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David Kirby on AAP's Dr. Renee Jenkins: For the Record

MisunderstoodBy David Kirby

On Friday afternoon, I spoke with a representative from the communications office at the AAP about the remarks by AAP President Dr. Renee Jenkins, who was quoted on Good Morning America as saying: “97-plus percent of children don’t have these kinds of defects, and so when you look at what the risk is to children, and then what the benefits are, the benefits far outweigh the risks that occur.”

Obviously, this quote was edited in mid-sentence, making it impossible to know exactly what Dr. Jenkins was referring to.

I was told that Dr. Jenkins misspoke when she referred to children with “defects.” What she was talking about is the subset of children who have adverse vaccine reactions such as localized pain and swelling, and/or fever.

Slightly fewer than 3% of children will have one or more of these reactions, I was told. So Dr. Jenkins was talking about susceptibility to relatively mild side effects, not genetic “defects” that can lead to long term neurological damage.

I realize that some people may not accept this explanation, but I do.

David Kirby is a journalist, the author of Evidence of Harm and contributor to Age of Autism.


Jim Witte

"The best defence of Renee Jenkins is that she was spouting semi-nonsense."

Hmm.. Maybe she drank the (mercury-laden) Koolaid? Gotten vaxed for anthrax lately?

"Frankly, it's ludicrous to pretend that any of us are talking about localized or mild reactions at this late stage"

What I'd like to know is, how do we know that these "localized, mild" reactions aren't just some very, very, very subclinical form of whatever the first metabolic disturbances that set off autism? Or the same disturbances, only happening in the skin (rather benign) rather than in the brain (catastrophic)?

They simply brush aside swelling, localized numbness, etc as "minor" reactions, without really understanding, or trying to understand what is really going on. If they don't even try to understand why "minor" things go wrong *sometimes*, and just accept their own ignorance that "sometimes they do" (the "$#@% happens" mentality), how can they *possibly* assure us that *really* bad things (autism, autoimmunity, hyperimmunity and allergies, etc, etc) won't ever happen?

Media Scholar

Ginger Taylor,

I'm sure that most all of us easily understand that the AAP prez was clearly referring to the ASD issue.

The developments on the "mito" sidestream appear to be on the fast-track. It will be interesting when the so called experts are finally confronted with the fact that Thimerosal in vaccines causes mitochondrial issue(s).

Vaccine front organizations need to be awake to the fact that there are going to be scores of families added to the fold of compensation seekers. They need to be supportive of the vaccine injury compensation initiative and NOT as combative.

Rep. Dan Burton already has a bill introduced H.R. 6391 which will improve vaccine court. Merck, GSK are insane to NOT support this bill. When they are faced with a hundred thousand civil suits in "real, live" court it's too late.

Ginger Taylor

I called GMA and the producer who gave the interview read me the question and Jenkins complete answer.

She was talking about Hannah Poling:

Media Scholar

I think she meant a "mito" defect similar to the Poling child. She more than likely thought that much was consensus.

In a pie-chart society 97% is pretty good, but when three precent is translated into living children being messed up for life by "routine" vaccinations society has to see the NIP is in reality not much more than a game of Russian roulette with little human being serving as poker chips.

The vaccine industrial complex has been worried since America bravely told them to take the anthrax vaccine and shove it.

They became beet red with anger when nobody bought into their "monkey pox carried by prairie dogs" "bird flu" and the latest "TB" scares.

It can only be so obvious to us all.


Thanks David for calling the AAP.

I posted last week that I called the producer of the segment for GMA and she said the 97 plus percent quote had to do with autism. That they were talking about autism. No mention of mild reactions to vaccines. I brought up mitochondrial disorders and she mentioned Hannah Poling by name.

I was kind of surprised by that. Maybe she has produced other autism related stories and was familiar with Hannah's situation- but it made me wonder if Hannah was discussed in the interview with Dr. Jenkins.

Anyways, somebodies lying or simpling wrong. The producer says the 97 plus percent comment was in relation to autism. AAP says the comment was about mild reactions to vaccines. What was really said? Who knows because as you said it was editted and the statements didn't seem to go together.

And, as Anne D asked...where is the research that says 2-3% of people (babies) have vaccine reactions.

Are you aware of any?


I've heard this mantra of quoting 97% plus percentages that are supposed to comfort me regarding a number of issues, but instead of feeling comforted, I'm left internally screaming "my kid is in that tiny percent that does not do (or does do) x, y or z!!!!"

I'm not sure why it's ok to dismiss the small percentage of people affected (or not affected) by whatever the subject is, but just because it isn't happening in your life, doesn't mean it isn't happening.

I'm learning a big lesson lately about judging others. Somehow people think that if they haven't experienced it, they haven't witnessed it or heard of it, it simply doesn't exist and isn't a problem or concern. Out of sight, out of mind. Which is why 97% plus of the nation, our medical community, etc., is turning a blind eye to the 3% plus of us that are experiencing these SEVERE vaccine reactions.


I finally don't agree with you LOL. Ms Jenkins is the president of the AAP, she should not be allowed to be edited when it comes to a statement she made about our children and their vcaccine schedule and any problems they have because of it. Maybe she should have been afforded the time to correct or explain what she said, but parents deserve to not have her words censored to her benefit.
As far as the "defects" comment. That just figures(rolling eyes). Unfortunately, though, the "acceptable collateral damage" idea is all too accepted by those whose children did not have a reaction, and those administering the vaccines. I've been told by people in my family that, though they are sad for my son's problems, it is better that the whole be vaccinated and the few injured are okay because of it. The whole, "at least my son is alive" #@%^$#, is a ridiculous belief.
Dr Paul King has written another great review about measles in Popular Mechanics...of all places!,Why_PopularMechanics sMag-b.pdf

I would rather take my chances of surviving the measles than surviving their preventative measures to prevent the measles any day!

This story just adds to the belief that there will never be a day that the truth will come out. There is far too much protection of the gaffs made by people in a position of authority over our lives. Ms Jenkins comment reminds me of Mccain's comment on not going to war over oil anymore. LOL, that didn't sit well either. But....his comment was not edited, and he was asked to clarify his mistake.
The very idea that Ms. Jenkins considers the children injured by vaccines as defective, IS blaming them when they had no voice and no choice as to what happened to their beautiful minds and bodies. And we, as parents, were denied information that would have allowed/inabled us to protect them. She's just another person earning a good paycheck for denying our children dignity and respect.

John Stone

The best defence of Renee Jenkins is that she was spouting semi-nonsense. It is not a very good defence since she is president of the AAP, and supposed to be competent - while the failure of ABC to release further footage which would place the remark in context does not suggest it would seem any better if they did.

I appreciate that David may be in an awkward spot having managed to get a statement and wishing to keep chanels open, but it does not resolve anything.


I heard Renee Jenkins' comment the same way that Terry Lewis heard it, as if she was saying, "Our vaccine schedule is fine. The kids injured by it are defective."

It's like a new addition to the definition of "normal", which is: "able to withstand the onslaught of at least 2 dozen vaccines by the age of 2, and another dozen by the age of 5, and still increasing."

Terri Lewis


You were certainly right that some people will not accept this explanation.

In light of what was actually said, I'd hope that none of us would accept it.

Frankly, it's ludicrous to pretend that any of us are talking about localized or mild reactions at this late stage.

I won't address that further.

What was actually said--and that's what we're analyzing here, not someone's innermost thoughts or intentions--was "97-plus percent of children don't have these kinds of defects."

It is a blatant statement, once again, that there isn't anything wrong with the way we vaccinate; there's just something wrong with the kids who are hurt by it!

I have heard this before, from another MD, and I quote: "It isn't that there's too much mercury in the shots; it's that some of these kids can't handle it."

These statements both contradict the doctor's sacred oath to "first, do no harm."

They are truly monstrous statements that lead directly to the gross devaluation of individual human life that we are all now experiencing.

Terri Lewis

P.S. Ginger, I am pleased to see you here. For anyone who has not yet done so, I urge you to see Ginger's more complete reaction to Renee Jenkins's comment at Adventures in Autism.

Harry Hofherr


I agree with Ginger that ABC needs to explain their placement of the quotation because when you listen to the excerpt, it gives the distinct impression that Dr. Jenkins is referring to autism.

This is not the first time Dr. Jenkins has said that "the benefits outweigh the risks" when it comes to vaccines. She took the same position in a letter to the Chicago Tribune on July 9th. I'll wager she's said this many other times as well.

The fact is that the vaccine schedule is rapidly expanding and as the number of vaccines increases so do the risks. Since Dr. Jenkins admits there are risks associated with vaccines then she must explain to the public specifically what those risks are, who is at risk, and what her organization is doing to identify those at risk before they are put at greater risk. She also needs to demand her organization increase their participation in the VAERS. How many adverse reactions go unreported by pediatricians? There is too much at stake here for the AAP to dismiss any reaction to any vaccine.

The public has an absolute right to this information.


Is ir juat me or do 100% of children have "localized pain and swelling, and/or fever" from at least some of their shots? I have a word for this explanation that starts with bull and ends with crap.

Hilary Butler

Okay, so lets look at this another way.

Is she saying that because 97 out of 100 people DON'T have reactions, that the benefit of the vaccines outweigh the risks, so the 3 out of 100 should suck it up and take the risk?

What about a converse view from UK, which shows that out of the THOUSANDS of cases of measles in the last five years, only TWO immunosuppressed adolescents have died from it.

If that's the risk of death from measles in the years 2002 - 2008, why would anyone take a risk of being the three out of 1,000 to have a serious reaction to a vaccine?

And the statistics would also stack up for all the other diseases as well.

Tim Kasemodel


Thanks for following up on this - And yes, I believe she made a simple mistake as well. But I am not so quick to let her off the hook - while she clearly was not referring to "genetic defects" she did use the word defects - Fruedian slip??? I could be wrong but it might be that there is more concern regarding this "minor reaction at the injection site" than we are led to believe.

I can't help but get stuck on thinking about the injection site and what is actually happening while it is swelled up with mercury at a concentration of 50,000 ppb, especially considering what it can do at 1/5th of 1 ppb. How fast is it absorbed? How long does it remain at a super high concentration at the injectin site? Does the swelling hold the injection in the muscle only to be released in huge dose instead of gradually? Who the hell knows??

And this quote from the article mentioned below it always come back to tease me:

"IM absorption of some drugs in infants and young children may be unpredictable due in part to insufficient muscle tone and vascularity of muscle tissue.";col1

Just what the hell does "unpredictable" mean??

Has anyone looked at how many of these "3% defective kids" go on to develop chronic health or neurological conditions? Or is is simply wisked away in the file as a minor reaction and forgotten by the doctor and parent?

So much to learn if they would just look...

Ginger Taylor

We need to hear from ABC news as to why they put it in the context not only of serious vaccine reaction, but autism specifically.

Because the discussion was NOT about minor reactions.

Anne Dachel

Dr. Jenkins on GMA: 'Ninety seven plus per cent of children don't have these defects, so, when you look at what the risk and the benefits to children are, and, you really weigh the risks, then the benefits far outweigh the risks that occur."

Let me also add that while Jenkins may not be saying that our kids are an acceptable loss as some thought, she is living proof that the AAP is totally out of touch with reality. We're not concerned about swelling at the site or fever. We're saying that there is a significant subset of kids who are being adversely affected by their vaccines. The AAP continues to pretend that it just isn't happening.

Anne Dachel
Media editor

Anne Dachel

And does Dr. Jenkins have any research she can cite as to the percentage of children who do have severe adverse reactions?

Anne Dachel
Media editor

John Stone


I think the best that can be said about it is that it represents someone in a very confused state of mind, and of course what we are complaining about is that our children get these reactions, and then don't recover - and so many people have the same story. The reason why Renee Jenkins is unimpressive is that she is not listening, even now. Why are not the reactions being followed up? Why are people having to go to court? Why can't the medical profession take responsibility for itself?

We are dealing with a hit and run mentality. The only response to a parent with a vaccine damaged child is to turn on them and say "prove it". This is an aggressively legalistic response, not a scientific or humane one.

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