC Advocacy Portal
to defend vaccine choices and exemptions in your state.
It’s your health. Your family. Your choice.

Witch Hunting Jenny McCarthy for Vaccine Talking

Posted: 7/22/2013

By Barbara Loe Fisher  

Now that it looks like ABC-TV executives are backing Barbara Walters’ hire of celebrity Jenny McCarthy to join the popular daytime talk show The View,1 the blood spilled on the ground of the Fourth Estate during 10 hot days in July is beginning to dry. It was fascinating to watch the well-orchestrated response by online mainstream media, which took on the frenzy of an old fashioned witch hunt to burn a heretic at the stake.

Reviewing 29 articles published in major print and broadcast media outlets  between July 9 and July 18, 20132  with 19 of them written by males, it became obvious that some of them are really upset about “blonde” girls expressing politically incorrect opinions about vaccine side effects, a topic that has become the biggest taboo talk in America. Several media outlets used her gender to take the first punch with headlines such as “Putting Jenny McCarthy on the View: Good Sex Over Bad Science”3 and “ View’ Host Jenny McCarthy’s Vaccine-Autism Claims: Beauty vs. Science.”4

“The Pretty Idiot” or A Threat to the Survival of Mankind?

Some tried to bash McCarthy’s brain by focusing on her body. Cat calls like “buxom physique: - “blonde bombshell” - “sex symbol” – “object of teenage boys fantasies” – “ bleached blonde hair” - “pulchritudinous” – “ the pretty idiot” - “Playboy Playmate of the Year”– and so on were effortlessly tossed into the story.5 6  7 8 9

Once the boys club firmly established that she is really only good for one thing, they moved on to alleging that if she is allowed to open her mouth and talk on ‘The View,’ she will in fact and without question threaten the very survival of the human race. One of them took bizarre name-calling to new heights by hurling the epithet “homicidal maniac” at her.10

I am not sure how presumably well-educated men expected people to swallow the vacuous argument that the woman is both a dumb blonde and a threat to mankind but for some inexplicable reason that is exactly what they tried to do. And, further embarrassing themselves, they desperately tried to persuade all the rest of us to be as emotionally invested in her hire on ‘The View’ as they are and immediately write to the bosses at ABC to express our shock and horror.11 12

A Call to Muzzle Vaccine Talking Moms

It could have been amusing summer entertainment watching guys fall all over themselves to up one another with hysterical hyperbole, but it quickly became obvious that it was about much more than slapping around a celebrity Mom because she has talked publicly about her son’s vaccine reaction and how she helped him get better.13

Way more.

And, although males outnumbered females in suggesting that mothers should not be allowed to talk about vaccines in public unless the script is pre-approved by a politically correct M.D. or Ph.D., a few of the female writers going after McCarthy and ABC were just as adamant about the urgent need to muzzle vaccine talking Moms challenging the status quo.14 15  16

Four of the 29 headlines featured the word “dangerous.”17 18  19 One apocalyptic headline screamed “Dear ABC: Putting Jenny McCarthy on ‘The View’ Will Kill Children”20 while an article written by a female pediatrician used the same threatening approach: “ABC’s Hiring of Jenny McCarthy: A Decision That Could Cost Lives.”21

The collective howl of indignation escalated when Barbara Walters and ABC did not flinch. Using poison pens and heavyweight media platforms, the writers ridiculed the intelligence, values and beliefs of mothers like McCarthy taking matters into their own hands when a healthy child suddenly develops brain and immune system dysfunction after vaccination, a condition doctors can’t explain and often label “autism” but dismiss as “just a coincidence” or bad parental “genes” without looking any further.22 23 24

Century of Medical Literature: Yes, Vaccines CAN Do THAT

Never mind that there is more than a century of medical literature documenting the fact that vaccines can cause:
  • brain inflammation;
  • chronic nervous system dysfunction;
  • seizures;
  • arthritis;
  • vaccine strain viral infection;
  • shock and “unusual shock-like state;”
  • protracted inconsolable crying and
  • death.
The indisputable fact that vaccines can do that has been acknowledged by the Institute of Medicine in a series of peer-reviewed reports published between 1991 and 2013.25 26 27 28 The last one pointed out that there is not enough scientific evidence to determine if the current recommended schedule of 49 doses of 14 vaccines between day of birth and age six29 is or is not associated with the development of a whole host of health problems in children - everything from autoimmunity, allergy, asthma, epilepsy, ADHD and learning disabilities to – yes – autism.30  31 32

The indisputable fact that vaccines can hurt people and that doctors still don’t know which individuals are more biologically susceptible to suffering vaccine damage33 was codified into law by Congress in the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986.34 That law has awarded more than $2.7 billion dollars to Americans harmed by vaccines in exchange for shielding drug companies and doctors from vaccine injury lawsuits in civil court.35 36

With vaccine failures among highly vaccinated children playing a big role in outbreaks of B. pertussis whooping cough,37 38 the hype about Jenny McCarthy joining ‘The View’ could be just a red herring. But it is going to take a lot of red herrings to distract millions of parents from talking about why 1 child in 6 in America is learning disabled,39 1 in 9 suffers with asthma,40 1 in 50 develops autism41 or why there has never been a large, well-designed study comparing the health outcomes of highly vaccinated children and those remaining unvaccinated or using fewer vaccines.42

Media: Non-Medical Degrees, PR, Politics, Marketing & Other Expertise

Most of the writers who wrote stories about a vaccine talking celebrity Mom joining ‘The View,” including those calling for censorship and the gutting of journalistic standards that ensure fair balance - when it comes to writing stories about vaccination43 - are journalists by profession.  28 of the 29 articles were written by individuals without medical degrees, although one is a pharmacologist, one is an astronomer and one has a PhD in biological sciences. The majority have degrees in Journalism, English, History or Political Science with some also listing expertise in public relations and communications, marketing and fund raising, political media campaign management, TV and entertainment.44

Even though these writers do not have medical degrees, the U.S. Constitution guarantees them the liberty to express their views about Jenny McCarthy, Barbara Walters, ABC and vaccines, just as the media outlets publishing their opinions are protected by the First Amendment. That legal right to engage in critical thinking and to hold personal beliefs and to exercise free speech, belongs to every American - not just to those articulating talking points made or approved by citizens with M.D. or Ph.D. written after their names.

Public Talking About Vaccine Safety Since 1982

Parents, doctors, legislators and journalists started talking publicly about vaccine safety issues in America in 1982,45 16 years before a paper about MMR vaccine and autism was published in The Lancet. Mothers were talking about what happens to their children’s health after vaccination long before the Library of Medicine was posted online and the world wide web became the biggest talk show on the planet.

Vaccine talk will continue in the kitchens and on the smart phones and tablets of critical thinking women, who are using the brains and mother’s instincts they were born with to make informed health care choices for their children. Vaccine talk will continue because, today, many more mothers either have a child or know a child who was healthy, got vaccinated and was never healthy again.

Evangelistic doctors should stop trying so hard to shut down vaccine talking and just do the credible science that will answer the question on everybody’s mind: what exactly is causing the 1 child in 50 $126 billion dollar a year46 public health disaster doctors call autism but still can’t agree on how to define it or how often it happens. One thing doctors say they know for sure is that vaccines don’t have anything to do with autism because the earth is not flat, there is nothing more to be learned about vaccine side effects and autism cannot be cured, so parents should just forget about it.
That empty rhetoric is not flying these days with thinking Moms and Dads digging deeper and learning that good health is about more than using lots of vaccines to prevent infections.
Become educated about diseases and vaccines. It’s your health. Your family. Your choice.

6 Michael Specter. Jenny McCarthy’s Dangerous Views. New Yorker July 16, 2013. Michael Specter BIO.
11 Phil Plait. The View of Jenny McCarthy.  Slate July 9, 2013. Phil Plait BIO.
12 See Reference #7.
13 Jenny McCarthy. Louder Than Words: A Mother’s Journey in Healing Autism. Dutton: The Penguin Group 2007.
14 Mary Elizabeth Williams. Don’t Put Jenny McCarthy on ‘The View.’ July 11, 2013. Mary Elizabeth Williams BIO.
16 Margaret Sullivan. Just the Facts, No False Balance Wanted Here. New York Times July 17, 2013. Margaret Sullivan BIO.
17 Paul Thornton. Jenny McCarthy – Dangerous At Any Volume. Los Angeles Times July 16, 2013. Paul Thornton BIO.
18 Brendan Nyhan. When ‘He Said,’ ‘She Said’ is Dangerous. Columbia Journalism Review July 16, 2013. Brendan Nyhan BIO.       
19 See References #6 and #9.
20 See Reference #7.
22 David M. Perry. Destabilizing the Jenny McCarthy Public Health Industrial Complex. Atlantic Monthly July 11, 2013. And David M. Perry.  Jenny McCarthy and Fear-Based Parenting. CNN July 17, 2013. David Perry BIO.
24 See References #5, #6, #8, #9, and #14.
25 Institute of Medicine Vaccine Safety Committee. Adverse Effects of Pertussis and Rubella Vaccines. Washington, DC. The National Academies Press. 1991.
26 Institute of Medicine Vaccine Safety Committee. Adverse Events Association with Childhood Vaccines: Evidence Bearing on Causality. Neurologic Disorders. Washington, D.C. The National Academies Press 1994.
27 Institute of Medicine. DPT Vaccine and Chronic Nervous System Dysfunction: A New Analysis. Washington, D.C. The National Academies Press 1994.
28 Institute of Medicine Committee to Review Adverse Effects of Vaccines. Adverse Effects of Vaccines: Evidence and Causality. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press 2012.
31 Institute of Medicine Committee on the Assessment of Studies of Health Outcomes Related to the Recommended Childhood Immunization Schedule. The Childhood Immunization Schedule and Safety: Stakeholder Concerns, Scientific Evidence and Future Studies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press 2013.
32 Ibid. Review of Scientific Findings. Chapter 5: Pages 69 - 88.
35 Health Resources Services Administration. National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program Statistics Report.  June 26, 2013.
38 Liz Szabo.  US Whooping cough may be becoming resistant to vaccines. USA Today Feb. 18, 2013.
39 Boyle CA, Boulet S et al. Trends in the Prevalence of Developmental Disabilities in US Children 1997 – 2008. Pediatrics. Published online May 23, 2011.
41 Blumberg SJ, Bramlette MD, Kogan MD et al. Changes in Prevalence of Parent-reported Autism Spectrum Disorder in School-aged U.S. Children: 2007 to 2011-2013. National Health Statistics Reports 2013; 65: 1-11.
42 Fisher BL. The Safety of the Childhood Vaccine Schedule: A Public Perspective Institute of Medicine Committee on the Assessment of Studies of Health Outcomes Related to the Recommended Childhood Immunization Schedule Feb. 9, 2012.
43 See References #7, #16, #18.
44 See Reference #2.
45 Coulter HL, Fisher BL. DPT: A Shot in the Dark. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich 1985 (Warner 1986, Avery 1991, Penguin - current).
46 Jonathan Berr. How Autism Can Cost Families Millions. MSN Money Mar. 25, 2013.

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