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A Mom's Wish for Inclusion and Understanding

Vaccination: Black and White?

Informed By Maureen McDonnell, RN

Now that my 4th granddaughter has arrived and I am surrounded by lots of young parents, the question comes up more and more frequently. Should we vaccinate? As I've posted before, I've been pediatric registered nurse for 32 years, but more relevant to this discussion is the fact that I've interacted with hundreds of parents of autistic children as a clinician, as well as during my ten years as the coordinator of the Defeat Autism Now! conferences. Because of these experiences, I get many inquiries from family members, friends and clients regarding this very hot and very controversial subject. My reply to these young parents is "It's not as black and white as your pediatrician would have you believe".

Please do some homework on this subject before adhering to the guidelines set forth by the American Academy of Pediatrics and or the CDC." It's easier sometimes to blindly trust the authorities because in this case, once that homework or research begins it typically creates incredible doubt on the whole vaccine safety issue. Although almost every article you read on this subject in the mainstream media says that all the studies have shown there is absolutely no link to vaccines and autism, that is simply not true. There is good science pointing to a connection (some studies listed below) and more importantly there are hundreds, if not thousands of parents of sick children who can tell you they had a normal child up until he or she received several vaccines in one day, or he or she was sick and still got their vaccines etc. More research needs to be done for certain (especially examining the differences between vaccinated and unvaccinated populations). But these accounts by intelligent, observant parents can not be discounted and to me are equally if not more important than ANY scientific study. For the purpose of practicality, lets say a parent does decide to selectively vaccinate. Here are some ideas on minimizing potential problems which could be caused by vaccines:

1. Choose which vaccines to give only after careful consideration of the individual childs' history and or genetic background. For instance if a child was born prematurely or if they have had recurrent ear infections or if the parents have a history of autoimmune disorders or allergies, these are all indicators that a child may not respond well to vaccines and certainly not when several are given at one time. I'd like to say discuss all of this with your pediatrician, but unfortunately most would not agree with the suggestion to postpone, spread out or avoid vaccines based on a family history or current illness. As a matter of fact, I have heard several high ranking pediatricians say that a child's immune system could handle hundreds of vaccines in one day. Honestly, what are these people thinking? And where are the studies proving their theory? They don't exist!

2. Do not give Tylenol as it blocks the formation of glutathione which is tri-peptide that is critical in the process of detoxification. Long story here, but adjuvants like aluminum and sqalene are added to antagonize the immune system and we need our detox pathways to be in good shape to handle them. Tylenol interferes with those pathways. See study below.

3. Prime the child's system with immune boosting support nutrients like Vitamin D, cod liver oil (a great source of Vitamin A), some Vitamin C and if the child is not allergic to ragweed some Echinacea or Elderberry syrup. I gave these to my own children before and for a week or two after their very limited vaccinations.

4. Make sure the child is very healthy and hasn't recently been on antibiotics, one study showed that the toxic effects of mercury are more pronounced if on antibiotics.

5. If a child has missed their well baby check and the pediatrician wants to "double up" on vaccines. Do not allow this....Spread them out.

If selectively choosing vaccines for your child does not resonate with you and after researching this topic you decide not to vaccinate, research the laws surrounding exemptions in your particular state by going to , The Vaccine Information Center.

Also if you choose to not vaccinate or you do vaccinate selectively, nutrition (actually: super nutrition involving organic fruits and vegetables, lots of pure filtered water (no need for juices), all organic sources of protein (chicken, eggs, turkey, meat, nuts), fresh squeezed organic juices and a good children's supplement program are the keys to keeping kids healthy. The AAP and the pharmaceutical industry have convinced us that the main way to protect ourselves against infection is through vaccination (oh yes, and hand washing.) We are all smarter than that. The main way in my opinion is through fresh air, exercise, an excellent organic diet, supplements that include a great multi, Vitamin D, fish oil, periodic use of herbs that give our immune systems an extra boost (like elderberry and echinacea etc).

Do your homework and TRUST YOUR GUT! As parents, we can not abdicate the responsibility for the health of our children to the CDC or the American Academy of Pediatrics. They have their role, but somewhere along the line, they became the authorities on children's health and given their less than stellar track record and financial ties to the pharmaceutical and vaccine industry it's time we as parents TAKE BACK OUR POWER.

Maureen H. McDonnell, RN cofounder Saving Our Kids, Healing Our Planet ( and the blog, Raising Healthy Kids Naturally

Herbert MR. Autism: A brain disorder or a disorder of the brain? Clin Neuropsychiatry. 2005;2(6):354-379

Hepatitis B triple series vaccine and developmental disability in US children aged 1-9 years
Gallagher C, Goodman M. Toxicol Environ Chem 2008 90(5):997-1008.

Aluminum hydroxide injections lead to motor deficits and motor neuron degeneration
Christopher A. Shaw; Michael S. Petrik.
Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry (2009) in press

Thompson WW, Price C, Goodson B, et al. Early thimerosal exposure and neuropsychological outcomes at 7 to 10 years. N Engl J Med. 2007;357(13):1281-1292.
Williams TA, Mars AE, Buyske SG, et al. Risk of autistic disorder in affected
offspring of mothers with a glutathione S-transferase P1 haplotype. Arch Pediatr
Adolesc Med.

Vargas DL, Nascimbene C, Krishnan C, Zimmerman AW, Pardo CA. Neuroglial activation and neuroinflammation in the brain of patients with autism. Ann Neurol. 2005;57(1):67-81. Erratum in: Ann Neurol. 2005 Feb;57(2):304.

Kawashima H, Mori T, Kashiwagi Y, Takekuma K, Hoshika A, Wakefi eld A. Detection and sequencing of measles virus from peripheral mononuclear cells from patients with inflammatory bowel disease and autism. Dig Dis Sci. 2000;45(4):723-729.

Bradstreet JJ, El Dahr J, Anthony A, Kartzinel JJ, Wakefi eld AJ. Detection of measles virus genomic RNA in cerebrospinal fl uid of children with regressive autism: a report of three cases. J Am Phys Surgeons. 2004;9(2):38-45.

Echeverria D, Woods JS, Heyer NJ, et al. Chronic low-level mercury exposure, BDNF polymorphism, and associations with cognitive and motor function. Neurotoxicol Teratol. 2005;27(6):781-796.


Kathy Blanco

I think people forget that the very vaccines themselves can initiate the whole ear infection triangle our autistic kids get....viral infections like measles, can cause deafness...and ear infections...are we to blame the abx's, or take our eyes off the prize? Measles ongoing infections, low grade....think about it the chicken or the egg?


I keep having a flashback to when the Dr. is holding down my screaming, kicking, baby (actually 3 of us: nurse, doctor, and myself) and the Dr. is saying to him, "Sorry, but this is going to make you healthy in the long run" then jabs him with a multi-vaccine. In the long run??? In the long run: No doctor ever gave me the rundown of possible side effects of vaccines. No doctor ever told me that one day my bright, talkative, lovable child will stop saying "Mommy" and not make eye contact with me. No doctor ever told me that one day my child will lose many pre-learned skills, like knowing his colors, shapes, letters and numbers. No doctor ever told me that one day my already potty-trained child will resort back to diapers. No doctor ever told me that my child will forget how to use a fork and spoon. No doctor ever told me that my insurance company will not cover much of his therapy if my son becomes "lost in his own world". "In the long run", we are left suffering and struggling....Yes, it WILL be a long run. Thank you for an insightful article, Ms. McDonnell.


Notice Twyla;
How my writing is now pitiful and not flowing. Use to be okay. I actually got praises and A's in college.



Be careful with that brillant mind of yours. I use to have a brain too untill this autism came along in my family and after searching and reading, I now find I can not think to long or my brain hurts.

Maybe what you say is so. There is something interferring with the Kreb's cycle. But antibiotics kind of goes along with the damages caused by vaccines.

After the vaccination, there is a time period that has an immune system over reactive. My kids got were sick afterwards with stuffy nose, ear problems. Which leads us back to the doctor - who sees the red inside the ears that is probably an immune thing instead of a real infection, but the ped don't know that so he give the antibiotic. And who knows the immune system may have been so busy chasing phatoms and poisons that the bacteria has got a easy foot hold and the our kids needs antibiotics more because they got a sick immune system.


@ Jenny -

In total agreement with the minimum FDA requirements being totally, stupidly low in nearly everything. While no one should take "unneccesary pills" like was suggested, my faith in the government telling me for example how much Vitamin D and A my familly needs is shot. I am much more likely to listen to groups like the WAPF who aren't making money off of me being sick.

I'll take "expensive urine" over being deficient and depending on some pharma cocktail anyday.

Renee H

Thank you so much for such a fantastic article!!!


Thanks for this excellent, clear, sensible article!

Going off on a bit of a tangent, I have been thinking about antibiotics and vaccines lately. There have been reports that being on antibiotics while getting vaccinated increases the risk of adverse reactions. A couple of possible reasons I had heard were that the immune system is already revved up fighting an infection and so is more vulnerable, and/or that the good bacteria in the gut (which get wiped out by the antibiotics) help with detoxification.

But recently I was thinking about another possibility: Antibiotics are toxic to bacteria but generally not to human cells. Is it possible that when antibiotics are given at the same time as toxic vaccine ingredients such as mercury, aluminum and formaldehyde, there is a synergistic effect?

I started thinking about this when I was listening to stories about the 2009 Nobel Prize for Chemistry. The stories mentioned that some antibiotics work by targeting Ribosomes/RNA. There is a good explanation of this prize here:

Below are a few brief excerpts:

“The three Nobel Prize Laureates in chemistry for 2009, Ada E. Yonath, Thomas A. Steitz and Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, are rewarded for mapping the ribosome – one of the cell’s most complex machineries – at the atomic level. The ribosome reads the information in messenger RNA, and based upon that information, it produces protein. Scientists refer to this as translation. It is during this translation process, when DNA/RNA language becomes protein language, that life reaches its full complexity.”

“It had been known for a long time that DNA has a relative, RNA, which also consists of four different nucleotides... At the beginning of the 1950s, scientists realized that most of the RNA is found in small particles in the cytoplasm (figure 2). Furthermore, they discovered that this is also the location where proteins are produced. In 1958 they named the protein-producing particle ribosome. It consists of proteins and RNA molecules (ribosomal RNA, or rRNA).”

“Scientists realized that the genetic message is copied to an RNA molecule (figure 3). They called it messenger RNA (mRNA). mRNA moves outside the nucleus and is caught by the ribosome, which uses mRNA as a blue¬print for producing proteins.” “Thus emerged an image of the most fundamental process of life: the manner in which information flows from DNA to RNA and becomes enzymes and other proteins.”

“Ribosomes exist in all cells in all living organisms, from bacteria to human beings. As no living creature can survive without ribosomes, they are the perfect targets for drugs. Many of today’s antibiotics attack the ribosomes of bacteria, but leave those of humans alone.”

Tetracycline and streptomycin are examples of antibiotics which target ribosomes.

Just as vaccines have not been adequately tested in combination, also (as far as I know) they have not been tested in combination with antibiotics. Are there unintended synergistic affects?

I remember some of Amy Yasko's work has to do with RNA, but I don't know enough to understand it.

P.S. Believe me, I am not anti-antibiotics. Although they can be overused, they also can be life saving.

Julie Prado

My "baby" is 18 and typically developing but when he was 3 months and doing wonderfully I took him, right on schedule, to his Well Baby appointment and got his vaccinations. Suddenly, I had an infant who was unable to nurse. He would try, but be unable to close his mouth. Then he would scream, because he was hungry, then try again and fail. This went one for days while I put in frantic calls to Le Leche. Gradually, over a number of weeks, he got awful time that I hope others can avoid with this information.

Cynthia Cournoyer

If some vaccines make some people sick, wouldn't all vaccines make all people a little bit sick at the very least? If vaccines cause catastrophic damage in some, why wouldn't they all be health-reducers to some degree in everyone? Maybe with constant stimulation by vaccines, the immune system is primed for chronic conditions so prevalent today. We need to question the entire practice.


Here's the thing about the vaccination scare: With a vast majority of kids still getting vaccinated, the autism rate is under 1%, close to 1/2% (do we think 100% of austim cases are due to vaccines?). Without vaccinations, death or permanent disability rates for contracted diseases are appx 1/4%. Are we willing to trade one for the other? There is a school of thought that says that with the outbreak suppression due to prevalent vaccinations, when a [vaccine available] disease does strike someone, it can be far worse than before the age of the vaccine, due to lower overall natual immunities. Perhaps we, as a society would be better without vaccines, (although, it seems almost certainly there would be more deaths without) -- but it would have to be universal. We can't mix some folks getting vaccinated and some don't.


I really wish I had the info on Tylenol back when it mattered!!

I felt like a bad parent for forgetting the pre-dose of Tylenol before the 2 month shots - my poor babe cried for 1 whole was something I could have prevented.

So I most certainly did give tylenol 30 minutes before the 4 month shots. Then to my horror, 30 minutes after the shots, well after the poke pain-1 minute cry subsided, my healthy child changed drastically right before my eyes - 6 hours of non stop screaming, inconsolable scream crying off and on for months, loss of eye contact and coo's for weeks and weeks, severe sleep changes - i.e. no sleep hardly at all! The happy, communicative baby I knew was GONE!

I still wonder if it was that round of shots that caused severe astygmatisms in both her eyes.

Can you believe that also has never been studied before. Whether vaccines and the inflamatory responses they induce can also damage vision and hearing?

Thanks to knowledge gained from several books including DTP, A Shot in the Dark, I never gave my daughter another shot and she is happy, healthy and NT today. Her brothers are totally vax-free and barely get more than a cold each year.

I'm certain the health of all my children would be worse including autism if I had listened to the ped at the time who, much to my complete dismay, wanted to give my already vax-injured little 6 month old babe who still barely made eye contact - another complete round of shots even though she had a systemic reaction with prolonged neurological effects.

Maureen, I would have loved to have you as my RN back then.

Please, RN's everywhere, wake up. It's time for the big Pharma cool-aid to wear off.

Kathy Blanco

What resonates with me, is that vaccines have represented a true assault, an attack by terrorism by the medical system. I pay the price for the undoing of my children, by virtue of this mass experiment. I will not last for them because they truly made my kids so ill. Chattle, cattle, mooo....

Childhood diseases are a rite of passage that assist the necessary maturation of the immune system in preparation for healthy adulthood; one that is free of allergies and other chronic immune disorders. Suppressing the body’s appropriate response to the presence of predetermined pathogens is not a means by which the body is strengthened.

The symptoms of any given disease are merely the appropriate action by the body attempting to overcome it and are not the disease itself. Vaccination does not prevent disease; it suppresses the expression of disease. Those who undergo this medical rite of passage are typically rife with chronic inflammatory disease.

Are we wondering why so many walking dead and wounded people exist, exist in a world where denials loom so very large as to the etiology of their diseases? Why are we now open hey days for viruses, bacteria, fungi? Are our kids not any better off than an HIV positive child? (who by the way, have many of the HIV type of infections because their immune systems are so compromised?).

I get it....but a lot of our autism community doesn't. Boycott the very industry that harmed your child, it's that simple. If done, we would get more notice than being complicent with the vaccine program. Money talks. Walk away from the pediatrician, leave a WELL BABY alone by not going to a WELL BABY appointment. See homeopaths, naturopaths, ACAM doctors. The very people who do care about health, and finally figured out their prospective professions (ALMIGHTY DIETY), have gotten it all wrong. Empathy is UNTAUGHT in medical schools. They are taught to trust only double blinds, but forget that being blind themselves is A ok. More people die of infections in hospitals/surgeries, by pharmaceutical drugs, than we ever dreamed of.

Is it time to be like the pioneers, who's trusted other bible were remedies, packs on chests during colds, avoidance of people for a time, learning nutrition from scratch again? Why have we relegated our BRAINS to these people? Why so many kids, who by the age of three (especially boys) are still not talking and becoming the new normal? (UK article).

Pharma truly has gotten us to believe, that even we, small minority, can GREEN a vaccine? PLUEEZ? Slow down the schedule if you must (I say, no schedule), and get your kids away from the white coats. Give us exemptions and work for this, study the effects of non vaccinated children (how they are more healthy), and let's have normal, healthy, happy children again! I am sick to death of this explosion of damaged children.

Should you acquire antibodies


To Brownwyn: Thanks for prescribing that one size fits all information on vitamins boosting the immune system. I, for one, would testify that the minimum FDA requirements didn't work for my family. My child was on a basic RDA multi and suffered terrible colds back to back for years, each lasting a predictable 9 days and ending with 3 sleepless days and nights of bad coughing and congestion. This past fall, to prepare for some spread out school-mandated vaccinations she and I both started extra vitamin C and D at much higher levels. A most welcome side effect as we've continued this regimen is that there have only been a couple noticable colds which lasted more than 2 days AND even better, neither of them ever progressed to coughing and congestion. It has been life changing for me, as a mother. On the other had, my husband the skeptic, has been suffering either one really bad ongoing cold since Dec. 28th, or 2 bad ones back to back. Yesterday he asked me to pick up extra C and D, because he is experiencing first hand the difference between him and us now. What I've learned from this is that not all people are the same. If our systems are all a bit different from each other, that means our tolerences and needs are different and a one size fits all mentality doesn't serve anyone's interest. Not when it comes to vitamins, medications, ideology, politics, laws, society, or pretty much anything I can think of. One size fits all? Sounds like a need for self ratification to me . . .


Guerrilla marketing idea:

Print this information out and leave it on tables and tucked in magazines in pediatric clinics and obstetricians' offices. You'd have to be sneaky, full parking lot means crowded waiting room.

You can always print out the following onto sticky back paper, trim out and stick on the walls of bathroom stalls or where ever, even on magazines in doctors offices.

Becky Estepp

Thank you for writing this excellent article. I have a feeling I will be sending out this link for years to new parents.


I wish I had this information WHILE I was pregnant, not after the first round of shots our son got. If I were to do it all over again.... I would only give our son the shots required for entry to school... and I wouldn't start until he was a few months old.
In NY for instance... HIB... only one shot is needed on/after 15 months BUT they recommend 3 before 15 months...

The same w/PCV... only one shot is required for school enrollment between 24 and 59 months.

I also think they recommend 4 shots of polio and dtap... BUT nystate only requires 3 of these for school.

I had to give the new york state immunization requirements for school entrance information to our doctor for my sons file. He didn't know the state requirements he knew the CDC recommended schedule.


Keep warning people Muareen. The RDA for vitamins is a joke. Not being in a disease state through a vitamin defitiency is not the same as being healthy. Taking certain vitamins in mega doses far exceeding the foolish RDA to cure certain illnesses is well documented in medical literature. Read the books written for the layman by two time noble prize winning scientist Linus Pauling. His good name and work has been corrupted by some fools at the Linus Pauling institute that can't even understand the science of the man they named the institute after. Forunatly he wrote two books before his death so the layman can benefit from his genius.


I will put much more faith in what a RN says compared to almost any AAP Dr.

They probably spend ten times more time with the Autistic children and their parents.

I wonder how many RN's, who know what is going on, have refused to give a toddler 6 or 7 shots in one day as directed by an AAP Doctor ???

Heidi R

Thanks Maureen! I will be sending this around to new parents.

claudine Liss

Great article!!!


Thanks for posting this. That said I have to argue with your use of the phrase "immune boosting". Unless an individual is actually immuno-compromised due to something like AIDS or organ failure, the immune system really doesn't need boosting. And taking vitamins won't do anything to "support" the immune system. Again, vitamins are fine if the person is deficient in a particular vitamin, but a lot of studies have shown that beyond the RDA the vitamins are simply excreted in urine.

Let's not give kids any more pills than they truly need.


EXCELLENT article - wish I had had this type of info back in the 90's.

Pharma's next move will be to attempt a shut-down of free speech on the internet.

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