Five Things I’ve Learned About Vaccines Through 21 Years of Parenting
Apr 24, 2017

niiw-blog-a-thon-badgeI gave birth to five children in the span of nine years. My oldest daughter will soon be 21.  My youngest, 12.  Over the years, I’ve learned a few things about childhood illnesses and infectious diseases.  Like most parents, I’ve received plenty of unsolicited advice about how to care for my children and how to keep them healthy.  However, when I make health decision for my children, I rely on evidence based research and credible information from reputable sources.

That is why I agreed to partner with Every Child By Two (ECBT) as the editor and primary contributor to this Shot of Prevention blog.  Seven years ago, when we started this blog, parents seeking vaccine information on the internet often encountered a web of lies, deception, misinformation and fear mongering. Today, Shot of Prevention is one of many blogs that provide parents with evidence based information to help them make informed immunization decisions for their families.

Today, in recognition of National Infant Immunization Week, I’m sharing five of the most important things I’ve learned about vaccines through my journey as a parent and immunization blogger and it begins with science and it ends with action.

1.) Don’t Let Your Emotions Cloud Your Scientific Judgment.

Visit any online parenting forum and there are fewer topics that can get as heated and emotional as vaccines.  The majority of these conversations illicit fear and sympathy, and you’ll often hear parents say that they had to trust their gut or rely on their parental instinct. While we can’t deny our emotions, when it comes to vaccines we must not let emotions cloud our scientific judgment. Instead, we must look to peer-reviewed research and sound science to make educated and informed immunization decisions for our children.

When we do that, we realize that vaccines are some of the most rigorously tested medical interventions available today. And they should be because they are administered to almost every healthy child born in the U.S.  The four different surveillance systems we have in the U.S. serve as back-up systems to ensure the ongoing safety of vaccines.


While it’s true that no medical intervention comes without risk, the chances that your child will suffer a serious adverse reaction from a vaccine are documented to be less than one in a million.

When you compare that risk to the risk of injury or death from the diseases that we prevent, vaccines win the benefit/risk ratio hands down.  So, brush up on your science and take the time to understand how vaccines work.

Listen to immunization experts address some of the most frequently asked questions about vaccines in these Q&A videos available on our Vaccinate Your Family Facebook page here and our YouTube channel here.  You can also check out these other resources to learn more:
Immunity and Vaccines Explained; video from PBS, NOVA 
How Vaccines Work; video embedded on Immunize For Good website 
Vaccines: Calling the Shots; Aired on PBS, NOVA 
Ensuring the Safety of Vaccines in the U.S.; PDF document from the CDC 
The Journey of Your Child’s Vaccine; Infographic from the CDC 
Vaccine Ingredients Frequently Asked Questions; Healthy Children, AAP
Vaccine Education Center Website; Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia 

2.) Appreciate Vaccines For Their Life-Saving Quality.  

Thankfully, science is advancing and newer, safer vaccines are enabling us to prevent more needless suffering, hospitalizations & death. However, it’s not uncommon for parents to question why their child may need so many shots.

NIIW_Twitter-Storm_Hosp 2

Admittedly, the method of administering vaccines can be painful at times.  I’m beginning to think that the reason parents are concerned about the number of vaccines their children receive is because it’s even painful for parents to watch their child suffer from the discomfort of a needle. And worst yet, there are often multiple shots at each visit during those first two years of life.  If vaccines were administered orally, through an adhesive patch, or through a way that didn’t involve pain, I believe parents might not have nearly as much concern.

Unfortunately, one of the hardest things to accept as a parent is watching your child suffer from things you can’t prevent.  But the reality is that with vaccines, you are preventing something, even if you may never see that disease which you are preventing. The reality is that some brief discomfort, a few pricks of a needle and even a mild fever, swelling, rash or big crocodile tears are far better than suffering from any one of the 14 different diseases we can now safely prevent through childhood immunizations.

Since we are privileged to live in a country where we have such easy access to vaccines, parents don’t often see just how dangerous vaccine preventable diseases can be. And while we may not have ever seen polio in our lifetime, we must never forget the fear that parents experienced before a vaccine was available. Sadly, most parents in the U.S. probably don’t even realize that polio still exists in other countries and that globally, measles remains one of the top five killers of kids under the age of five.


In fact, our country is currently battling yet another measles outbreak in Minnesota. This outbreak appears to be direct result of anti-vaccine advocates wrongfully convincing members of the Somali community not to vaccinate due to the dispelled myth that vaccines were linked to autism.  Now unvaccinated children are being hospitalized with measles and public health professionals are hard at work trying to contain the spread of this extremely infectious disease.

Perhaps if parents were to learn more about the dangers of the diseases that vaccines help to prevent, they may feel less anxious about the shots their child is recommended to receive.  Screen Shot 2017-04-24 at 9.16.16 AM.png

To learn about the 14 different diseases that we can prevent with today’s childhood immunization center, check out our Every Child By Two’s Childhood Vaccine Preventable Disease eBook.

3.) Know An Imposter When You See One.

Unfortunately, when it comes to educating ourselves on immunization issues, parents will come across plenty of websites that try to pass themselves off as credible.  Some are so clever that they design their websites to look like government sponsored sites. So beware and know how to spot an imposter!

Health information should come from a trusted, credible source. Government agencies, hospitals, universities, and medical journals typically provide evidence-based information and can be considered trusted sources.  Unfortunately, there is nothing stopping people from publishing misleading or incorrect information.  For instance, if you’re encouraged to skip vaccines, “detox” your vaccinated child, or buy books, videos, supplements or natural remedies, than you should be questioning the financial motives of the source.

For the record, The National Vaccine Information Center sounds like a federal agency, but is actually an organization that strongly opposes all efforts aimed at vaccinating children.  And don’t be fooled by the small controversial group known as the American College of Pediatricians who oppose vaccines.  Parents can easily mistake them for the 60,000 members of the American Academy of Pediatrics who base their medical recommendations on sound science.

For tips on how to evaluate health information online, check out the National Institute of Health’s website here.  For a more list of reputable sources on the topic of vaccines, visit the Vaccinate Your Family Resource page here.  

4) Vaccine Recommendations Are Not the Same as Daycare or School Requirements.

The CDC’s recommended Childhood Immunization Schedule is designed to protect infants and children early in life, when they are most vulnerable and before they are exposed to potentially life-threatening diseases. However, what most parents don’t realize is that each state establishes their own school and daycare vaccine mandates. While state legislators do try to align school immunization mandates with CDC vaccine recommendations, there are instances when a vaccine may be recommended by the CDC, but not required in order to attend school or daycare in that state.

As parents make decisions on where to enroll their children in school or daycare, they should familiarize themselves with their state specific vaccination mandates and realize that other children may only be getting the required vaccines.  Additionally, when making decisions as to which school or daycare center they want to enroll their child in, parens should refer to the resources below to learn more about the vaccination rates in their local area.

Screen Shot 2017-04-24 at 9.49.26 AM.png
Learn about state-based vaccination rates and disease outbreaks by visiting the AAP’s interactive infographic and the CDC’s Child Vax View.  Click here to find out which vaccines are mandated by schools and daycare centers in your state.

5) Understand How Vaccine Refusal Impacts Us All.  

I cannot emphasize this point strongly enough; even people who are appropriately vaccinated can be impacted by those who choose not to be.  That is because vaccine preventable diseases still exist, and although vaccines are highly effective, no vaccine offers 100% protection in 100% of the people who are vaccinated.  Since community immunity relies on a large percentage of the population being immunized, every vaccine refuser is chipping away at our public health.


Community immunity is what we rely on to limit transmission of a disease.  However, the herd immunity threshold, or the percentage of people who need to be immunized to provide community immunity, differs for each disease.  It depends on the average number of people who will get infected by an infectious person, and how much immunity people will get from a particular vaccine. Since not everyone will have the same immune response, and not every disease has the same level of contagiousness, this becomes a complicated formula that is independently calculated for each disease.


The key to community immunity is that it protects under-immunized individuals.  These individuals can include infants too young for certain vaccines, immunocompromised individuals who are medically unable to receive certain vaccines, vaccinated people who just didn’t generate a sufficient immune response from a vaccine, or even the children of parents who willingly refuse vaccines.

In today’s culture, the trend toward natural, chemical free and organic have prompted some parents to refuse vaccines for fear that the vaccines are somehow unnatural or even toxic.  The reality is that vaccines aren’t toxic.  In fact they are made from  many ingredients that occur naturally in our environment.  And diseases themselves, while natural, are very dangerous.  Some diseases, like meningitis, even cause a toxic response within the body.  Yet, when parents exercise their rights to refuse vaccines, they are negatively impacting our public health by reducing the strength of our herd immunity.  This is why there has been a movement by parents to advocate for stronger vaccine mandates across the country.

To learn more about how you can speak up for vaccines, email us at and we will connect you with your state or local immunization coalition program to learn more.

Babies grow from infants, to toddlers and teens, and your desire to protect them will last long after they’re out of diapers or even out of high school. As parents, you need to serve as an example to your kids by getting your annual flu vaccine and other timely vaccines.

So visit our Vaccinate Your Family website, “like” our Vaccinate Your Family  Facebook page, follow us @ShotofPrev on Twitter and subscribe to this blog in the upper right hand corner to continue to learn about the value of vaccines at every stage of life.  Once you explore the evidence, you will certainly want to continue to protect your family with life-saving vaccines.


This blog post is the first in a series of posts being published as part of the CDC’s National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW) Blog-A-Thon. Visit the NIIW blog-a-thon page throughout the week to read posts that discuss the critical role vaccines play in protecting children, families, and communities against vaccine-preventable diseases from ACOG, Child Care Aware of America, PēdsGeek M.D., and Verywell. You can also follow the NIIW conversation on social media using the hashtag #ivax2protect.  

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35 responses to “Five Things I’ve Learned About Vaccines Through 21 Years of Parenting”

  1. Daniela Murray says:

    Thank you for this well written, thought provoking article on such an important topic!

  2. Lawrence says:

    Yes, thank you! This is a great resource and article.

  3. Kathleen Johnston says:

    This is an excellent article and I commend you. My fear is that the very agencies and institutions that you cite as being the valid and scientific and therefore the “best” sources of information on vaccine necessity and safety are the ones most often cited by the anti-vaxers as biased or hiding the true facts, etc. therefore, the “evidence” is dismissed out of hand. I say this as a retired RN who worked in school health-public health for a quarter of a century. And who did many public presentations encouraging or defending suggestions and/or mandates for new and old vaccines. In this era when so many people seem to live in a world of alternative facts, and when people in power promote those “facts,” I wonder how we can possibly overcome the “anti” mindset. Keep plugging, I sure will.

  4. […] Read about these Five Things I’ve Learned About Vaccines Through 21 Years of Parenting […]

  5. Christine Vara says:

    Kathleen, Your points are valid. We have recognized that there is a small contingency of people who are increasingly untrusting of government agencies, but the latest research on the matter of vaccine hesitancy does indicate that these individuals represent a small minority of people. In cases when people reject such government agency sources, I typically offer other resources such as The Vaccine Education Center of The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Unfortunately, mistrust is based largely on misinformation, and to make matters more challenging, not everyone is well versed in the vaccine science or vaccine policy, which complicates things a bit.

    For instance, I just read an editorial piece from a Nurse in the state of NC, who inaccurately states that the CDC manufactures and profits off of vaccines. It’s not clear why should would think that (other than being “told” that by some usual anti vaccine personalities), but it’s disappointing that a nurse is not familiar with what the CDC does and doesn’t do and hasn’t taken the time to find out before writing an article that rejects the value of vaccines. Unfortunately, vaccine critics can say whatever they say and are not accountable to facts. Whereas, those of us who rely on the facts have to then find a way to communicate those facts in ways that the average person can understand.

    Personally, in my work on this blog over the past 7 years, I have had the advantage of getting to know many immunization experts who have served on the National Vaccine Advisory Committee and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. If parents would simply watch their public and live-streamed meetings and follow the discussions that occur among the many members who volunteer their time to serve on these Committees, I think they would easily see the extreme dedication that these individuals have to children’s health. It is so impressive to see what a thorough job they do to demand extreme measures are taken in regard to vaccine safety and efficacy, and it’s disappointing that most people are totally unaware of the great lengths that go into establishing appropriate vaccine policies and recommendations.

    Additionally, if parents only understood the multiple surveillance systems that are in place to ensure vaccine safety, they might recognize that these systems are designed to identify any vaccine safety concerns and eliminate the possibility of any one agency hiding facts or dismissing evidence.

    But that is the challenge we face. Parents often get their information in the form of advice on a parenting chat room or on social media. That is also the motivation for this blog. We strive to present a different perspective for parents to consider and we continually reference research studies that support our statement.

    As both a parent, and an immunization blogger, I try and familiarize myself with the extensive amount of research that examines the best ways to address vaccine hesitancy. This information can be critical for us to help sway opinions from vaccine reluctance to vaccine confidence. I’m so glad to hear that you will keep plugging away on these issues, because I certainly will! Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. And thank you for the many years you have served to better public health in your community. It appears you are still working at it!

    • Kathleen Johnston says:

      Christine- thank you for your response. Over the years, one technique I have used which has sometimes been effective, is to discuss stories that are personal to me, related to vaccines. I have vivid memories of my elderly grandmother, talking to herself as she walked thru our house; “I just wish I could die and be with Bobby.” My uncle Bobby died, at age 5, of diphtheria, right about the time the vaccine had just come out- and he had not yet been immunized. My grandmother always blamed herself for his death. When I was a young child, one of my close friends had measles at age 4, developed measles encephalitis and became deaf. He was an excellent lip reader, and facing him was just part of childhood playing and talking. Tommy couldn’t go to our neighborhood school though, because he was deaf. This was years before the vaccine became available. The first time I ever saw my mother cry was when her lifelong best friend called and said, “Johnny is at Children’s Memorial and they think he has polio.” Two years before the sugar cubes and polo vaccine began saving lives of people, polio could be a death sentence. Johnny survived with some damage to one leg. I have often wondered if he has post-polio syndrome today. That same summer, the Park District swimming pools in Chicago were closed, because of fear of spreading polio in crowded places.

  6. Christine Vara says:

    Kathleen, I agree that sharing personal stories that highlight the dangers of vaccine preventable diseases can be very effective. In fact, there are studies that support this notion. Unfortunately, personal stories from those who claim vaccines damaged their children are probably also effective at scaring parents into not vaccinating. We just need to do a better job at showing that the risk/benefit ratio really favors vaccinating.

  7. Kurt says:

    We wouldn’t want people knowing that vaccines can and do injure people or that $3.6 billion has been paid out to those with vaccine injuries. Shhhh, must keep it quiet.

  8. Chris says:

    Okay, Kurt, do tell us all about it.

    First give us the statistics of the injuries by vaccines versus actually getting a disease like measles, pertussis, mumps, Hib, etc. All you need to do is provide the PubMed indexed studies by reputable qualified researchers that shows any vaccine on the present American pediatric schedule causes more harm than the disease.

    Then tell us all about the vaccine injuries with NVICP awards. Here are the latest statistics:

    Now do a little math word problem using a couple of “Grand Total” numbers from the first table. Take the total number vaccines given in that time period (2,845,946,816), and then divide in by the total number of compensated claims (2847). What is that number and what does it mean?

    Then tell us how many of those compensated claims were “settlements.” Explain what “settlement” means.

  9. Christine Vara says:

    Kurt, I don’t know anyone who would deny that vaccine injuries incur. What frustrates me are people like yourself who are not completely honest about the injury compensation program. You make this statement as if the payout is a bad thing. Would you rather that people have no recourse for injury? Also, if you truly understood the system, you would realize that the payouts do not necessarily suggest vaccines are unsafe. In some cases a child may have a preexisting condition or the injury is related to the way in which the vaccine was administered, not the vaccine itself. My point is that you fail to provide people with all the information they might need to really evaluate the facts. I understand how you might be confused, because the history of the Vaccine Injury Compensation Fund can be a bit complicated. But if parents would take the time to really research it, they would find that the system was set up to help ensure more timely payouts with less burden to the plaintiffs. It was also created to ensure that vaccine manufactures wouldn’t completely abandon the market. And why would they abandon the market you might ask? Well, there was a huge rise in litigation that was threatening to drive them out of business. And we have anti-vexers to thank for that! Additionally, you have to consider that legal fees from lawyers (or in some cases ambulance chasers) are factored in to the payouts as well, and they represent a pretty hefty chunk.

    Since this topic has been covered time and time again, I don’t care to reiterate every point and will instead include an excerpt from a blog post written by Orac on Respectful Insolence 7 years ago. It is linked here and he does such a wonderful job in explaining the system I don’t think I need to add anything more.

    “Because vaccination is in essence a social pact, in which by vaccinating we all take an infinitesimally small risk for a very large benefit, when a child suffers an adverse reaction there should be compensation. Indeed, that’s just what we have here in the U.S. with the Vaccine Court, which I’ve written about many times before. As I’ve pointed out (for example, here), because of rising litigation that jeopardized the vaccine program and threatened to drive pharmaceutical companies out of the vaccine business, Congress passed the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 (Public Law 99-660), which created the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP). The idea was to create an alternative to the tort system through which people injured by vaccines could be quickly compensated through what is in essence a no-fault system. True, litigants claiming vaccine injury, if denied compensation by the Vaccine Court, can still sue in conventional courts, but all claims for compensation for vaccine injury in the U.S. must first go through the VICP and the Vaccine Court. In addition, the standards of evidence in the Vaccine Court of the VICP are arguably lower than what would be required to obtain compensation through conventional federal courts. For example, in the Vaccine Court the Daubert rules for the admission of scientific testimony from expert witnesses do not apply. Virtually all scientific testimony is allowed, which is, by the way, how such awful testimony was allowed in the Autism Omnibus test cases on behalf of the complainants.

    Further streamlining of the system occurred in 2005, when the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled that an award should be granted if a petitioner either establishes that a “Table Injury” of injuries that are generally accepted as potentially being caused by vaccines) occurred or proves “causation in fact” by proving the following three prongs:

    a medical hypothesis causally connecting the vaccination and the injury;
    a logical sequence of cause and effect showing that the vaccination was the reason for the injury; and
    a showing of a proximate temporal relationship between vaccination and injury.
    Compensation is virtually automatic for so-called “table injuries” (i.e., known injuries that science attributed to vaccines listed on the Vaccine Injury Table) within the correct time frame. Also, compensation can be awarded if plaintiffs can meet a standard of evidence showing a 51% or greater chance that the plaintiff was injured by the vaccine in question. Indeed, as one lawyer who represents cases in front of the vaccine court put it:

    “There is a difference between scientific proof and legal proof,” Conway said. “One is 95 percent certainty, and the other is . . . 50 percent and a feather.”

    In other words, the award of compensation does not mean that a scientific link was found, only that a court of law thinks it more likely than not that a specific set of health problems is due to vaccine injury, no more, no less. A legal finding of causation does not necessarily imply a scientific finding of causation, no matter how much anti-vaccine activists trumpet rulings compensating children for vaccine injury as vindication of their pseudoscientific views that vaccines cause autism. Indeed, this ruling doesn’t even “prove” that MMR can cause brain damage, a contentious scientific question whose answer is not at all clear.

    Finally, the VICP will reimburse plaintiffs for legal fees and court costs even if they lose in Vaccine Court. Indeed, certain unscrupulous lawyers (cough, cough, Clifford Shoemaker) have taken advantage of this feature of the Vaccine Court and racked up some very impressive billings representing complainants in front of the Vaccine Court. In other words, here in the U.S. at least, as little as the anti-vaccine movement believes it and would prefer to believe a conspiracy theorist view in which they are the downtrodden speakers of truth to power beaten down by The Man, the entire system bends over backwards to give complainants the benefit of the doubt.”

    So Kurt, don’t come here trying to scare people with a big dollar figure. Because when you do, you provide a perfect example of the misinformation that can distract people from understanding the great efforts that go in to protecting our public health in this nation.

  10. Lawrence says:

    Here’s a good counter-point to Kurt.

    Did you know that over $120 BILLION dollars per year are paid to victims of car accidents?

    Over the same time period where a little over $3 Billion dollars have been paid through the NVICP, more than $3 TRILLION dollars were paid because of car accidents.

    Think about that for a minute.

  11. Kathleen Johnston says:

    Places/offices/health departments that give vaccines are supposed to give Vaccine Information Sheets to those who are to receive the vaccine. They are very specific about side effects, who or when someone shouldn’t get the vaccine, what to do if something unusual happens, etc. Offices that don’t hand out that information might be accused of being careless, but it is highly unlikely they are trying to deceive parents or adults getting a shot. Information about potential adverse effects and the tiny percentage of people who have a serious adverse effect are widely available.

  12. Chris says:

    “Offices that don’t hand out that information might be accused of being careless, but it is highly unlikely they are trying to deceive parents or adults getting a shot.”

    And are going against federal laws. I have received one every time… obviously Kurt has never been in an office for a vaccine visit, so does not know they exist, and are required.

  13. Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH says:

    @ Kurt:

    $3.6 billion over 30 years. Since most cases get more than $1 million, that comes to an average of less than 120 cases per year out of literally million of vaccinations. In the 1950s, prior to just measles and polio vaccine, 50,000 kids were hospitalized for measles, 4-500 died, and approximately 1,000 developed disabilities, e.g. mental retardation, seizure disorders, deafness, and blindness. An average of 15,000 kids were permanently crippled by polio. Given that both diseases still have no treatment, are just as contagious today, and our population has more than doubled, one can easily extrapolate that the stats would double. The Vaccine Court pays for total lifetime care which, in the US due to not having a decent non-profit health care system, can cost a lot of money, plus parents having to either take time off from work or quit jobs. And the Court rules in favor of the plaintiffs based on likelihood and evidence that would not be admissible in normal courts. In addition, the Court pays the lawyer fees, so they don’t get 40% or more of the settlement, and all witnesses. However, the Court doesn’t pay for claims for conditions that numerous well-done studies have found not associated with vaccines.

    I get tired of people dragging up the $3.6 billion, ignoring the above. A simple question: Without vaccines, who would pay for the 100s of thousands of injured children from the natural diseases? Even the March of Dimes was having difficulties getting contributions for polio towards the end and, as far as I know, there were no equivalent organizations for each and every of the currently vaccine-preventable diseases.

    In a perfect world, vaccines would provide 100% protection and zero risk; but we don’t live in a perfect world. Focusing on the rare, albeit tragic, risks of vaccines and ignoring their overwhelming benefits is foolish on steroids.

    Seatbelts have saved literally millions of lives; but in a few cases in minor traffic accidents have caused injuries, so, do you want to convince people to stop using seatbelts?

  14. Kurt says:

    I like the way you all trivialize injuries from vaccines. Like serious injures and death are no big deal when compared to XXXXX.
    You do understand that very few vaccine injuries actually get reported and very few of those actually get paid – right?
    Please quit comparing these injuries to car accidents etc and show a little respect for the vaccine injured and the dead.

  15. Lawrence says:

    Please provide proof of your assertion that “few vaccine injuries get reported,” since there are multiple systems in place (both active and passive) to monitor vaccine safety.

    Because if you do look at the NVICP statistics, more people die each year from Lightning Strikes, than report a serious adverse event related to a vaccine.

    In no way are we trivializing anything – instead, we are putting the numbers into their proper perspective – something that anti-vaxers don’t seem to have the ability to conceptualize. Which is why I used the car accident analogy – because, just by looking at the data, driving a car is at least 100 times more dangerous than receiving a vaccine.

  16. Lawrence says:

    Because “autism” isn’t a “vaccine” injury.

  17. Chris says:

    Kurt: “I like the way you all trivialize injuries from vaccines.”

    By asking you to do a math word problem? I am astounded at the number of people who use the claims paid by the NVICP that just do not know how to use the calculator on their laptop, tablet, smartphone, etc.

    “You do understand that very few vaccine injuries actually get reported and very few of those actually get paid – right?”

    No we don’t. Perhaps you could provide the PubMed indexed study that shows it they are so under reported… right after you provide the studies that show any vaccine on the present American pediatric schedule causes more harm than the disease.

  18. Lawrence says:

    @Chris – if anti-vaxers bothered to read the research, they’d know that yes – some vaccine reactions are “under-reported;” the ones that include “soreness at the injection site” and “low grade fever.”

    Those reactions are routinely reported during clinical trials, but won’t end up as a VAERS report because they are mild and transitory.

    It has been pointed out, repeatedly, that “serious adverse reactions” are MORE LIKELY to be reported, not less, therefore the number of legitimate reports of serious reactions are closer to the actual number that occur (which align with the very low percentages of serious adverse reactions found my numerous studies and reflected in the 1 in 1 million cases that is normally associated).

    Anyone who has the time can easily look at all of the legitimate research, done both in the United States and globally, to see that serious vaccine reactions are exceedingly small, and in some cases, vanishingly small (with number so low that it is impossible to truly link the vaccine to the reaction).

    Of course, a small number of serious reactions will occur across any large population, but even this pales in comparison to the number of people who would be killed or seriously injured by the diseases that vaccines prevent.

    None of this is new, just information that is routinely ignored by anti-vaxers.

  19. Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH says:

    @ Kurt:

    You are really illogical and irrational. Not only are there a number of different programs for reporting vaccine injuries; but it is the serious injuries and deaths, if there are any, that are definitely reported. Do you really think that a family whose child is seriously injured or dies following a vaccination won’t get a lawyer? You live in a fantasy world. However, it is you who trivialize the exponentially larger number of children who would have been seriously harmed or died from the vaccine-preventable diseases if vaccines did not exist.

    As I wrote above, “In a perfect world, vaccines would provide 100% protection and zero risk; but we don’t live in a perfect world. Focusing on the rare, albeit tragic, risks of vaccines and ignoring their overwhelming benefits is foolish on steroids.”

  20. Chris says:

    Lawrence: “Those reactions are routinely reported during clinical trials, but won’t end up as a VAERS report because they are mild and transitory.”

    Well, that is exactly why the aluminati have invented a fancy word for “sore arm.”

    “…but even this pales in comparison to the number of people who would be killed or seriously injured by the diseases that vaccines prevent.”

    Which is what angers me. They ignore the fact that measles will cause encephalitis at a rate of one in a thousand, because to them that is a small number. Totally ignoring that any serious reaction to the MMR vaccine is less than one in a million.

  21. Kurt says:

    “Not only are there a number of different programs for reporting vaccine injuries; but it is the serious injuries and deaths, if there are any, that are definitely reported.”

    You are living in lala land and you know it. If anything happens after a vaccination, Doctor’s say it isn’t the vaccination, so therefore, it doesn’t get reported. You know this is true. “It is never the vaccine”

  22. Lawrence says:

    @Kurt – another baseless, blanket statement unsupported by any facts.

    And a bit nonsensical on your part, since you’ve used VAERS, in the past, to support your anti-vax contentions….if nothing gets reported, what’s in VAERS then?

  23. Lawrence says:

    You can’t simultaneous claim that nothing gets reported, than also use reports (either inserts, VAERS or even NVICP statistics) to try to defend your position.

    It is certainly cognitive-dissonance at its finest.

  24. Kurt says:

    lawrence, wrong, I have heard that story 100’s of times from people.

    My best friend is an ER doc and is the only one on her team that is open to vaccine injuries from people that were just vaccinated.

  25. Kurt says:

    “You can’t simultaneous claim that nothing gets reported, than also use reports (either inserts, VAERS or even NVICP statistics) to try to defend your position.
    It is certainly cognitive-dissonance at its finest.”

    I NEVER said “nothing” gets reported, I said very few injuries get reported.

  26. Chris says:

    Oooh, Kurt has lots of anecdotes. Well, isn’t that special?

  27. Kurt says:

    You are so special Chris.

  28. Chris says:

    It is better than your argument by blatant assertion. You literally have nothing in the way of actual evidence.

  29. Kurt says:

    You know what I say is true Chris. You are a perfect example, if you had a vaccine injury, you would NEVER think it was the vaccine, you wouldn’t even go there. So based on that kind of logic, how much evidence do you need.

  30. Lawrence says:

    How about “any?” Because you have provided none.

  31. Chris says:

    Kurt, I have asked you to provide the evidence, and so far you have produced nothing but excuses. So did you figure out how to use a calculator for my little math story problem using the NVICP statistics? And where are those PubMed indexed studies by reputable qualified researchers than any vaccine on the present American pediatric schedule causes more harm than the vaccines?

    So if there is denial of vaccine injury, why the change of polio vaccination from OPV to IPV? Or the switch from DTP to DTaP? Also, why was RotaShield removed from the market? It “only” caused issues in in about one per five to ten thousand doses. How is that a big problem when you have absolutely no problem with measles causing encephalitis in one out of thousand cases, or pneumonia for about one in twenty cases. How is measles so much safer than the MMR vaccine?

    As we have been saying all along is that it is about relative risk, a concept you to have trouble grasping.

  32. Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH says:

    @ Kurt:

    For those who have been following this blog, there is an EXCELLENT article by Dorit Reiss covering most of the various programs used to monitor vaccine safety, “Multiple Vaccine Oversight Committees Ensure Our Public Safety” (Jan 11, 2017) at:

    You obviously don’t know what you are talking about and either just believe that without needing to provide credible references your fantasy world somehow gives you all the knowledge you need or you just post comments to be a nuisance. Either way, get a life and do something more constructive.

    And, once more, do you really think that a parent who believes their child was injured by a vaccine will simply accept that their doctor tells them not possible and won’t both search the internet and contact a lawyer? Most doctors office post info on VAERS and each and every time a child is vaccinated, a Vaccine Information Statement, which includes minor adverse events and rare serious ones, must be given to the parent by law and the Statement explains VAERS and the Vaccine Court. Check them out at:

  33. Rene Young says:

    Hello, thank you for the extensive information regarding vaccinations. My child lived in STL from 3 months to 3 years and was immunized following the CDC register. I just wanted to check the differences between Australia and America to make sure we are all covered and stumbled upon this blog. Thanks for advocating for child vaccinations and the useful resources. You are right there are some sites out there that look legit but are imposters. Great tips.

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