When Parents Contemplate the Vaccine Question
SIX STEPS TO DECISION TIME
By Hillary Simpson
Dear loving, tired, researching
mama,I am right there with you.
Let me be real: I’m so sleepy. (I know you are too.) But luckily
my kids rank right up there with coffee and ice cream as the
lights of my life. Still, despite my exhaustion, or maybe because
of it, I wanted to write you this note to welcome you into the
Crazymothers’ Community and to let you know why I embarked
on this nonprofit journey.
Modern motherhood is completely overwhelming at times.
The constant time-juggling and peer judgement. The societal
expectations versus the messy reality. The feelings of failure.
Sometimes, it’s too much. Sometimes, we get so caught up
in the playdates and playdoh that we forget to focus on what’s
most important… our family’s health. We are easily swept along in the current of mainstream
mommyhood and with that comes the mainstream medical system, complete with vaccines,
antibiotics, and a whole host of other pharmaceuticals. Don’t get me wrong, there is a definite
time and place for modern medicine but this site is not going to cover that. We are going to talk
about the other side. The alternative side. The vaccine injury side.
There, I said it. Vaccine injury.
Growing up in our culture, we are taught that vaccines are safe and effective. We hear doctors
say that they saved us from polio. Popular TV shows portray people who don’t vaccinate as
dangerous, selfish individuals. We read in the news that diseases are on the rise again because
of unvaccinated children.
The massive amount of information on the internet is both a blessing and a curse, my hope is that
Crazymothers will save you some time by presenting you with tons of research, personal stories,
and thought-provoking articles (all in one place!) which highlight the other side of vaccines.
More than anything, I wish I had stumbled upon helpful information like this before my son
suffered his reaction, but I didn’t. Vaccine injury happens all day, every single day, and it happened
to my family. I created Crazymothers to hopefully prevent it from happening to yours.
So, I invite you to grab a snack (mmmmmmm, food,) get comfy, and take in all this information
where we can all learn, question, and grow together.
1.) When it comes to vaccines--research, research, research!
Most parents spend hours agonizing over which car seat has the better safety rating, yet they
never think to spend any time researching vaccines. When I had my first child, I never thought
to question the doctor; it simply did not occur to me. I never asked for the safety studies, the
ingredients in vaccines or the laws surrounding the vaccine industry. I just did as I was told and
only started researching after my son suffered an adverse reaction to his six-month shots.
Considering the fact that seventy-two doses of vaccines are given to children in the U.S.
before the age of eighteen (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2018), the best first
tip for every parent is to research, research, research. Look at vaccines, their ingredients, and
the safety studies associated with each vaccine on the market before you make any decision
regarding vaccination for your child.
The most important step in navigating the massive amount of information surrounding vaccines
is to read over the packaging insert provided by the vaccine manufacturer, such as Merck or
Pfizer. These inserts are easily accessed online and can be downloaded to your computer. They
list the clinical safety trials and all of the known possible adverse reactions reported during the
vaccine’s trials or post-marketing data. Years ago, these inserts are where I began my research
into the world of vaccines and the information contained within them is still eye-opening.
For instance, Section 13.1 of every single vaccine insert reads
“[This vaccine] has not been evaluated for carcinogenic or
mutagenic potential or for impairment of fertility.”
What does that mean? It means that the manufacturers have no idea if vaccines can cause
cancer, mutate genetic makeup, or potentially impede a child’s fertility. When parents are told that
a product is safe, they assume that it has been tested for carcinogenic properties. Unfortunately,
vaccines aren’t tested for that. Now is it a coincidence that the bulk of the pediatric vaccine
schedule is administered before the age of six and that the average age a child in the United
States is diagnosed with cancer is six? Maybe, but the truth is that until research is conducted
to test vaccines for carcinogenic abilities, parents are left in the dark.
There are numerous books written by doctors, scientists, immunologists, and lawyers that
explain, in detail, the dangerous lack of safety and the lack of science in the vaccine industry. A
quick Google search should bring up at least twenty of them to begin your journey; read them
all. Read everything you can get your hands on. Read until you are so confident in your decision
that you no longer feel concerned with other people’s differing opinions. There are also some
amazing documentaries such as The Greater Good and Vaxxed that chronicle vaccine injury.
Watching families who have experienced vaccine injury first-hand share their story is extremely
powerful and is often left out in the mainstream narrative on vaccines.
2.) Trust your parental gut
This is just as important as the first tip--trust your instincts!
Most parents know their children better than anyone else on the face of this planet. They know
the rhythm of their heartbeat, what makes them smile (and what makes them furious), and
they know how to keep them safe. When a parent enters the pediatrician’s office for a “well-
baby checkup” and every bone in their body is screaming at them to turn and run away from a
decision they’re not ready for, they should at least pause and listen to that voice.
Too often, though, our intuition is ignored by perceived authority and knowledge. Parents hear,
“Don’t worry, it will be fine” or “I’m sure you are just overreacting.” However, what should be
told to new parents specifically in regard to vaccines is that if it feels wrong for their child, then
it probably is wrong for their child. I remember when my son went from a happy, peaceful baby
to a child shrieking in pain for hours after his vaccine appointment. He immediately stopped
sleeping well, stopped eating well and developed chronic diarrhea, gut dysbiosis which eventually
lead to food allergies, chronic ear infections and regression around twelve months old. When I
called the doctor’s office in tears, I was told that it was not a vaccine reaction simply because he
didn’t have a fever. This was false information. All of my son’s symptoms were known adverse
effects of vaccines and the nurse should have recorded his reaction and reported his reaction
so that we could have an honest discussion about continuing vaccines for my child.
As someone who has spent hundreds of hours listening to the stories of mothers with vaccine-
injured children, the one common theme is how they wish they could go back in time to
their child’s vaccine appointment in order to follow their gut and refuse the vaccination that
inevitably harmed their little one.
Parents should also be encouraged to listen to their instincts when they suspect their child
is experiencing a vaccine reaction. More often than not, concerned parents will contact their
child’s pediatrician about their child’s health deteriorating after a vaccine appointment, and their
valid concerns can be dismissed by the doctor. This is not OK. Anytime a child experiences
adverse side effects, it should be documented by the administering doctor and reported to
VAERS, the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System. Some common adverse events include
fever, inconsolable crying, rash, weakness or paralysis in any part of the body, convulsions
or seizures, loss of milestones, persistent diarrhea, loss of appetite, pain and swelling at the
injection site, and dramatic change in behavior.
Oftentimes, doctors will tell parents to expect certain side effects after vaccination and that
they are normal. Please know that while these adverse events may be common, they are not
considered normal and should be dealt with in the appropriate manner. A CDC sponsored study
conducted by Harvard Pilgrim Health actually found that less than 1% of all vaccine reactions
were reported by health professionals (Lazarus & Klompas, 2011).
If 99% of vaccine reactions are not
being reported, how will we ever
know the true effects of vaccination?
3.) Know the ingredients, whether it’s food or medicine
If someone approached a child and offered them something to
eat, most parents would automatically ask for the ingredients.
The same questioning should take place with vaccines. It is important to know exactly what is
being injected into our children so that parents can make an informed decision about the risk/
benefit ratio of vaccination.
A full list of the ingredients and excipients of every
vaccine available in the U.S. can be found here: https://
Below is small sampling of ingredients:
Formaldehyde--According to The National Cancer Institute, “Formaldehyde is a colorless,
flammable, strong-smelling chemical that is used in building materials and to produce many
household products (National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health, 2011).” In
2011, the U.S. National Toxicology Program described formaldehyde as “known to be a human
carcinogen (NTP National Toxicology Program, 2016)” If it known to cause cancer, then why is
it in our children’s vaccines?
Aluminum--There are numerous peer-reviewed studies that show that aluminum is extremely
neurotoxic to humans, but the latest, most profound study was just released from Dr. Chris Exley
who has spent his entire career studying the effects of AL on humans. He found that when
studying the brains of young people with autism, the amount of aluminum was extraordinarily
high, higher than some of the geriatric brains from Alzheimer’s patients he had also studied.
He concluded that Aluminum could absolutely be linked to the onset of autism (Mold, Umar,
King, & Exley, 2018). Additionally, aluminum has been directly linked to autoimmune disorders
and neurological damage, along with multiple sclerosis, macrophagic myofasciitis, gulf war
syndrome, ASIA, and chronic fatigue (Miller, 2016).
Polysorbate 80--or “Tween 80” is another possible carcinogen. According to the Material Safety
Data Sheet on Polysorbate 80, it “may cause cancer based on animal test data (CHEMTREC).”
It is also used by pharmaceutical companies specifically to help drugs cross the blood-brain-
barrier which is a barrier that separates the brain from the circulatory system (Zhao, Xia, Wei,
Ruan, & Li, 2010). Polysorbate 80 in vaccines is inadvertently trafficking aluminum and other
heavy metals directly into our children’s brains.
Thimerosal--this is a mercury-containing compound and is incredibly neurotoxic. In 1999 the FDA
recommended that thimerosal be removed from pediatric immunizations. However, Thimerosal
is still used in most of the influenza vaccines which the CDC recommends children receive every
single year after six months of age. Thimerosal has been directly linked to neurodevelopmental
disorders, sleep disorders and autism (Miller, 2016). https://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/concerns/
Cell culture material--these are part of the vaccine manufacturing process. These ingredients
are what scientists use to grow the virus or bacteria in: egg protein, aborted human fetal cells,
bovine (cow) serum, monkey kidney cells, canine kidney cells, and hamster ovary cell in a
new Hepatitis B vaccine are just a few examples of the animal DNA contained within vaccines.
We simply do not know enough about the long-term effects of injecting animal DNA into our
children. However according to a study done by Stanford scientist Dr. Theresa Deisher, “It
is possible that these contaminating fragments could be incorporated into a child’s genome
and disrupt normal gene function, leading to autistic phenotypes (Koyama & Deisher).” More
research is desperately needed.
4.) Look at the lack of safety testing
There has never been a cumulative safety study done on the
CDC recommended pediatric schedule.
Read that again. The 72 doses of vaccines that our government’s regulatory agencies recommend
for our children have never been studied together. That is startling to most parents. Beyond that,
when you look at the safety trials conducted by the vaccine manufacturers themselves, the lack
of “gold standard” safety testing is alarming.
Most regular pharmaceuticals endure years of rigorous testing. When bringing a new product
to the market, pharmaceutical companies use the highest form of safety testing in their trials: the
double blind, placebo-controlled study. This means that they will have two groups--one group
will receive the new “drug” and the other group will receive a placebo. No one involved in the
study would know which participant received the placebo or the drug. That way, the researchers
collecting the data for the safety trial can effectively document all possible adverse events and
determine whether the drug is safe enough for the market. Additionally, regular pharmaceutical
trials generally document the health outcomes of trial participants for months and sometimes
years after the trial has ended.
None of this happens with vaccine safety trials, however--there is no “true placebo” used.
The researchers use other vaccines as the placebo and numerous other vaccines concomitantly
in their “control group.” That way at the end of the trial, the data looks better since inevitably
there will be adverse events in both groups. To make matters worse, the follow-up time in these
safety trials is generally four to six weeks with some as short as 48 hours.
Informed Consent Action Network. (2017, October 2). VACCINE SAFETY Introduction to Vaccine
Safety Science & Policy in the United States .Retrieved from ICAN Informed Consent Action
How can doctors get away with
lauding vaccines as safe and effective
when the proper safety studies have
never been conducted?
5.) Parents should know the laws about vaccine injury
Prior to 1985, vaccine manufacturers were constantly being sued for vaccine injury.
The products were so faulty (including the DTP vaccine which has since been removed from the
market) that major pharmaceutical companies threatened to stop producing vaccines. (Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention, 2015).
In 1986, President Reagan signed the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act (NCVIA) into law.
This act stripped the pharmaceutical companies of any and all liability concerning vaccine injury.
If your child is hurt or killed by a vaccine, you can no longer sue the manufacturer such as
Merck--you have to go through a special claims court with a special master deciding your case
(who has no medical or scientific training). If you are awarded compensation, it is taken out of
the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program and that money is available due to the $.75
tax on every vaccine bought by the U.S. taxpayers.
It is important to point out that after the NCVIA was rolled out, (after the vaccine makers were
given legal immunity) there was an onslaught of vaccines added to the pediatric schedule in the
United States. Before 1985, twenty-four doses of vaccines were recommended for children--
since then the number has since tripled. Today, seventy-two doses are recommended.
Since the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) began in the late 1980s,
almost $4 billion dollars has been paid out for vaccine injury. The process of filing a claim with
the VICP is long and arduous. It can take years and the burden of proof falls directly onto the
victim and the victim’s family. The special claims court can be extremely difficult to navigate
unless you are working with a firm that specializes in vaccine injury compensation.
The NCVIA and the VICP were begun in hopes to expedite compensation for families dealing
with vaccine injury. Thirty years later we have a legal process in which private companies with
federally-funded immunity are not held accountable for the massive amount of neurological and
physical devastation that their products are causing. Learn More: NVIC.org
h t t p s://w w w. h r s a .g ov/s i t e s/d e fa u l t/f i l e s/ h r s a/va cc i n e - co m p e n s a t i o n/d a t a/m o n t h l y-s t a t s-
6.) Parents need to know their rights
It is your RIGHT to not vaccinate yourself or your child and it is
completely legal to keep your children vaccine-free.
If you send your children to public schools, there are exemptions which you can use in order to
opt out of vaccination. There are three types of exemptions: medical, religious, and philosophical.
Medical exemptions are written by a doctor and can be obtained for numerous reasons, the
most common being an immediate, severe reaction post-vaccine. Religious exemptions are used
to opt out of vaccines for religious beliefs. However, religious beliefs are oftentimes defined as
deeply-held personal beliefs which allow for a religious exemption to cover a vast array of belief
systems. If a parent chooses to use a religious exemption, they should be prepared to justify
their beliefs according to state requirements. Lastly, philosophical or conscientious exemptions
can be used when parents do not believe in vaccines for moral or ethical reasons and choose
not to employ a religious exemption.
Forty-seven states utilize some combination of all three exemptions allowing parents to
opt out of vaccinating their children. California, Mississippi, and West Virginia are the only
states in which medical exemptions are the only type available. Every state’s laws regarding
vaccine exemptions are different therefore it is imperative that parents are familiar with their
state’s specific requirements for public school attendance. If parents choose to homeschool, no
exemption is needed.
The National Vaccine Information Center is an amazing nonprofit dedicated to helping parents
navigate the information surrounding vaccines. They are an invaluable resource and have an
entire section of their website dedicated to the state-specific vaccine exemption requirements.
Every parent should know their rights and the law, and do their research. Above all, parents
should trust their gut when it comes to vaccinating their children. I wish I had chosen to spend
just a couple hours looking at the ingredients or listening to mothers of vaccine injured children
before making the decision to vaccinate. Instead I blindly followed my doctor’s orders and my
son suffered because of it. Hopefully this e-book will inspire every parent to continue their
vaccine education in order to make informed decisions for their family’s health.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2015, September 8). Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention. Retrieved from Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-
Preventable Diseases: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/pinkbook/safety.html
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2018, February 6th). Immunization
Schedules. Retrieved from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: https://
CHEMTREC, I. (n.d.). Material Safety Data Sheet POLYSORBATE 80 MSDS.
Retrieved from ScienceLab: http://www.sciencelab.com/msds.php?msdsId=9926645
Koyama, K., & Deisher, T. (n.d.). Spontaneous Integration of Human DNA
Fragments into Host Genome . Retrieved from SoundChoice Pharmaceutical
Lazarus, R., & Klompas, M. (2011). The Agency for Healthcare Research
and Quality (AHRQ) U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Retrieved from healthit.ahrq.gov: https://healthit.ahrq.gov/sites/default/
Miller, N. Z. (2016). Critical Vaccine Studies. Sante Fe: New Atlantean Press.
Mold, M., Umar, D., King, A., & Exley, C. (2018). Aluminum in brain tissue
in autism. Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology, 76-82.
National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health. (2011, June
10). Formaldehyde and Cancer Risk . Retrieved from National Cancer
National Toxicology Program (June 2011). Report on Carcinogens, Twelfth Edition.
Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, National Toxicology
Program. Retrieved June 10, 2011, from: http://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/go/roc12
Zhao, Y., Xia, A., Wei, Y., Ruan, Y., & Li, F. (2010). Polysorbate-80 modified
neurotoxin nanoparticle with its transport and cytotoxicity against blood-
brain barrier. Yao xue xue bao = Acta Pharmaceutica Sinica, 1312-16.