Doctor Explaining Immunizations to ParentsThe grandfather of immunizations was Dr. Edward Jenner, a clergyman’s son who lived and practiced in the Gloucestershire region of Great Britain during the latter part of the 1700’s. According to legend, the inspiration for Dr. Jenner’s scientific breakthrough came when he overheard an un-cited milkmaid casually comment, “I cannot take the smallpox because I have had cowpox.” A light bulb flicked on in Dr. Jenner’s brain and he subsequently became obsessed with establishing a link between the two diseases. After much thought and study, in the spring of 1796 (obviously in a much looser era of medical ethics) he was finally ready to perform his original experiment. Dr. Jenner extracted some pus from the cowpox lesion of a milkmaid named Sarah Nelms and injected it into the arm of little James Phipps, an eight-year-old street urchin whom the good doctor “volunteered” for the project. The inoculation resulted in nothing more than a lesion forming on his arm at the site. Six weeks later he injected Jimmy once more with pus from an active smallpox blister, and again the boy developed only a local skin reaction but no active disease. Eureka! However, when Dr. Jenner traveled south to London to present his findings to The Royal Society of Physicians, the report was rejected with venomous vehemence. “This cannot be!” the illustrious body cried in unison. This cannot be….

Dr Edward JennerDr. Benjamin Waterhouse, a Harvard physician, heard about Dr. Jenner’s findings and was one of the few who believed. In fact, he was so impressed that he repeated Dr. Jenner’s experiment on Daniel Oliver Waterhouse, his own seven-year-old son (what in the heck was the thinking back then about always performing these experiments on children?), with identical results. Further studies ultimately verified Jenner’s findings. In the years that followed not only for smallpox, but for other infectious diseases as well, inoculation of a weakened form of a virus or bacteria was proven to be capable of inducing an immune response protective against the more serious targeted organism.

VirusFor me the emergence of routine childhood vaccinations was the greatest single triumph of the twentieth century, far exceeding what the Wright Brothers accomplished at Kitty Hawk, Fleming’s discovery of penicillin, or even the Cincinnati Reds drafting Johnny Bench. It is difficult to even imagine what the world would be like today without immunizations. I find it terrifying to contemplate the hundreds of thousands (millions?) who would have been paralyzed by polio, died from meningitis, tetanus, pneumonia, or whooping cough, neurologically devastated by measles, battled cancer of the cervix or liver, ravaged by smallpox, or suffered the horrors of congenital rubella syndrome. And yet, when the protective immunizations which have been developed to protect children from these diseases are first offered in the pediatrician’s office, it is often a frightening moment for new parents.

Considering how safe and effective immunizations are these days there remain many parents who decline vaccinations, and this number is increasing every year. I have found it interesting that these are not unthinking moms and dads making careless, unwise choices but rather intelligent, highly involved parents arriving at a decision which, by any rational examination, is not in their child’s best interest. Not only do nearly forty percent of parents refuse or defer their children’s immunizations to a delayed schedule, but an additional fifteen percent state that if they had to make the decision again in the future, knowing what they know now, they would probably decline. These rates have led to serious health consequences.

The inclination of people to be intuitively suspicious about immunizations is nothing new. As mentioned previously, even back in the days of Jenner the concept was viewed as some form of voodoo dreamed up by a mad scientist. In 1910 the great Sir William Osler, viewed by many as the father of modern medicine, was so overcome with frustration when trying to deal with the anti-vaccine faction of the times that he offered to take ten vaccinated and ten unvaccinated people with him into a smallpox epidemic. Furthermore, he promised to care for the latter when they succumbed to the disease and generously offered to provide financially for their funerals (NEJM, 1/13/2011). As the century wore on people became more comfortable with science and more accepting of the practice of immunizations to prevent the occurrence of serious infections. But, unfortunately, that sense of trust in the medical community did not last. And it was the DPT, one of the original childhood vaccinations, which stirred up all the controversy anew.

The “P” of DPT stands for pertussis, the bacterial cause of whooping cough, a highly contagious and sometimes deadly disease, especially if acquired in the first year of life. No one who has ever witnessed this dreadful illness in a baby will ever forget it. Passive antibody protection is not conferred from the mother to the fetus, so a newborn enters the world vulnerable developing whooping cough from the moment of birth. The standard recommendation is to begin the series of DPT’s at two months of age, the earliest possible time for the infant’s immune system to respond to the vaccine. The original pertussis component in the shot was “whole cell.” This was a weakened form of the live bacteria which was both fever-inducing and neurotoxic in that it had a relatively high likelihood (one in five) of significant fever the day of the injection and a small incidence of inducing febrile seizures. These reactions did lead to some pretty long and uncomfortable evenings for many an infant and his or her parents. Ultimately the DPT was improved and now features the infinitely less toxic acellular pertussis which has none of the previous side effects. Nonetheless, the association between immunizations and adverse reactions in children had entered into the minds of parents.

The 1976-1979 National Childhood Encephalopathy Study from Great Britain shifted the concerns for parents from the mere anticipation of possible irritability or fever the night after receiving the shot to something infinitely worse. In this report there were 1200 children enrolled who had severe neurologic disease, and it turned out that 30 of them had received the DPT within 7 days of the onset of symptoms. This led to a near panic in the British Isles and elsewhere resulting in an immediate decline in vaccinations and consequent dramatic re-emergence of pertussis, often with fatal consequences. Closer analysis of the study quickly debunked the conclusions as 23 of the 30 had other identified, obviously unrelated causes (Reye syndrome, viral encephalitis, et cetera) and four were actually okay, leaving only three out of the original number with onset of seizures within a week of receiving their immunization. Additional large-scale studies performed later demonstrated no increase incidence of SIDS, epilepsy, encephalitis, behavioral problems, Guillaine-Barre, or death after receiving the DPT when compared to controls. The purported association was thus proven to be nothing more than coincidental.

Children DoctorsI like to propose the following scenario to parents to help them clarify the supposed association between immunizations and adverse effects. First of all, accept the fact that there are types of seizures which have their onset in the first year of life and are catastrophic to the brain and future development. This happens. These afflictions were present before the advent of immunizations and, unfortunately, will continue to occur far into the foreseeable future. Now suppose the onset of the seizures was one hour after the first series of shots were administered and the child went on to become neurologically compromised. Would you blame the vaccine? The initial reaction is to say, Yeah, sure. But what if, just by chance, the same onset of seizures occurred one hour before the infant’s appointment, and thus he or she never received any immunizations? Would you blame a vaccine that was never given for the child’s outcome? Of course not. So how does is this sorted out scientifically? By performing large, population-based studies, which clearly demonstrate no basis in reality for these claims. The likelihood of the onset of a seizure disorder, SIDS, or whatever is no more likely in the time frame after immunizations are administered than either the period before or remote from when they are given.

My grandfather ate a piece of cherry pie one morning, walked out on the porch to check the weather, and died of a heart attack. Did he die because he ate that piece of cherry pie? Should we not let our children eat any more cherry pie because if they do their heart might stop? Well, the only way to ascertain if there is truly a connection would be to study a large group of people and see if there is an association. And I imagine if such a study were done one would discover, the same as with immunizations, that there is none. As the saying goes, the sun did not rise in the sky because the rooster crowed. Or, to put it more eloquently, there is a difference between correlation and causation.

The acknowledged side effects of the old DPT led to a boatload of suspicion about vaccines in general and a cottage industry was born. For some time thereafter, every disease entity which we couldn’t explain was systematically linked to immunizations by the anti-vacciners. But after a while things began to quiet down and, thankfully, immunization rates gradually began to rise once more.

That is, until an article by a British surgeon named Dr. Andrew Wakefield appeared in a medical journal called The Lancet in 1998. He reported upon twelve patients who had been consecutively referred (he falsely claimed) with a combination of gastrointestinal symptoms and pervasive developmental delay and who had recently been vaccinated with the MMR. He proposed that there existed an association between the vaccine and an inflammatory reaction in the gut which resulted in specific central nervous central damage leading to autism. This small study caused a very big global reaction. Suspicions about immunizations skyrocketed.

Fourteen major studies were performed following his report, and none confirmed his findings. As a matter of fact, there has never been a single reputable study which has ever shown an association between the MMR and autism.

Repeat: there is no scientific evidence showing any link between the MMR and autism spectrum disorders.

There is no increase in autism in the vaccinated versus the unvaccinated. There is no increase in gastrointestinal disease in autistic children. There is no increase in gastrointestinal disease in children who have received the MMR. In areas such as Japan where the MMR was temporarily suspended the incidence of autism in children who did not receive the MMR was actually significantly higher than in those who did. To any person with any understanding of or belief in science this case is closed.

Doctor Examining ChildA few years later it was revealed not only that Dr. Wakefield had completely falsified his data, but in addition he had received over $800,000 from a plaintiff’s attorney in London who was interested in suing vaccine manufacturers. The Lancet issued a formal retraction for publishing the bogus article in the first place, and Dr. Wakefield lost his medical license, but by then it was too late. The damage had been done. The belief that the MMR was a factor in the development of autism had entered the public consciousness. Dr. Paul Offit, Chief of Infectious Diseases at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (and author of “Autism’s False Prophets,” the seminal book exposing the anti-vaccine industry) once famously stated, “It’s very hard to unscare people. You can do study after study now, but people are far more compelled by fear than reason.” Sad but true. It’s going to take decades for parents to let go of this completely invalidated association.

No sooner had the MMR brouhaha begun to settle than things got stirred up again. And this time the culprit was thimerosal, an organic preservative which had been included in immunizations for years. Thimerosal is made from ethyl mercury, a totally benign additive, not to be confused with methyl mercury, its toxic cousin. It’s the methyl derivative which causes symptoms in humans, and there was never any of this in vaccinations in the first place. For those of you readers who are chemistry inclined, this would be similar to the more familiar alcohol family. Ethyl alcohol is the chemical included in the wine and beer you consume which makes you feel good, whereas methyl alcohol, or wood alcohol, is dangerous and potentially poisonous. After the awareness of the presence of thimerosal in childhood immunizations was noted the anti-vaccine faction seized upon this immediately as the cause of autism. Multiple follow-up studies were dutifully performed which, of course, showed no relationship between the biologically benign thimerosal and autism. As a matter of fact, the rate of autism has actually risen three-fold in the children immunized with vaccines AFTER the thimerosal had been removed. One author suggested (tongue-in-cheek, or course) that looking at the data one might conclude that thimerosal had a protective effect against the development of autism! The actual moral of the story, obviously, is that autism is on the rise, and it has nothing whatsoever to do with either the MMR or thimerosal.

In spite of a complete lack of scientific evidence, in a knee-jerk reaction to public anxiety fanned by the anti-vacciners, thimerosal was removed from all of the routine childhood immunizations (excepting multi-dose influenza). Although it is true that autism is being over-diagnosed today due to a softening of its classic definition there are unquestionably more of these children than at any time in history. It is real, it is an international pediatric catastrophe, and there is a Nobel Prize awaiting whomever can solve this. The frustrating irony for everyone in the field is that the one and only potential cause of childhood autism which has categorically been ruled out beyond question is childhood immunizations. And yet these are the agents still most suspected by the public at large.

Child PlayingHow is it that so many truly wonderful parents in my practice had come to such strongly held conclusions regarding the dangers of immunizations? I had no idea. Finally, searching for understanding, I took a deep breath and descended into the world of the anti-vacciners. I researched, purchased, and read their books. I tracked down and studied their Internet sites. And for six long, depressing weeks I completely immersed myself in this subject. When at last I emerged from the darkness I understood. Parents who refuse to consent to immunizations for their children are afraid. It is as simple as that. It is unlikely that they have extensively studied the scientific data which would demonstrate to them, beyond the possibility of any reasonable doubt, the safety and effectiveness of these inoculations. They have simply been paralyzed into inaction by a series of frightening and incredibly unsubstantiated allegations, and after the time I spent reading and studying this material I couldn’t help but sympathize.

One of the first things I noticed was that these authors always refer to the shots as vaccinations rather than immunizations. Curious, huh? The word “immunization” apparently connotes softness and cuddliness, whereas “vaccination” sounds much colder, harsher, nastier, and infinitely more toxic. But their argument is way, way more involved than simple semantics. The anti-vaccine literature attempts to link immunizations to eczema, fever, vomiting, diarrhea, cough, allergies, ear infections, shock, seizures, epilepsy, infantile spasms, paralysis, encephalitis, bleeding disorders, anemia, diabetes, hypoglycemia, SIDS, blindness, insomnia, deafness, learning disabilities, retardation, hyperactivity, autism, cancer, and death. Whoosh! How could anyone possibly read this stuff and not be deeply disturbed? Furthermore, the books are interlaced with quotes suggesting opposition to immunizations by noted authors including Winston Churchill, Abraham Lincoln, and William Shakespeare – all taken absurdly out of context, mind you!

My all-time favorite came from a best-seller which received the highest possible recommendations on (which made me immediately re-think the whole five star rating system). This book purported to connect vaccinations with social violence and criminality, a premise which would have been laughable had it not been written with such seriousness. In this book the author specifically cites the case of Ted Bundy, the legendary west coast serial rapist and murderer. According to his medical history, Mr. Bundy was left-handed and he stuttered. (Ah-hah!) His psychological profile described a person of low self-esteem, a sense of chaos and confusion in his life, outbursts of uncontrollable rage and violence, and possible necrophilia. The author states that any rational examination of this psychopath could arrive at only one plausible explanation: classic central nervous system dysfunction stemming from vaccination-induced post-encephalitic syndrome. Now although we are not privy to his medical records, his mother having refused to release them, common sense and any rational analysis of his case could only lead to one obvious conclusion. Ted Bundy must have been immunized.

Hmm. Maybe the author is onto something here. It would be interesting to go back in history and investigate. Just imagine – Oswald, Hitler, Attila the Hun, Pontius Pilate, perhaps all of them were vaccinated. It does kind of make sense when you think about it, does it not? I mean, what other possible explanation could there be? Right? It must have been the immunizations.

At the conclusion of my studies I felt I had a sense of the major beliefs which lead moms and dads to refuse the recommended vaccinations. And thus, with apologies to Mr. Letterman, I have devised my…


#10. The vaccines are unsafe.
The opponents argue that large studies demonstrating these so-called complications are nothing more than statistical coincidence are unfair because the time limit placed on associations is invalid and arbitrary. In other words, if you have ever received an immunization anything which happens to you for the rest of your life is fair game for suspicion. A person received a polio shot when they were four months old and has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at age twenty-five? Who’s to say there’s no cause-effect? MMR at fifteen months and skin cancer at thirty-five? Sure, there could be a connection. Tetanus vaccine prior to entering kindergarten and an automobile accident when at age forty-six? Why not? DPT as an infant and pancreatic cancer in the fifties? That makes sense. However, this argument does seem to stretch the cause-effect principle to the absolute limit.

Another theory which is often proposed is that giving multiple immunizations “overwhelms” the immune system. This particular argument, although pervasive and widely believed, is especially nonsensical. All of these combinations have been studied meticulously for years and have been proven to be safe. Furthermore, the reality is that our immune systems are constantly being challenged by viruses, bacteria, food, skin contacts, inhaled particles, et cetera, and thus are undergoing literally thousands of responses to all of the above. So whether a child received one immunization versus four the difference in the real world is between mounting 1736 immune responses and 1739 on that day, not such a big deal when you think about it in those terms.
Years ago parents would object to how may shots were given at the well-baby visits. In response to their complaints the pharmaceutical industry finally succeeded in combining some of the vaccines. Sure enough, virtually overnight parents immediately began complaining that they didn’t like those combination vaccines, they wanted them given individually. I guess there are always going to be some people whom you simply cannot please.

Smiling ChildrenAnd then we have Dr. Sears, the bane of pediatricians everywhere, who arrives on the scene with his “Alternative Schedule.” What HE is saying with unmitigated arrogance is that HE knows better than the CDC, the AAP, and the pediatric infectious disease specialists about how to vaccinate, HE will provide a special schedule that is far superior and safer, and HE will shield your precious, innocent children from those wild-eyed baby doctors hell-bent on doing irreparable damage with their toxic vaccinations. Trust HIM, distrust your pediatrician – that is HIS clear message.
The major issue (it goes without saying) regarding not giving the injections in a timely fashion is how it leaves the unvaccinated child unnecessarily exposed and vulnerable to these serious infections. Not to mention that there is no justifiable reason to delay. When Dr. Sears begins with his premise that the recommended schedule is unsafe and all of the leading experts in the field have got it all wrong it renders everything coming out of his mouth thereafter suspect. And that, of course, is only the beginning with this guy. Attachment parenting? Yikes! I think I’d better stop here…. 🙂

The theory that giving fewer shots at one time is less dangerous is not only scientifically without merit but also actually detrimental to the child’s health and well-being. If there is a single major consequence of the vaccines it is the stress reaction associated with the shots themselves and the release of stress hormones (steroids, adrenaline) which peak after the initial injection. In other words, the major effect comes the first time the needle pierces the skin, not the second or third. The body’s response by then has already been activated. So adding additional days in your child’s life where they are stuck is not only cruel but counterproductive. Think about it. Would you have your son’s tonsils taken out on Monday and his adenoids on Friday? If your daughter had three cavities would you want three separate trips to the dentist to have them filled? It simply makes no sense. The fewer the number of times your child has to get shots, the better. Limit the distress to your child, let the immune system have its optimal boost, get them all done at once, and then let him or her go get their lollipop.

#9. The vaccines are ineffective.
There are several theories at work here. First is the statement that many vaccine recipients have negative antibodies when tested. And this is true. Many persons have a low level of antibody or even an unmeasurable titer, but they still are likely quite well protected and able to mount a protective response when challenged with the actual disease itself.
Number two is the theory that no one really knows how immunizations work in the first place. Huh? I will freely acknowledge there is a lot of stuff going on in medicine we still don’t fully understand, but I do believe we’ve got this immunization thing pretty well deciphered. A weakened infectious particle is administered which stimulates the development of antibodies and a protective immune response. Immunology 101.

And thirdly, the diseases were all going away anyway. This is utter nonsense! Pre-DPT there were 300,000 cases per year in this country and 7000 deaths declining to twenty deaths per year after the vaccination was introduced. The incidence of Hemophilus influenza B (the cause of septic arthritis, epiglottitis, and meningitis) declined 98% after the initiation of the HIB vaccine. 2.7 million deaths per year globally are prevented by the MMR vaccine. When was the last time anyone saw a kid with chicken pox? I could go on an on, but suffice it to say that the statistics are truly staggering. Not to mention comparing the incidence of infections for which we still haven’t developed effective vaccines compared to those we have. It seems like there is a lot more HIV in the world these days than smallpox or polio.

#8. The diseases are no longer a public health hazard.
Well, they certainly are if you bring immigration and travel into the mix. In 2008 an intentionally unvaccinated 7 year-old boy returned from Switzerland to San Diego harboring measles. The single imported case led to 839 exposures and eleven additional cases. And every child in his school who contracted measles was unimmunized, their parents having refused the MMR. In spite of the low incidence these days thanks to childhood immunization strategies, these germs are still out there waiting to pounce. Japan, 1974, nearly universal vaccination with the DPT, only 393 cases of pertussis and no deaths. Same country, 1978, suspension of the vaccine, and 13,000 plus cases of whooping cough and 41 deaths. ‘Nuf said.

Child Getting a Vaccine Shot#7. The disease is less serious than the vaccine.
Give me strength! Let’s just consider the components of the DTaP. Death from diphtheria? One in twenty. Death from tetanus? One in thirty-five…and that is an ugly way to go. Death from pertussis in an infant? Roughly one in two hundred. Death from the immunization? Nonexistent. The same argument applies to every vaccine in the schedule.

#6. Resentment of government interference.
Well, it does unfortunately happen from time to time that when our government correctly identifies a problem for us citizens and then attempts to legislate a solution the cure turns out to be even worse than the problem was in the first place. And let’s be honest, it’s the drug companies with their money and their remarkably sophisticated marketing campaign who have bamboozled our elected officials into mandating a number of these vaccinations. It really doesn’t make a whole lot of sense that your son or daughter needs to be immunized against what is essentially a venereal disease (hepatitis B) prior to entering kindergarten. I do understand in a way how parents can find that offensive. After awhile all of these incursions into their lives and their freedoms do add up. However, which is more important, the freedom to refuse vaccinations versus the right to spread serious and possibly fatal infections to other innocents who are less fortunate?

#5. Choosing a holistic, natural approach to child-rearing.
Alternative medicine is selling like hot-cakes these days, and apparently there is not much place in their philosophy for immunizations. For the life of me I cannot understand why they need to be incompatible, but many seem to feel that way. The thinking is that vaccines are unnatural, diseases are natural, immunizations are more important for the unhealthy, whereas healthy people can generally speaking fight off disease when it does occur. I can certainly accept this to a degree. But, I don’t see anything “natural” about your unimmunized daughter giving birth to a baby decimated by congenital rubella or chicken pox. And likewise, no matter how healthy you think your college-aged son may be, meningococcal meningitis is fully capable of leaving him dead in his dorm room within hours. Not trying to scare anybody here, but facts are facts.

#4. “Hot Lots.”
This is the theory that there are dangerous lots of individual vaccines out there which cause toxicity in the recipients. Did you know there are over 12,000 notifications to the FDA per year via the vaccine adverse effect reporting system (VAERS)? The natural assumption is that the more the reports, the greater the danger. However, not one single vaccine lot in the modern reporting era has been found to be unsafe based on VAERS reports. Not one. Sorry.

#3. The diseases are more common in vaccinated persons than unvaccinated.
It is true that for a variety of reasons not everyone responds to a given vaccination with an adequate immune response. Therefore there will always be those who, even with the best of intentions and following the immunization practices guidelines to a tee, will end up with their child contracting chicken pox after an exposure anyway. Such is life. No vaccine is one hundred percent protective. However, when the anti-vacciners point out that more kids who contracted pertussis during a school outbreak were immunized than not what we are dealing with is simply a mathematical paradox. If the overwhelming majority are vaccinated, but the shot is only ninety-five percent effective, then it is not only possible but probable that more of them will come down with the illness. However, that argument neatly avoids the fact that the PERCENTAGE of people who will acquire the infection is far, far higher in the unimmunized. Not to mention that previous immunization, although not necessarily protective, is generally ameliorating, meaning the disease itself in the vaccinated will run a considerably milder and more benign course.

#2. Herd immunity.
I find this argument quite difficult to debunk. Here is the rationale. The parents accept and readily acknowledge that the recommended immunizations are basically safe. However, they then state that their charge is not to make public health policy for what is in the best interest of the children of America, they simply have to decide what is best for their own son or daughter. And given the current state of herd immunity – meaning most of the other children have been appropriately immunized – the likelihood of their own child acquiring any of these diseases is greatly reduced. Given the reality that the shots are not completely devoid of side effects their personal choice is to spare their own child and decline the vaccinations. That is a rather difficult line of thinking to refute, because in many ways much of what they are saying is correct. However, it does skirt around a couple of rather important “what if” points. For instance, what if an unanticipated exposure to some unusual or unforeseen circumstance should occur? Secondly, what if everybody else did the same thing and stopped immunizing? What would happen then to the precious herd immunity upon which they are counting? And, in the final analysis, don’t we have some societal obligation to those compromised members who dwell among us who can’t be immunized for a variety of reasons and are susceptible to being infected by your unvaccinated child? Is your decision fair to them? Aren’t you being just a little bit selfish, with possibly disastrous, even fatal, consequences to others?

Daycare#1. The conspiracy theory.
This is my personal favorite, elaborated in great detail on a memorable occasion by a father in my practice at the occasion of his firstborn son’s two-month visit. After completing the developmental history, reviewing the growth chart, and performing the physical exam, I went through my presentation of the standard immunization offerings and asked the parents if they were interested in proceeding.
“Of course not,” the father replied, a big smile on his face.
“Oh, okay,” I said. Hmm… there was something a little different about this guy’s response. What was going on here? I decided to follow up on my original question.
“If you don’t mind, may I inquire as to the reason for your opposition?”
“You know,” he grinned.
“No, I don’t,” I replied, growing more curious by the moment.
“Come on now, doc, sure you do,” he said good-naturedly. “We both know fully well what’s going on here. It’s all over the Internet.”
“Honestly, I don’t,” I responded with complete sincerity. “And I would love it if you would enlighten me.”
“All right,” he sighed. “If you insist, I’ll go ahead and say it out loud. All of you pediatricians and drug manufacturers are involved in a collusion whereby vaccines, which you know fully well are not only ineffective but are dangerous and harmful, are given to innocent children.”
“And why do we do this?” I asked, now thoroughly fascinated.
He chuckled and replied, “Because of the huge profits both of you are making from the vaccines. It’s big business.”
I digested that for a moment before inquiring, “And if all of this is going on, why isn’t it common knowledge?”
He winked at me, obviously assuming I was pulling his leg but agreeing to play along with my pretended ignorance. “Because you doctors and your drug company pals have set up a slush fund from the massive vaccine profits to pay off parents of the children who have been murdered and brain-damaged in order to keep them quiet.”
“Oh,” I said. “Well, that is very interesting.”
“It’s a billion dollar industry,” he shrugged.
You want to hear something funny? Not only did that guy turn out to be a really great dad but this couple ultimately ended up immunizing their little boy. Go figure, huh?

I am going to close by making a statement which some readers may find disturbing, outrageous, and quite possibly shocking, so prepare yourself in advance. Are you ready? Okay, here goes:


I understand how uncool and offensive that sounds to many of you, and to you I do apologize. But I want to be truthful. Are pediatricians ignorant about the studies on the safety of immunizations? No, we are not. Do I love my own children? More than life itself. Did I have them vaccinated? Without a moment’s hesitation. Would I do it again? In a heartbeat.

There is no conspiracy here. In spite of what you may believe, we physicians are not intentionally and knowingly trying to harm your children. This subject is not even worthy of being termed a controversy, for there is none. The conclusion derived from the scientific data is undeniable. Immunizations do not cause seizures, diabetes, cancer, autism, SIDS, hearing impairment, hypertension, criminal behavior, or ADHD. They are not only in the best health interest of your own son or daughter, but also for society as a whole. It is the right thing to do; it’s as simple as that. And hey, if you can’t trust your child’s doctor on a subject as straightforward as the proper timing and choices for childhood immunizations, how on earth could you trust him or her on anything? Think about it.

Try not to be so afraid.

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