To vaccinate or not vaccinate?

effects of immunizations
Michelle Turner's son Graham before and after receiving his vaccinations. | Photo courtesy of Michelle Turner

SOUTHERN UTAH – Michelle Turner’s 13-month-old son acted like other normal toddlers – he cruised around, talked and used utensils. And then Turner got her son his HIB vaccine.

“ … and I lost him,” Turner said.

Turner’s son could no longer walk, talk, eat or roll over.

“His regression was so severe that they [started] looking at muscular dystrophy and other neurological disorders,” she said. “My son had to go to the Foundation for Blind Children for preschool. By his fourth birthday, he was non-verbal and we had the following diagnoses of autism, mental retardation, cortical visual impairment and non-functioning immune system. Ten days before his fourth birthday we had the cause … “

Her son had Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) and staph.

“He didn’t get the antibodies from his vaccine, he got the disease. The doctors weren’t looking for it because he was vaccinated,” she said.

Turner said she doesn’t advocate not vaccinating children, however. She believes polio and whooping cough are deadly and the vaccines are necessary. She does not, however, believe children need three to five vaccines at once.

According to ABC4 News, Utah ranks 35th in the nation for childhood immunization. Only 66.7 percent of children are immunized by the age of two. (See story here)

Rich Lake, from the Utah Department of Health, told ABC4 that the low numbers are partly due to parents researching the Internet and getting information that immunizations could cause autism or diabetes; something he said is not true.

Leslie Carr, Editor-in-Chief of The Doctor, said she hopes parents do more reading to understand the importance of immunizations.

“Frankly, I find it scary that parents are still thinking that vaccination carries a risk of autism,” Carr said. “That study has now been retracted for a long time. Similarly, if they are interested in reducing the risk of diabetes, better would be to omit junk food and processed carbs and soda.”

Esther Entin, M.D. wrote in TheDoctor that it is easy to lose sight of the need for immunizations since their success has prevented parents from experiencing the devastating effects of certain illnesses.

“As a result of vaccination programs, smallpox was eradicated in 1977 and polio was eradicated from the Americas in 1991,” Entin said. “There has been a significant decline in the incidence of vaccine preventable diseases such as diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), and children today are protected against many illnesses that their parents experienced. Despite these impressive benefits, parents are often concerned about the discomfort to their children and the possibility of serious side effects.”

When St. George News asked readers for their opinion, some readers disagreed that possible serious side effects were worth it.

“I don’t know when putting foreign and dangerous chemicals in [our] babies became a good thing,” said Sandi Burningham, a local mom and licensed professional counselor. “I’m not a fanatic and I do vaccinate my children for life-threatening illnesses but I draw the line there; I also wait until my children are older before vaccinating them. The Swine Flu vaccination has now been linked to numerous cases of narcolepsy and the Gardasil cervical cancer vaccine has resulted in a number of deaths. ‘Big pharma’ is using scare tactics to make more money and they have so much money to lobby and make campaign contributions to politicians, that the politicians (via the CDC) are pushing the same scare tactics.”

“We have known for years that mercury and aluminum are potent neuro-toxins and yet they are still used as components in some vaccinations,” Burningham continued. “You’ve got to weigh the risks and the benefits of any medical procedure. I urge parents to get educated and make informed decisions … I am so grateful that I live in a country where I can make those decisions.”

Other readers, however, argued that the pros outweighed the cons.

“Growing up in a third world country I am very thankful for the immunizations and blessings they bring to my family,” a reader added.

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Copyright 2011 St. George News. This material may not be published or rewritten without written consent.

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  • LaMarcus September 29, 2011 at 11:07 am

    I heard this discussion on the radio this morning and that got me thinking. I know of a few folks with autistic kids and one family found a huge change in a teenager when they changed their diet. The kid lived mostly on processed, packaged, microwavable, easy type of foods to give to the child. A doctor suggested drastically changing their diet to whole and real foods only. After a few weeks the change was amazing. It was obvious to see just how real food can change how a body and mond can function.

    This now leads into another observation. Autism was not around in the 60’s and 70’s when I was younger. Since then, fast foods and other processed foods have been invented and consumed in huge amounts. Mothers (and dads) have been living off these foods for the last 20-30 years. I wonder if the human body has gone through some serious malnutrition in that time and produced sick kids. Hmmm, just a thought.

    Also, do other countries have the same escalation rates of autism as the USA does? Do other countries with better diet habits suffer from these childhood isues and conditions? Could be from vaccinations or it could be from years of self inflicted poor diets.

    • Laura H September 29, 2011 at 6:21 pm

      The recent published rate of autism in Korea is 1 in 38 children. The rates are rising very quickly in many countries. I read somewhere that the rates are much higher in counties that requires more vaccinations. I think food and vaccines play a major role. I also think that vaccines often cause gut problems which cause significant difficulites with food.

  • Notthestatusquo September 29, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    Vaccines have “NEVER” been tested for safety.

    Just because some company spent millions of dollars covering their corporate behinds with fake science, doesn’t mean mercury doesn’t cause autism.

    • hillary September 29, 2011 at 9:29 pm

      couldn’t agree with you more. they aren’t proven safe at ALL!!

  • Shannon D September 29, 2011 at 2:11 pm

    People have literally watched their children regress after a vaccine. How can you tell a parent that there is no connection? That is like watching your child be hit by a car and brake their neck, only to have everyone tell you that their neck was already broken, it just wasn’t apparent until after the car hit them. You can show studies, quote doctors, do whatever you want, but nothing will ever convince these parents that what they know isn’t true.

  • Sarah September 29, 2011 at 7:10 pm

    @LeMarcus, Forms of Autism have been documented and studied as early as 1940. Even Nazi Germany documented torture and experiments on Autsictic children. There will always be differnt theories of how it became prevelant. Even parents of Autistic children are on both sides of the debate. Fact is that there isn’t a known cause.

  • Dynamentope September 29, 2011 at 7:17 pm

    LOVE the analogy Shannon.

  • Erwin Alber September 29, 2011 at 9:19 pm

    Vaccines have never prevented anything apart from health, sanity and commons sense. As far as I am concerned, vaccination is an organised criminal enterprise dressed up as disease prevention, by means of pseudo-science.

    “We live in a world ruled by corporate interests and agendas that are not in the best interests of the citizens of this planet… we have left consensus reality to be created by liars, cheats, killers and the junk scientists they employ.”

    Dr Kenneth Stoller MD
    Autism, Vaccines, Mercury and the Culpability of the American Academy of Pediatrics

    Not all, but most autism and juvenile insulin-dependent diabetes IS vaccine-related. To cover up their crimes, the psychopaths who run the medical-pharmaceutical establishment have agrees to deny everything and to admit nothing.

    The Truth about the Vaccine Cover-Up
    Dr Russell Blaylock MD

    Also, check out the Facebook page ‘Vaccination Information Network’ (VINE)

    The sooner this ugly and brutal racket stops the better for our children’s health and well-being.

  • Mindanoiha September 30, 2011 at 2:48 am

    A father of a brain damaged child says to all doctors and parents: Take many pictures before and after vaccines. Look for any changes in behavior and or in the face, eyes movement (lazy eye), smile cemetery, (smile dropping like stroke) and changes in dimples on the face can mean early signs of brain damage. You will see the brain damage happen in front of your eyes simply by reviewing pictures of your face before vaccine and after vaccines. Check your own vaccine schedule list history and see if the timeline of your symptoms meet The Vaccine Injury Table and if injury started after vaccine injection then you will put the puzzle together and will seek Justice for your loved one like I did.

  • Healthmamma September 30, 2011 at 4:54 am

    The U.S is overly toxic to begin with, we are using pesticides that were not used before the 1980’s.
    Not long ago scientists thought that the placenta shielded cord blood — and the developing baby — from most chemicals and pollutants in the environment. But now we know that at this critical time when organs, vessels, membranes and systems are knit together from single cells to finished form in a span of weeks, the umbilical cord carries not only the building blocks of life, but also a steady stream of industrial chemicals, pollutants and pesticides that cross the placenta as readily as residues from cigarettes and alcohol.

    It seems to me that when our babies are born their immune system is already compromised then we add too it.
    Why is it we are seeing a rise in autism, ADHD, food allergies, child obesity and disease?
    Children are given so many shots from the moment they’re born.
    Babies get the hepatitis B vaccine immediately after they’re born and the only way for a newborn to contract that disease is if the mother is a carrier. Why not test the mother just like they do for strep b? Why don’t scientists make a safe vaccine?
    I think we need to reduce the schedule, eat a more whole foods based diet and give our children safe vaccines considering they are already born into a overly toxic world.

    My experience comes from having a overly toxic child that had a reaction after his vaccines. He tested positive for high levels of copper and aluminum in his body. I believe it was not just from the vaccine, but form a combination of things. Over time I learned that when i detoxed his body, and changed his diet to whole foods, and used natural products on his body and in my home he improved.
    We are the only ones that can make a difference in our child’s life, it is up to us to make the change and it starts from conception.

  • Denise Cook September 30, 2011 at 5:16 am

    The United ranks #37 in infant mortality, autism and add. Yet we give out the most vaccines!! Doesn’t take a rocket scientist to make the connection. . Most of the childhood diseases were on the decline before the vaccines came out. Most are mild childhood diseases. And we have antibiotics if they do get sick. People should educate themselves. There are many sights on line. “Think twice” is a good one, Dr and a wonderful book, Drugs,thugs and the war on bugs by Dr Brad Case. You can get it on

  • -Mike- September 30, 2011 at 10:53 am

    I find it interesting that most of you are specifically blaming vaccines for kids’ problems. I know that it’s the focus of this article, but there are so many other things that have to be considered.

    Some of you have pointed out other causes for ADD, Autism, etc., but it’s hard for me to believe that the others REALLY believe that a vaccine single-handedly leads to developmental issues, especially childhood obesity! The US may be #37 in infant mortality, but it’s not because of vaccines alone. I think some parents are using vaccinations as an excuse or scapegoat for why their children are obese or have ADD, when it’s really the Lucky Charms, Cheetos, and soda that the parent “loves” their child with. It’s always easier to blame someone else.

    As far as Autism goes, you’ll find studies supporting both sides of the argument, so it’s futile to debate it. This doctor says one thing, research say another… whatever. While immunizations have increased over the last few decades, so have a lot of other things. Do you know what you’re breathing? As the US has grown with industry and commerce, chemicals and other byproducts are just dumped into the atmosphere and water, creating a mixture of who-knows-what that can react with peoples’ bodies in many ways. Remember the ubiquitous “This contains products known to the state of California to cause cancer”… or ADD, or Autism, or obesity, or anything else. You’re surrounded.

    Now, I’m not saying that vaccines don’t cause problems, I’m just saying that you have to look at the big picture. Just because one thing is injected under the skin doesn’t mean that other chemicals being inhaled, swallowed, or touched aren’t even more dangerous.

    Ease your kids off the sugar, bologna sandwiches, and XBox and see where that gets you.

  • Kellie November 1, 2011 at 8:34 pm

    I watched my infant daughter react to vaccines, and she is still recovering from that reaction 8 years later. Vaccines do not promote health. They promote the padding of pharmaceutical pockets.

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