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Even the Eritreans Know About Vaccine Safety

EritreaBy Kent Heckenlively, Esq.

Last weekend we went to a baptism. 

It was for the grandaughter of Awetash, the woman who was our son's nanny for several years.  When our son Ben was born we were in the thick of the fight with our daughter Jacqueline's seizure disorder, navigating this new world of sickness, cycling through pheno-barbitol, prednisone, and depakote, desperately trying to find something to stop the nearly eighty seizures a day she was having.

My wife was concerned we wouldn't be able to find a person to help care for Jacqueline while she attended to our newborn son.  I came up with a solution.  "What if we advertised for somebody to help with Ben?  Then we could focus on Jacqueline."

Yes, it was a terrible choice to make, but also one that was ruthlessly practical, like the surgeon making decisions in a triage unit.  It would be so much easier to find someone to work with a newborn than with the screaming, biting, could barely walk, constant diarrhea wreck that was our two-year-old daughter.

And then into our lives came Awetash, one of the strongest, kindest people I I have ever met.  In so many ways she would remind me that the lives of  others are often a struggle beyond our capacity to imagine.  And yet every day we are given a choice as to how to respond to these challenges.

Awetash came from Eritrea, a country that was once part of Ethiopia.   At the time she came to work for us the two countries were still in the midst of a decades-long civil war.  Awetash was new to the United States when she came to interview and was accompanied by her sister who had been in the country for a few years.   The sister's English was much better and I was struck by the sister's sense of quiet authority.  It was only later I learned Awetash's sister had been a commander in the Eritrean rebel army.

The chaos which was our house didn't seem to trouble Awetash.  She was always on-time, never complained, and appeared to consider us her number one priority.  And she was learning how to make her way in this new land.

Every few weeks my wife would notice that Awetash had purchased a new necklace, a pretty blouse, a stylish pant suit.  When she became aware of a city program for better housing for low-income people she applied for it and got a new place to live.

And as we got to know Awetash we learned more of her story.  She had three children back home in Eritrea and was trying to get them into the United States.  Previously she'd worked as a nanny in Saudia Arabia, a country which has a well-deserved reputation for mistreating their domestic workers.  She eventually decided to flee from the family when they were on vacation in the United States.

Awetash was told she should make her escape at the airport as the family was getting ready to depart back to Saudi Arabia.  A man she did not know would approach her and tell her it was time.  She was to walk immediately out of the airport where another man in a car would be waiting.  She was to ask no questions, get in, and the car would drive away.

But as much as Awetash was a rebel, she wanted to do everything right.  She immediately applied for asylum in the United States and waited patiently for her paperwork to come through.  And Awetash had a long-term plan.  She wanted to get her children into the United States as well.

So there we were together, both of us with lost children.  Awetash with hers stuck in a country wracked by civil war, and us with one right in front of us, but who had vanished into autism.

The human spirit is capable of extraordinary things.  Awetash's daughter made the trek from Eritrea, across the Sudan, and finally into Egypt, where she was granted permission to enter the United States.  So did one of Awetash's two sons.  The third was drafted into the rebel army, served his time, and is currently awaiting his entry into our country.  Druing these years Eritrea and Ethiopia settled their war and Eritrea became its own independent country.

We moved to a different city and although Awetash wanted to continue to work for us it just wasn't practicable.  She got a job working in the cafeteria of a local university, a much better position for her as it came with benefits.  But we stayed in touch over the years.

And so it came to pass that Awetash's daughter had a baby and my wife took a day to go over and visit with them.  Imagine my wife's surprise when she saw a copy of "The Vaccine Book" by Dr. Bob Sears next to the baby's changing table.  Awetash's daughter was well-versed in the vaccine controversy and had decided on a VERY delayed vaccine schedule.

The party for an Eritrean baptism is much different than the ones with which I am familiar.  There is loud African music, the woman were dancing, their hair and makeup having taken hours, and although they were wearing mostly western clothes, they also wore a white shawl which went about their head and wrapped around most of their body.  The men were dressed in suits, looking tall and proud, and within the first few minutes I was asked several times by various men if I didn't want to go to the buffet and have some of their very tasty Eritrean food.

We were there all of ten minutes because that's how long our daughter lasted, but those were precious moments for me.  Because you see, when I think about the vaccine controversy I consider it nothing less than a fight for the survival of the human race.  If we do not figure out what is sickening our children in ever greater numbers than the future of our species is very dark indeed.

But as I watched the Eritrean women dance to the African music, knowing they were doing their best to protect their babies, I believed there was reason to hope.

Kent Heckenlively is a Contributing Editor to Age of Autism



The vaccine debate is interesting for me to hear. I will read more into it. For all Eritreans here, of course, you were all rebel fighers. Awetash, her name itself is Ethiopian. There was a civil war, you won your independence but you were all rebels. Deal with that....

Cherry Misra

To Kent, Thanks for giving me the opportunity to tell about another wonderful Eritrean- Abbie, who works for my daughter and cared for her son who had infantile anorexia.
How did my daughter find Abbie? She watched the nurses in the neonatal intensive care and she noticed that the kindest nurses were from Ethiopia, so she asked someone to find her a caregiver and in this way we found the most admirable Abbie.
Recently, in my nursery school in India we had a hyperactive boy from Ethiopia. After concluding that he truly was hyperactive and noticing that his father was losing patience and wished to discipline him more than he could bear, I finally explained to the mother about the mercury in vaccines causing autism and hyperactivity. I was pleasantly surprised to find that she was eager to know about this and she said that her close friend had another friend who had gone to the US and her child became autistic.
It has been my experience that sometimes people from other cultures are more receptive to information about vaccines. We in the west have been brainwashed for far too long. We lost the ability to question this very invasive practise.


Kent, thank you for sharing such a touching story. I appreciated reading your piece. Unfortunately, there ar ethose who don't seem to understand what you have written about. I am happy that you found help at a time you needed it and your experience with Awetash was a good one. It sounds like your friendship continued well after she was done working as a nanny. Of course, it is amazing that you end up seeing a book about vaccines and their effects on babies next to the baby of Awetash's daughter. I wish you and your family the very best. Again, thanks for sharing such a personal but beautiful story!!!


I do not blame you if you get this fact from your nanny as she might have very limited education and might twist the facts as she was a rebel soldier
Excuse me, but Eritreans were not rebel fighters, they were "FREEDOM FIGHTERS".
They fought for 30 years and got their independence.
So please do some research and reading before you comment anything.
Eritrea never kneel down.


"The Vaccine War" has heated up this week as evidenced by lots of online fake and real people spewing the "we must vaccinate everybody for everything" message and this one is coming thru right now too "don't listen to the parents stories."

Well imo the best two ways to deal with the propaganda spewage is to tell the vaccine damage stories because people do listen to those no matter what the talking heads say.

And remind everybody about Mayor Eisenstein and Home First in Chicago: 10's of thousands of unvax'ed children in his practice over the decades and 0 instances of autism. Very few cases of allergies and asthma, and I love the anecdote of him talking to LaLeche moms - those who breastfed for years and whose children still had allergies and asthma and the great realization that it was not the breast feeding that kept kids in his practice so healthy and free of chronic disease it was the fact that the children were NOT VACCINATED!

Unvaccinated kids are healthier. Period.

autism uncle

To Sarah, An excellent, reasoned, logical, and informative contribution; thank you.

However, I'll take it a bit further: You were waaaay too reasonable in suggesting vaccine injections should be put off until (or if at all) the infant matures. It's past time it be SCREAMED FROM THE ROOFTOPS that injecting all these toxins and poisons and contaminants into helpless infants IS A MEDICAL SYSTEM GONE MAD, AND AN UNFORGIVABLE CRIME.

One day, and it will be soon, The U.S. Immunization Schedule for aged 0 to 6 (and similar programs around the world) will be recognized as the biggest catastrophe in medical history, its perpetrators should forever be condemned, and should not ever forgiven.

Cherry Misra

John, In my humble opinion, Japan may not be a good place to study the relationship of the MMR to autism, because this is a country that undoubtedly has most children born with high body burden of mercury, due to the fish consumption. They also seem to have a vaccine schedule which is very different from what is used in the U.S. By the wayanybody- can we get a copy of the schedule currently used in Japan?
Any country that has high fish consumption is absolutely going to have higher rates of autism (And higher still if they give many mercury laden vaccines at an early age, or have other sourcesof mercury affecting mothers or children.. However, I must also add, that we dont seem to have very good or extensive data about mercury in fish and its effects on the human body. Some of the earlier studies of fish could not be interpreted correctly because researchers did not understand that the people who excreted less mercury in the hair,might be retaining more mercury in the body/brain. Effects of mercury depend on so many variables - I am sure that we need more research on mercury in fish, without which we should be very cautious in drawing any conclusions about autism from countries like Japan , Korea, Philippines. As one small example of the effects of fish, during the days in India, prior to about 1995, when most kids received just three doses of mercury laden DPT at 3,6,9 months, autism was only seen in those parts of India where the people eat fish daily or almost daily.

Donna L.

The bulk of the readership and contributorship on this site consists of parents who witnessed firsthand the regression of their children into autism directly following adverse reactions to vaccines. We know what happened. We know what we saw. We know what we are living with on a daily basis. Just as you know your country, Eritrea, we know our country, vaccine injury. For you to post on this site that vaccine-induced autism does not exist because you can't find the studies that prove that it does is about as preposterous as if I were to state that Eritrea does not exist simply because I have never been there.

Kent - this was really a lovely piece, although it appears that you may have hit a nerve or two. ;)


@John. Besides the other problems I have listed with your number one study to supposedly prove that vaccines have nothing to do with autism (Shimizu, Honda), they classified regressive autism wrongly, measuring development at 3 and 18 months. The MMR is at 12 months - but they classified regressive autism as loss of skills after 18 months instead of after 12 months. That alone makes a lot of their data analysis meaningless. In fact their paper as a whole needs to be looked at in conjunction with 2 other papers, Nakatani and Terada. Way too many problems with it to be considered good scientific evidence. See ChildHealth Safety's analysis and learn.

Cynthia Cournoyer

Dr. Vincent,
It is simply a belief in faulty science that makes one think that the vaccinated are protecting the unvaccinated. In every "outbreak" of the diseases you are worried about, they include a majority that were already vaccinated. You can't even protect your VACCINATED people, how do you suppose that same vaccine protects the unvaccinated?



Do you know what a vaccine injured child looks like? They look an awfully lot like children with severe autism. Go to the ebcala.org web site and you'll hear stories from parents about their severely injured children. These are children who won settlements from the US government for vaccine injuries. All have autism diagnosis.

A quick 101 on how our immune systems work:

Did you know that the immune system in a baby is still immature and undergoing development?

Did you know the immune system shapes neurodevelopment?

Did you know that the immune system and the neurological system cross talk?

Did you know that microglia in the brains of children with autism are overreactive causing chronic inflammation?

Neither did I until I started following the research from places like UC Davis and Johns Hopkins and listening to experts like Dr. Martha Herbert from Harvard.

So, given that a young child immune and neurological systems are still developing, maybe it's not a good idea to interfere. Perhaps provoking an immune response in some children could trigger chronic inflammation in the brain leading to neurodegeneration.


John, you're the one making up excuses. Sample size isn't just a blablabla thing. Also, it is possible that single vaccine measles, mumps or rubella could cause problems. Your studies are weak. These authors also refuse to share data information when asked. Deal with it. There need to be a lot better, real safety studies; some kind of extended phase 4 toxicology studies where the actually look at bio- markers and things like brain changes (size etc.) on vaccinated children compared to unvaccinated children. This isn't going away because the problem of more and more kids having autism isn't going away. Visit some schools. And it all certainly isn't cause by "genetics."

Kent Heckenlively

I hope I've made changes to the article which more accurately reflect the history of Eritrea. Thank you for your comments.

All the best,
Kent Heckenlively


pls check & recheck what are u going to post ur garvege in the web.All what you have said is wrong. Pls come and see Eritrea 's condition and read the historical evidences.

autism uncle

To Media Scholar: Your comment seeming to rationalize the massive U.S. Immunization Schedule was: "Co-infections by neurologically infectious diseases don't have to be current or persistent to leave behind developmental damage in their aftermath."

This quote by you is more appropriately applied to the "developmental damage" to babies and kids in the aftermath of The Immunization Schedule:


To Dr. Vincent Iannelli: It is actually great to see your comments touting this toxic, lethal Schedule. You exemplify perfectly the closed dogmatic mind. As you should know the dose of vaccine injected into babies is one-half the vaccine doses injected into adults who are twenty times the weight of babies. I suggest you live by your beliefs and inject yourself with all the Age 0-6 vaccinations and at ten times the dose injected into babies. Why would you not do so since you promote The Schedule?


Eritrea was not carved out of Ethiopia. Read and understand the actual history of the people and the country. Eritrea is not a predominant Christian country, it has a wonderful working balance of Christianity and Islam. Ethiopians are not predominantly Muslim.

Mussie Habtes

The article states "The Eritreans are predominantly Christian and the Ethiopians predominantly Muslim". This information is not correct. Please verify and correct accordingly.

Jenny Allan

Jake Crosby asks:-
"Why is pharma-funded AAP mouthpiece Dr. Vincent Iannelli allowed to comment here? He won't allow any of my comments on his blog!"

That's the whole point Jake. AoA answers respectfully worded troll comments with (mostly) respectfully worded reasoned replies. In fact AoA should be commended for this approach, which is very different from the nasty and sometimes profane responses received by AoA contributors on THOSE pharma sponsored sites.

Paul Offit and Seth Mnookin did themselves NO favours when they had you ejected from their public lectures, merely for asking a couple of polite (but inconvenient) questions. Quite simply, this treatment of an intelligent earnest young man with Aspergers Syndrome, looked BAD. Yes, these persons both attempted to 'smear' you by falsely claiming you had previously disrupted proceedings and are a 'stalker', but people are not 'daft' and most of the lecture attendees, on reflection, will have realised these comments were falsehoods.

I don't have access to US television, but I am also fairly sure that Anderson Cooper and Sanjay Gupta will already be regretting their vile treatment of Dr Wakefield, on TV interviews. In the fullness of time this will be seen to have irreparably damaged their careers. In the UK, ITV presenter Lorraine Kelly's career has been on a downward spiral ever since she revealed a rather nasty side to her character during an 'interview' with Dr Wakefield. After effectively accusing Dr Wakefield of 'murdering' 2 children who died from measles, she extolled parents to 'make sure' their children were 'protected' with MMR vaccine. Of course ITV is partly owned by BSkyB, which has the Murdochs as major shareholders.

"What goes around comes around" and "chickens always come home to roost".

PS Jake - I think you are doing a great job of 'exposing' and embarrassing these pro pharma persons like Paul Offit and Seth Mnookin. Keep it up!

media scholar

A generation ago, doctors knew the risks of co-infections of neurologically active viruses such as Measles, Mumps, Rubella, and Chicken Pox.

If a child becomes infected with Measles the major concern isn't death. Modern medicine reduced mortality from Measles infections by 96% before the introduction of a Measles vaccine in 1968. There was no precipitous drop in Measles cases attributable to vaccination as Measles vaccine uptake didn't even reach 50% in the US prior to 1980.

The real risk in a child becoming infected with Measles is becoming co-infected by a second neurologically active virus before the child's health is able to rebound. The risks for neurological problems like developmental disabilities increase dramatically in cases of neurologically active viral co-infections.

Then you have this vaccine called MMR, a vaccine stocked with three live, neurologically active viruses.

Co-infections by neurologically infectious diseases don't have to be current or persistent to leave behind developmental damage in their aftermath.

As the character of Joe Turner asked in the 1975 movie 'Three Days of the Condor', "Boy, what is it with you people? You think not getting caught in a lie is the same thing as telling the truth?"



You can make many excuses like sample size bla bla. REAd this and educate yourself:A Japanese research study has provided the strongest proof yet that the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccination does not cause autism, by showing that rates of autism in Japan continued to rise even after the triple vaccine was withdrawn.
The latest study, of 31 426 children in the Japanese city of Yokahama, examined the incidence of autism between 1988 and 1996, a period when uptake of the MMR vaccination steadily declined before being withdrawn in 1993 and replaced by single vaccines (published online in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry ).
Yet the incidence of autism continued to rise, from 48 cases per 10 000 children born in 1988 to 117.2 per 10 000 born in 1996. The same pattern was observed for the particular form of autism that Dr Wakefield linked to the MMR vaccine.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC554056/


Dr. I.,
I think we'll have to agree to just disagree. You just keep on immunizing children with no decent science to back you up (and apparently with no end in sight of additions to the "schedule"). We'll keep on fixing up the kids as best we can as parents and educators.
Why don't you let Jake comment on your blog?

Jake Crosby

More pro-neurotoxin propaganda from the UK:

No urinary porphyrin tests, no challenge tests - just getting some autistic kids and neurotypical kids to pee in a cup and compare the raw mercury levels that way. And of course, there's no difference - because the mercury is still inside the autistic kids keeping them as autistic as ever!

And why is pharma-funded AAP mouthpiece Dr. Vincent Iannelli allowed to comment here? He won't allow any of my comments on his blog!


John, I just looked up your first study (and I know you got "many" but I have to assume these are your best two shots). Looks like this Miller, Taylor study ain't so hot either. They consistently have refused to she their data, used a too small a sample size, may have missed cases because their methods for finding the children with autism were not thorough, and yet they still show a steep increase in autism but have no explanation as to why.
See www.whale.to/vaccine/thrower5.html


One more thing, Dr. Ianelli, I did vaccinate my daughter completely to date as far as the dpt series (3 of them) and she got pertussis anyways. So much for that one. It wasn't lab confirmed but our family doc was sure it was pertussis (and they don't exactly do cultures of all the people they count in flu outbreaks, do they?).


Why don't you trot along to the NIH research websites and see if you can find somethings that might be of use to your patients who are all now ill from vaccine induced autoimmune diseases.
Plenty there to read; I know, I know and I sympathize for I know that is so much more boring that harrassing parents that can give you blow for blow work up of how many times their kids reacted to a vaccine again; and again; and again;and again; and the doctors were oblivious and kept giving.


@Vincent, are you considering that medical advances should mean that we can treat actuall disease better now than in the past? Are you really worried about kids getting chicken pox? And are you really comfortable justifying a benefit risk profile that you really have no clue about because there has never been a good vaccinated VS unvaccinated study? Right now the public sees that autism is growing by leaps and bounds and nobody really has good studies to prove vaccine safety. The public is starting to think there is a great risk in trusting in vaccinations. Go out to the schools, Vincent. I work in them and I see it!


John: FYI, crap science done by psychiatrists (in the case of your Shimizo, Honda paper) doesn't support your view at all. In fact it shows a perfect dose response relationship. The # of children developing autism rose and fell in direct relationship to the # of children vaccinated each year. You would also have to factor in that MMR may not be the only vaccine to cause autism- those kids would have received dpt's possibly with thimerosal.
See: Childhealthsafet.wordpress.com/2009/06/03japvaxautism/


My last blog was for JOHN!


And once again getting away from autism (as usual).
You used the example of Aids, okay fine.
But you include global warming as a done deal.
Did you miss the big national news story about the emails out of EPA were they were fixing the numbers on the global temperatures they collected?

Vincent Iannelli, MD


"justify that the risk VS benefit is on your side"

When you do this analysis, are you considering a country in which over 90 to 95% of other people are vaccinated and protecting your children from disease or one in which everyone starts to listen to you and there are high rates of vaccine-preventable diseases again?


I have posted no link on this article. As a matter of fact I seldom do to any of the articles.
I find that people have to usally go into their own health crisis; to wake up; and then go search for it themselves.

--- you jumped the gun and thought I posted something because you already had your opinion and just could not wait to express it.


John .. You ask me if I can cite any research and I did. Then you complain about those research articles. What a moron! I can see that you are scared and convinced your " little mind "of this conspiracy theory! The sad thing is you guys trying to scare the public on false info. In the clinic that work we vaccinate about 100 kids a week and none of their parents
Believe your garbage theory. People are more than ever the educated about the benefits of vaccine. Science wins! You guys lose!!


John that is an incorrect statement. There is an indirect connection as conceded in the Hannah Poling case. The common link the mitchondria.

Here is a copy if the decision:

Hannah Poling V. Health and Human Services


Autism & Vaccines: Hannah Poling On Good Morning America


CNN Interview with Julie Gerberding after Poling Decision:


Mitochondrial Dysfunction May Play a Role in Autism Spectrum Disorders Etiology


Do your homework.

For John


Yes, but it is very easy to design studies that don't find anything, and then give them loads of media coverage. Moreover, the late former head of the NIH, Bernardine Healy, warned that epidemiology may not show it anyway.

I don't think anybody here wants to scare anybody, but perhaps you are scared anyway.


Oh I can cite many
1.Research conclusion/Interpretation
Our analyses do not support a causal association between MMR vaccine and autism.
2.Conclusions:  The significance of this finding is that MMR vaccination is most unlikely to be a main cause of ASD, that it cannot explain the rise over time in the incidence of ASD, and that withdrawal of MMR in countries where it is still being used cannot be expected to lead to a reduction in the incidence of ASD.http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1469-7610.2005.01425.x/full
FYI: scare tactic ain't going to work : vaccine does not cause autism .

Not even in Eritrea

I have long believed Eritreans to be highly educated people.


wonderful and hopeful story Kent, thank you. AND to the person who commented on Dalek Pediatricians, all i can say is you hit the nail on the head!


Haha was just reading the piece about how more and more docs are firing vaccine refusers from their practice. Of course it should have read, "More PEDIATRICIANS fire vaccine refusers.." Who gives a $h!T? The kids would be way better off with family practice docs. My friend's kids have a pediatrician and they do not seem very healthy- sick all the time even with all the flu shots foisted on them. In Canada we don't seem to have a relatively high number of peds compared to family docs. Unless a child has some serious medical condition it's really not warranted. So fire away, maybe you'll fire yourself right out of a job!

Zemenu Abate

Very mesmerizing story! Thank you Attorney Heckenlively. However, I have one more correction for you. You said “The Eritreans are predominantly Christian and the Ethiopians predominantly Muslim.” This is wrong. I do not blame you if you get this fact from your nanny as she might have very limited education and might twist the facts as she was a rebel soldier. The Eritreans are predominantly Muslims and the Ethiopians are predominantly Christian. (Please see CIA Fact book: In Ethiopia, Christians are 62.8% (Orthodox 43.5%, Protestant 18.6%, Catholic 0.7%,) as oppose to Muslims who are 33.9%, https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/fields/2122.html#er )


Dr. Ianelli, if you want to play that game and justify what you do using examples of African countries, go for it but people are wising up. In the USA, the far greater likelihood is that you are participating in the mass destruction of perfectly healthy children. Babies anywhere don't need hep b at birth, American babies don't need rotavirus, most children would be better off actually having chicken pox, pertussis vaccine seems pretty ineffective anyways, MMR should be broken up into single options and don't even go there about the stupid Garasil vaccine. Hey, but keep immunizing innocent kids and try and justify that the risk VS benefit is on your side. It isn't, though. That pesky wave of children who have autism is growing by the minute. Too bad genetics can't explain it all away, eh?

For John


You can word it anyway you like but it doesn't make it any more true. What sources can you cite?


re: Benedetta
Let me reword it: there is NO connection between autism and vaccine either directly or indirectly. You posted the link for an article ... I read it .It says:
"Children with autism are far more likely to have deficits in their ability to produce cellular energy than are typically developing children, a new study by researchers at UC Davis has found"
But where does it say autism is caused by mmr or any other vaccine? Speculations?You can believe what ever you want to believe. There are people who still believe HIV does not cause AIDS or global warming is not real .. I m all into research based medicine .

John Crier

Awetash could be good person for caring for your child..God for both of you. Other than that she sounds a sinster jerk to inform you that "Ethiopians are predominantly Muslims"..


Orthodox 43.5%, Muslim 33.9%, Protestant 18.6%, traditional 2.6%, Catholic 0.7%, other 0.7% (2007 Census)


Religions (est.): Ethiopian Orthodox Christian 43.5%, Muslim 33.9%, Protestant 18.6%, remainder indigenous beliefs


Take my kid to a pediatrician? NEVER AGAIN

"Do not delay! Do not question! Herd immunity, never the individual! Obey, obey! And most of all.... Vaccinate! Vaccinate! Vaccinate!" shrieks the Dalek pediatrician from about.com

This APA industry-standard clown is a bright and shining example of why parents should dump their pediaquack and find a GP, NP, or a family practice. Chances are you won't get the attitude, threats, and zeal of this goof and his minions and your child/children will be treated like the individuals they are.

Fight with your wallet. Put guys like Vinny out of business.


Thank you Kent for sharing with us, a very nice experience you had -- help coming to your family at a time that you so much needed it. A daughter with constant seizures; the worry of a new baby on the way and one sick child already in the world.
Looking at the comments pretty well sums up what is going on with autism and why after 30 years it is still proudly symbolized with puzzle pieces.

You are just telling a story about a couple of people and it gets hijacked by those wanting specific details of the off topic.

The topic is autism, the topic is a family finding help and that help became aware of autism and the dangers of vaccines.


"no direct correlation" interesting wording John

True but the connection is indirect right? Even the HHS conceded that vaccines can aggravate hidden mitochondrial defects trigger mitchondrial dysfunction as happened with Hannah Poling. In fact UC Davis research showed that many children diagnosed ASD have an underlying problem with cellular energy metabolism due a poorly functioning mitochondria.

Read: Children With Autism Have Mitochondrial Dysfunction, Study Finds- Science Daily


Could it be that some children have an underlying mitochondrial sensitivity like Hannah Poling that puts them at greater risk for adverse reaction to vaccines and if so why is the CDC not recommending screening prior to vaccinating?

Even the CDC admits that individual immune reponse varies so how can one predict how a child will respond? Perhaps if we screen children, we can decrease risk for adverse reaction. Why isn't this being done knowing there is wide variation in immune response?


John and Dr. ianelli: Three words. Minnesota Somalis autism. Look it up.


Research shows there is no direct correlation between autism and vaccination. Period. The story doesn't represent the ERITREAN people. Eritrea is known to be one of the leading nation in Africa for vaccination of children. Eritrea has eradicated polio and other preventable illnesses . I am Eritrean live in the USA and doesn't believe in this nonsense correlation between vaccine and autism. I vaccinate my child. This controversy has rested for good after research shows over and over vaccine do not cause autism . Your title " Even the Eritreans Know About Vaccine Safety" is outrageous. Contrary to your belief , thousands of Eritreans are well educated . Get your facts correctly .

Adam M

@Autism Uncle

Amen to that! We have got to give up the ridiculous notion that a cocktail of poisons is safe if it is done in smaller amounts over a longer period of time. What happens if a child is killed or brain damaged on the so called safer schedule that Dr Sears wants to do? How would you feel about giving or advocating that advice? Aren't we still injecting a cocktail of brain damaging chemicals? In the 1970s and 80s lesser amounts were given and there were sids deaths and various forms of brain damage. Just ask Barbara Loe Fischer. Her son was damaged on a much smaller dose than what my son got. Don't ride the fence on this issue. We are rightly upset about the vaccine program because we know what's in them. We are also angry about the fraud and deception that is used to prop up the program. But then some of us are afraid to call a spade a spade and be labeled "anti vaccine". Why? After knowing what we know we should be proud to be called that. It means you've actually done your home work and that you are intellectually honest with yourself.


Dr. Ianelli,

I assume then you have been following the U.S. Somalian autism epidemic happening in Minnesota:

They have a 1 in 5 statistic of their child getting autism IF they live in the U.S., but not in Somalia where autism rates are very low. Why? Is it possible that the Somali vaccine schedule and/or availability is less than that in the U.S.? I have met these parents and they categorically declare that their children changed following the vaccines.

Or how about the Amish community in the U.S., an unvaccinated population? No autism except the children who were adopted and received vaccines prior.

We have children who were vaccine injured, my son included. There are very few of us who would ever submit our children to further injury or risk it with any of our other children.

Chris Hammond

I was very fascinated by the wonderful story about Awetash and her native country, Eritrea, so I decided to explore the field further and came across the following heartwarming article about Eritrea's success in eradicating Malaria with a common sense approach. Enjoy...

Eritrea: Defeating Malaria One Mosquito Net At a Time

By Thomas C. Mountain

Eritrea, One of the planets smallest, poorest countries is defeating malaria one mosquito net at a time.

In the last decade, by providing insecticide treated mosquito nets to its people, and more importantly, making sure that every net is retreated every three months, Eritrea, in the impoverished, war torn Horn of Africa, has reduced malaria mortality by an astonishing 85 percent.

Combined with mobilizing the communities to eradicate mosquito breeding areas, along with community-based medical clinics and an aggressive program to promote immediate medical treatment when malaria symptoms appear, the battle against malaria is finally being won.

One may forgiven for wondering why this hasn’t made headlines in the world’s media. Shouldn’t this little, resource poor country, which has experienced such unparalleled disasters, both natural and manmade during the same time period, be held up as a role model not only for Africa but for the rest of the world?

Hundreds of millions of dollars, billions even, have been and continue to be spent by the likes of the World Heath Organization trying to defeat malaria. Yet today malaria is harder to treat with drugs than at any time in the past half a century if we are to believe the experts at the WHO.

So why isn’t the one role model for fighting malaria being emulated around the world? Maybe, just maybe, no drug company, one of the most profitable industries on the planet, is going to make billions off of this latest victory.

One must also take into account that tiny Eritrea has consistently been a troublemaker for the Western powers and their local policemen, and the last thing the West wants is to promote a role model for independence and self-sufficiency.

So remember, when the next special on how malaria is killing Africa’s children runs on BBC or CNN or wherever, the real success story in the battle against malaria is being won one mosquito net at a time, and by a small, poor, newly independent country in the Horn of Africa, the one part of the world where nothing good is ever supposed to happen.


autism uncle

Dr. Iannelli: What is revealing is you make no mention of adequate nutrition and clean water. You jack up the fear-mongering level by mentioning diseases that are easily encountered and dealt with by well nourished infants, thus leaving them as children ever the more healthy by naturally handling exposure to such; and, with endless toxic "booster" shots done away with, forever.

You apparently are unaware of the immense percentage of American babies/infants/children by the millions that now have permanent, chronic disabilities INFLICTED by toxic immunization ingredients - not to mention the constant 4,800 SIDS/SUID deaths of American babies with all non-politicized evidence pointing to the massive American Immunization Schedule as THE culprit - 26 injected doses by 7 months!

Anne McElroy Dachel

Thank you for the wonderful story of courage and victory. We all need to hear about doing the impossible.


What a great true story of hope and quiet courage.

Katie Wright

Wow, this is incredible!
What an amazing and lovely story.
Thanks for sharing this Kent.
I had to laugh, people in Eriteria are better informed about vaccine safety than
most American doctors. The AAP did everything but try to
have Sears' book burned.


"The Eritreans are predominantly Christian and the Ethiopians predominantly Muslim." is not correct. Ethiopia is predominantly Chrisitian ( see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethiopia#Religion). While the figures for Eritrea varies depending on the source but we can say it's evenly split between Islam and Christianity (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_Eritrea)

Eritrean who live in Europe

This must be a joke. If you are writing for "the good" it is apologized but evnthough I advice you to check about public health progress in UN reports regarding Eritrea and Eritreans. Try to think of latest health debates in the US and the achievment of the Eritrean government.

Thanks You!

Vincent Iannelli, MD

"Awetash's daughter was well-versed in the vaccine controversy and had decided on a VERY delayed vaccine schedule."

And none of that was influenced by the time Awetash had spent with your family? You make it sound like she found the book on her own...

Do you know what that schedule would do if they were still in Eritrea or if she influences other family members who are still back in their home country? While better than surrounding countries, which are in the midst of large outbreaks, there are still cases of diphtheria, measles, mumps, pertussis, rubella, and tetanus in Eritrea.

Cat Jameson

There is always time to hope be it in ten short minutes or throughout ten long years of a struggle. Thank you for sharing this beautiful story, Kent. I truly believe you are one of those people who will find that hope you and so many others desire.


First, a nice article about your family and its considerations. Also, I am very happy that he got to experience a part of the ERitrean culture, it is certainly an experience isn't it!

I just wanted to clarify that Eritrea was not so much "carved out" of Ethiopia, but rather annexed in 1962, before that it was an independent State. Additionally, Eritrea was not wracked by civil war as Eritrea was never a legitimate part of Ethiopia; before annexation Eritreans fought to stay free of Ethiopian dominion.

Also a slight correction, Eritrea is not a predominately Christian country. Only the highlands are predominately Christian while the lowlands are predominately Muslim, in absolute terms however, there are more Eritrean Muslims than Christians, though neither is a majority.

autism uncle

Kent, An inspiring account, thank you. Though Awetash is aware of immunization dangers it seems her baby is still at great risk if relying on Bob Sears' book. Essentially, Sears advocates virtually all the vaccine shots, but with some delayed a teeny bit, and lesser multiple jabs at one visit - still asking for disaster.

In my view books authored by Barbara Loe Fisher and Harris Coulter, Peter and Hilary Butler, Neil Z. Miller, and many others could make a great present to Awetash!

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