Vaccination Information Websites
CNN Article on Recovery from Vaccine-Induced Autism
Vaccination Decisions For Parents
Ways To Prevent A Reaction To Vaccines
Find Out The Risk
Vaccine Ingredients
How Vaccines Are Made
Where To Report Adverse Reactions
Who Pays For Compensation
Flu Vaccine: Still A Major Threat
How Much Mercury Has Your Child Received
Vaccines And Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
Vaccine Reactions Mother's Descriptions
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Vaccination Information Websites

CNN Article: Vaccine-Induced Autism Recovery

In this CNN editorial, actors Jim Carrey and Jenny McCarthy reflect on Evan's recovery from autism (Jenny's son). -

In light of the recent Hannah Poling decision, in which the federal court conceded that vaccines could have contributed to her autism, we think the tide is finally turning in the direction of parents like us who have been shouting concerns from our rooftops for years.

Autism is a debilitating disorder, which according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is suffered by 1 in 150 kids, making it more common than childhood cancer, diabetes and AIDS combined.

Evan has recovered thanks to breakthroughs that may not be scientifically proven, but have definitely helped, such as a gluten-free, casein-free diet, vitamin supplementation, detox of metals, and anti-fungals for the yeast overgrowths that plagued his intestines. Once his neurological function was recovered through these medical treatments, speech therapy and applied behavior analysis helped him learn the skills he could not learn while he was frozen in autism.

When Evan was re-evaluated after these treatments, state workers were amazed by his improvement. But although Evan is now 5, not a single member of the CDC, the American Academy of Pediatrics, or any other health authority has asked to evaluate and understand how Evan recovered from autism. Instead, they simply posit that he was misdiagnosed and never had autism to begin with.

Carrey and McCarthy believe that autism is an environmental illness, and that while vaccines are not the only environmental trigger, they do play a major role. Even if the CDC is not convinced of a link between vaccines and autism, changing the vaccine schedule should be seriously considered as a precautionary measure.


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Vaccination Decisions For Parents

Vaccination is a medical procedure which carries a risk of injury or death. As a parent, it is your responsibility to become educated about the benefits and risks of vaccines in order to make the most informed, responsible vaccination decisions.

1. Your doctor is required by law to provide you with vaccine benefit/risk information materials before your child is vaccinated. Consumer groups, including the National Vaccine Information Center, worked with government health agencies to develop parent information booklets on each mandated vaccine. Ask your doctor for the booklet and take time to read it before your child is vaccinated. You may also ask your doctor to show you the information insert provided by the drug company which manufactured the vaccine(s) your child is scheduled to receive.

2. Your doctor is required by law to keep a permanent record of all vaccinations given, including the vaccine manufacturer's name and lot number. Ask for a copy of the doctor's record on vaccinations given to your child to keep for your records.

3. Your doctor is required by law to report all adverse events, including injuries and deaths which occur within 30 days after vaccination to federal health authorities. If your doctor refuses to report a reaction following vaccination, you have the right to report to the government yourself.

4. If your child is left permanently brain damaged or dies as a result of a vaccine reaction, you may be entitled to benefits under the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986.

5. Become educated about childhood diseases and vaccines. You have the ultimate responsibility for your child's health and well-being and you, not your doctor or state or federal health officials, will live with, and be responsible for the consequences of your decision.

6. Ask your doctor to give your child a physical exam to make sure your child is healthy before you permit vaccination. A sick child can be at increased risk for having a vaccine reaction.

7. Write down your child's personal and family medical history listing major illnesses and diseases or medical conditions, especially previous reactions to vaccinations, and have it included in your child's permanent medical records. Before permitting vaccination of your child, ask your doctor if any of these conditions will put your child at risk for having a vaccine reaction. A child who has had a previous severe reaction to a vaccination can be especially at risk for even more severe reactions if more vaccine is given. If you are not satisfied with the answers you are given, get a second opinion.

8. Monitor your child closely after vaccination. Call your doctor if you suspect a reaction. If your doctor is not concerned and you are, take your child to an emergency room.

9. Obtain a copy of your state mandatory vaccination laws. Become educated about state vaccine requirements, your rights and legal exemptions to vaccination.

10. Don't be intimidated by medical personnel and forced into a vaccination decision before you are comfortable with your decision.


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Ways To Prevent A Reaction To Vaccines

  • Make sure you give your child Vitamin A (cod liver oil or Goji Juice is a good source) the morning before the vaccine.
  • Vitamin C protects against adverse reactions. On the day of the shots and the day after give 150 mg liquid twice daily to infants. For toddlers give 300 mg twice daily in either liquid or children's vitamins C tablets.
  • Vaccines that come in single-dose vials are safer over multidose vials because the potency of the vaccine is known, and single dose vials are mercury free. If your child's vaccine is being drawn from a multidose vial, make sure the nurse shakes the vial before she draws out the vaccine so the contents are more evenly distributed.
  • Healthy diet is recommended to help keep the immune system operating at its best.
  • Consider delaying vaccines until your child is 18-24 months old.
  • Do not vaccinate if your child is taking antibiotics.
  • If your child experiences any developmental delays, stop vaccinating until you learn more.
  • If your child has an adverse reaction to a vaccine, stop vaccinating until you learn more.
  • Always ask to see the vaccine insert, don't accept a vaccine that uses the preservative Thimerosal (mercury). Most flu shots today still contain Thimerosal.

(What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Children's Vaccinations, by Stephanie Cave, M.D., F.A.A.F.P., Pg270)

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Before You Take The Risk, Find Out What It Is

America and America's Children are in the midst of an epidemic of chronic disease and disability. Today, the Centers for Disease Control admits that:

  • 1 American child in 6 is developmentally delayed.
  • In the past 25 years, the number of American children with learning disabilities, ADHD,asthma and diabetes has more than tripled.
  • Autism increases range from 200 percent to over 5,000 percent in some states.
  • In the past 25 years, the number of doses of vaccines that pediatricians give American babies and children under age 6 has more than doubled.
  • In 1969, 1 in 7,100 children were diabetic.
  • In 1970, autism affected 4 in 10,000 children.
  • In 1976, there were 796,000 learning disabled children.
  • In 1979, there were 2 million asthmatic children.
  • In 1997, there were 1.6 million children with ADHD.
  • In 1980, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) said children should get 23 doses of 7 vaccines by age six years with the first vaccinations given at 2 months old.
  • Today 1 in 450 children is diabetic.
  • Today 1 in 175 children is autistic.
  • Today there are 3 million learning disabled children.
  • Today there are 9 million asthmatic children.
  • Today there are 4 million children with ADHD.
  • Today the CDC and AAP tell pediatricians to give children 48 doses of 14 vaccines by age 6 with the first dose given at 12 hours old in the newborn nursery. At 6 months old a child can receive 8 vaccines on a single day. At age 15 months, a child can receive as many as 12 vaccines on a single day.

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Vaccine Ingredients

Vaccine ingredients in trace or larger amounts depending on specific vaccine (partial list): Lab altered viruses and bacteria; aluminum; mercury; formaldehyde; phenoxyethanol; gluteraldehyde; sodium chloride; monosodium glutamate (MSG); gelatin; lactose; hydrochloric acid; sorbitol; antibiotics; aluminum sulfate; sodium borate; sodium acetate; hydrogen peroxide; yeast protein; egg albumin; bovine and human serum albumin.

For a complete list of the ingredients in Vaccines go to: Excipients

Source: NVIC Vaccine Safety Bulletin

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How Vaccines Are Made

To begin, one must first acquire the disease germ -- a toxic bacterium or a live virus. To make a "live" vaccine, the live virus must be attenuated, or weakened for human use. This is accomplished by serial passage -- passing the virus through animal tissue several times to reduce its potency. For example, measles virus is passed through chick embryos, polio virus through monkey kidneys, and the rubella virus through human diploid cells -- the dissected organs of an aborted fetus! "Killed" vaccines are "inactivated" through heat, radiation, or chemicals.

The weakened germ must then be strengthened with adjuvants (antibody boosters) and stabilizers. This is done by adding drugs, antibiotics, and toxic disinfectants to the concoction: neomycin, streptomycin, sodium chloride, sodium hydroxide, aluminum hydroxide, aluminum hydrochloride, sorbitol, hydrolized gelatin, formaldehyde, and thimerosal (a mercury derivative).

Aluminum, formaldehyde, and mercury are extremely toxic substances with a long history of documented hazardous effects. Studies confirm again and again that microscopic doses of these substances can lead to cancer, neurological damage, and death. Yet, each of them may be found in childhood vaccines.

In addition to the deliberately planned additives, unanticipated matter may contaminate the shots. For example, during serial passage of the virus through animal cells, animal RNA and DNA -- foreign genetic material -- is transferred from one host to another. Because this biological matter is injected directly into the body, researchers say it can change our genetic makeup.

Undetected animal viruses may jump the species barrier as well. This is exactly what happened during the 1950s and 1960s when millions of people were infected with polio vaccines that were contaminated with the SV-40 virus undetected in the monkey organs used to prepare the vaccines. SV-40 (Simian Virus #40 -- the 40th such virus detected since researchers began looking), is considered a powerful immunosuppressor and trigger for HIV, the name given to the AIDS virus. It is said to cause a clinical condition similar to AIDS, and has been found in brain tumors, leukemia, and other human cancers as well. Researchers consider it to be a cancer-causing virus.


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Where To Report Adverse Reactions

If you suspect that you or your child has experienced a vaccine reaction, report that reaction to the government at the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System.  Due to reporting of adverse events, the rotavirus vaccine was removed from the market for causing bowel obstructions in infants and children.

What Can I Do?

Become a member of the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) and a subscriber to THE VACCINE REACTION. You will be kept up to date on the latest developments in vaccine research, policymaking and laws. You will receive newsletters and action alerts that allows you to participate at the national, state and local level in the growing vaccine safety movement. As a member, you will receive the satisfaction of knowing you are part of this historic movement launched in 1982 by the founding parents of NVIC to help educate other parents and save children from vaccine death and injury.


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Who Pays For Compensation?

In order to pay for vaccine injuries and deaths, a surtax is levied on mandated vaccines. When parents elect to have their children vaccinated, a portion of the money they spend on each vaccine goes into a Congressional fund to compensate them if their child is hurt or killed by the shot.

The compensation portion of the law awards up to $250,000 if the individual dies, or millions of dollars to cover lifelong medical bills, pain, and suffering in the case of a living (but brain-damaged) child. To date, more than $1 BILLION has already been paid out for hundreds of injuries and deaths caused by mandated vaccines. Thousands of cases are pending.


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Almost every vaccine used for children is now produced in a thimerosal-free form. Several vaccines continue to have trace amounts of thimerosal.

Ask your doctor for thimerosal-free vaccines. Ask to see the package insert and the vial that is used that contains the vaccine. Some versions of tetanus and flu vaccines still contain the full amount of thimerosal.

Get Involved In Your State To Remove Mercury From Vaccines. No


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Calculate Your Child's Risk of Mercury Poisoning From Vaccines

Whether the rising rates of autism in the United States can be attributed to the mercury-laden vaccine preservative thimerosal is a hotly debated topic. But according to at least one expert, Dr. David Ayoub, the director of the Prairie Collaborative for Immunization, the evidence is clear that mercury is in fact playing a large role in the autism epidemic.

Dr. Ayoub said that numerous experimental, epidemiological and biochemical research studies have shown beyond a doubt that mercury is "directly linked the development of autism spectrum disorders and is significantly toxic to the gastrointestinal, immunological, metabolic and neurobiological systems in children."

He believes that, rather than devoting more research efforts to proving this link, research should aim to find methods to remove mercury from the body and repair damage it has caused.

Mercury And The Flu Vaccine: Still A Major Threat

Of the vaccines today that still contain mercury, the flu vaccine is the biggest concern, according to Dr. Ayoub. About 80 percent of flu vaccines contain as much as 25 micrograms of mercury per dose. The EPA's safe limit for mercury is 0.1 mcg/kg, so everyone who gets the flu vaccine receives an overdose of mercury. You would have to weigh at least 550 pounds to receive a flu shot and be within the safe federal exposure limits for mercury.

Further, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended in 2004 that pregnant women and young infants should be among those who receive the flu vaccine, which further exposes fetuses and young children to mercury. In the case of pregnant women, the benefit of flu vaccination was minimal (preventing one to two hospitalizations for every 1,000 pregnant women vaccinated), yet the risks to the unborn infant could be significant.

When a pregnant woman receives the flu vaccine, the fetus receives several hundred times more mercury than federal agencies say is safe for adults. Even the vaccine manufacturers admit the flu vaccine hasn't been adequately tested. The insert on one such vaccine (Fluzone) even stated:

"Animal reproduction studies have not been conducted with Influenza Virus Vaccine. It is not known w hether Influenza Virus Vaccine can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman or can affect reproduction capacity."

Mercury-Laden Vaccines Approved Because of Conflicts of Interest

Both the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have potential conflicts of interest with the vaccine makers, as do doctors who work with the companies. In fact, policy decisions are made by physician advisory panels whose members are often tied financially to the drug companies they are regulating. Some interesting points:

  • The CDC branch that oversees vaccine safety has a budget of about $30 million; the branch that promotes vaccines has a $1 billion budget.
  • About 60 percent of the FDA advisory members who voted to approve the poisonous rotavirus vaccine had financial ties the drug's makers.
  • About 50 percent of the CDC members were also tied to the rotavirus makers.
  • Some 85 percent of Clinical Practice Guideline authors have ties to the drug companies, and many are not disclosed.

How Much Mercury Has Your Child Received?

The National Vaccine Information Center has released a mercury calculator that can help you determine how much mercury your child has received (or will receive) from vaccinations. You simply enter the weight of your child and choose the brand name or manufacturer of the vaccine, and the calculator will let you know if the mercury levels have exceeded the EPA's safe standard.

Are there treatments available for autism?

Chelation therapies to remove mercury from the body are among the most talked about ways to treat autism in children, Dr. Ayoub says.


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Vaccines And Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that children diagnosed with asthma (a respiratory ailment not unlike SIDS) were five times more likely than not to have received pertussis vaccine. Another study found that babies die at a rate eight times greater than normal within three days after getting a DPT shot. The three primary doses of DPT are given at two months, four months, and six months. About 85 percent of SIDS cases occur at one through six months, with the peak incidence at age two to four months.

In a recent scientific study of SIDS, episodes of apnea (cessation of breathing) and hypopnea (abnormally shallow breathing) were measured before and after DPT vaccinations. "Cotwatch" (a precise breathing monitor) was used, and the computer printouts it generated (in integrals of the weighted apnea-hypopnea density -- WAHD) were analyzed. The data clearly shows that vaccination caused an extraordinary increase in episodes where breathing either nearly ceased or stopped completely. These episodes continued for months following vaccinations. Dr. Viera Scheibner, the author of the study, concluded that "vaccination is the single most prevalent and most preventable cause of infant deaths."


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Vaccine Reactions Mother's Descriptions

High Fever (over 103 F):"His temperature was 105 . I had to put cool towels on him to bring it down."

Skin (hives, rashes, swelling):"There was a big, hot, red swollen lump at the site of the shot that stayed for weeks."

High Pitched Screaming:"It was a pain cry, a shrill scream and lasted for hours and nothing would help."

Collapse/Shock:"She turned white with a blue tinge around her mouth and went completely limp."

Excessive Sleepiness:"He passed out and we couldn't wake him to feed or do anything for over 12 hours."

Convulsion:"Her eyes twitched, her chin trembled, her body went rigid and then would shake."

Brain Inflammation:"He just laid in his crib with his eyes wide open then would arch his back and scream and go unconscious. Now he has seizures."

Behavior Changes:"She won't sleep or eat. She throws herself down and screams for no reason. She was sweet and happy and is now out of control. She changed into a totally different child."

Mental/Physical Regression:"My 18 month old son stopped talking and walking after those shots. He developed severe allergies, constant diarrhea, ear infections and was sick all the time."

Blood Disorders:"She got big purple bruises on her skin. The doctor told me she was bleeding because her blood couldn't clot."

Other:Loss of muscle control, arthritis, paralysis, sudden death.

If your child's health deteriorates after vaccination, your child may be eligiblefor federal compensation. Vaccine reactions should be reported to the federal Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) by calling 1-800-822-7967 and to NVIC's Vaccine Reaction Registry at

Source: NVIC Vaccine Safety Bulletin

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A Mother's Story

My name is Lyn Redwood. I reside in Atlanta, Georgia with my husband Tommy and three children, Hanna, Drew and Will. My husband and I are both health care professionals. My husband is a Physician and I'm a Nurse Practitioner. I also hold a Masters Degree in Community Health Nursing and I'm a member of our County's Board of Health and local Planning Commission.

My son, Will, weighed in at close to 9 lbs at birth. He was a happy baby who ate and slept well, smiled, cooed, walked and talked, all by one year. Shortly after his first birthday he experienced multiple infections, lost speech, eye contact, developed a very limited diet and suffered intermittent bouts of diarrhea. He underwent multiple evaluations and was initially diagnosed with a global receptive and expressive speech delay and later with Pervasive Developmental Disorder, a form of autism.

I would have never made a correlation between my son's disability and vaccines until July 1999 when I read that a preservative, thimerosal, utilized in some infant vaccines, actually contained 49.6% mercury. The report went on to say that the FDA had determined that "infants who received thimerosal-containing vaccines at several visits may be exposed to more mercury than recommended by Federal Guidelines for total mercury exposure." As health care providers my husband and I constantly receive notices that adverse events have been reported with a drug or a product safety sheet has been revised. Why were no such notices sent out informing us that thimerosal preserved vaccines were exceeding federal guidelines for mercury exposure in infants?

It was in light of this information that I reviewed my son's vaccine record and my worse fears were confirmed. All of his early vaccines had contained thimerosal. From my research on mercury I have found it to be a potent human toxicant which is especially damaging to the rapidly developing fetal and infant brain. While acceptable levels for exposure are published by Federal Agencies, mercury is a poison at any level.

The dose thought to be safely allowed on a daily basis by EPA is 0.1mcg per kilogram of body weight per day. At 2 months of age my son had received 62.5 mcg of mercury from 3 infant vaccines. According to EPA criteria, his allowable dose was only 0.5mcg based on his weight. He had received 125 times his allowable exposure on that one day. These large injected bolus exposures continued at 4, 6, 12 and 18 months to a total mercury exposure of 237.5 mcg. I also discovered that the injections that I received during the first and third trimesters of my pregnancy and hours after the delivery of my son to prevent RH blood incompatibility also contained mercury.

Source: National Vaccine Information Center

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For the first 13 days of his life, Nicholas was no different than any other baby. He ate well. When he slept, he slept well. He acted just like my first son acted when he came home from the hospital." Nicholas was given a hepatitis B shot at his regular check up at the pediatrician's office on the 13th day of his life. That night when I got home from work, I noticed that Nicholas was crying a lot more than usual. In fact, he was screaming some of the time. He was acting differently, but because we had just taken him to the doctor for a checkup and they told us he was a big healthy boy, we thought everything was OK. When he was just acting fussy, like babies sometimes do, we didn't know anything about vaccines or that they can cause problems for some babies.

Nicholas cried on and off for most of the night. When I got up and went to work the next day, he was still crying on and off. He continued during most of the day and into the evening. The next morning, his mother found him dead in his crib. From the way he looked, he had been dead for several hours."

An autopsy was done the next day. A couple of weeks later, our pediatrician told us over the phone that the autopsy showed Nicholas had died of sudden infant death syndrome. He told us Nicholas was one of the healthiest babies he had ever seen. What I didn't know then but I know now is that the pediatrician had made a report within 17 days of Nicholas' death to the government's Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, VAERS. In VAERS, Nicholas' death is listed as SIDS. Even though I didn't know anything about vaccines or SIDS, something told me that there was a reason why Nicholas died, and I had to find out why.

After seeing an article in the Washington Post about the Institute of Medicine report on adverse events associated with childhood vaccines, Nicholas's father called the National Vaccine Information Center and began talking to experts and researching infant death and vaccines. Eventually a clinical professor of pathology, who had reviewed Nicholas' medical records, autopsy and slides, stated in writing that Nicholas did not die of SIDS but died a cardiac death, caused by passive congestive changes with pulmonary edema and hemorrhage caused by the active immunization with hepatitis B vaccine. The pathologist stated "I do not believe this was a sudden infant death syndrome death. Sudden infant death syndrome is the most abused diagnosis in pediatric pathology. In this particular case, the infant was two weeks old. Sudden infant death at two weeks old is so rare as to be virtually unheard of."

The pathologist went on to say that Nicholas was at high risk for congestive heart failure because his mother had gestational diabetes, but that he would definitely have survived were it not for the stress induced by the hepatitis B vaccination.


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Richie was a thriving two month old baby boy, the second son born to a family in upstate New York when he got his first DPT shot in the winter of 1983. Richie's older brother had had severe reactions to his DPT shots, including high fevers, redness and swelling at the site of the injection, uncontrollable screaming, diarrhea and vomiting but the pediatrician had reassured Richie's Mom that these were "normal" reactions to DPT vaccine and not to worry. So Richie's Mom, who was a nurse, was prepared for Richie to be uncomfortable following his first DPT shot.

By the evening of the day Richie got his first DPT shot, the area around the site of the injection began to swell. Richie's Mom remembered how Richie's brother's leg had swelled up after his DPT shots. But then Richie's hip turned red and purple and soon the purple started to spread out from the injection site in round patches. Still, Richie didn't have a fever and continued to drink from his bottle so Richie's Mom didn't worry.

In the middle of the night, Richie woke up crying, then went back to sleep. But in the morning he woke up screaming "like a cat in pain." Richie's Mom thought his hip was bothering him.

After a brief nap Richie woke up crying again but his cry was weaker. After taking a bottle, he fell back to sleep. An hour later he had severe diarrhea with gas and mucous in his diapers. Then he fell asleep again until he again woke up crying.

This time when Richie's Mom went to pick him up, she found him soaked through two receiving blankets with a musty, pungent odor. While she washed him, she noticed he was limp and staring at her with "dark eyes." Instead of having a fever, he felt cool with ice cold hands. Thankful that her baby didn't have a fever, she didn't worry. She thought the house might be too cold and dressed him warmly, putting socks on his little hands.

Richie slowly drank eight ounces of water from his bottle and later that day had three more diapers with diarrhea in them. His leg still seemed to be sore. When he slept, his fingers twitched slightly. Later he gagged on the nipple of his bottle and vomited a little. Richie's Mom remembered how Richie's brother had had diarrhea and vomiting after his shots and so she didn't worry.

That evening while Richie's Mom was giving him a bottle, suddenly he stopped sucking. Then he started to sigh. Alarmed, she called the doctor and described the symptoms and asked him to meet them at the emergency room. The doctor told her it wasn't necessary for him to meet her at the emergency room. The doctor didn't seem worried. Within minutes, Richie died in his mother's arms as his father and six year old brother watched. It had been 33 hours since a doctor had injected him with his first DPT shot.

Fourteen weeks after his death, Richie's parents received the autopsy report findings describing an enlarged thymus gland (the gland that helps regulate the immune response in the body) as well as congestion and edema in the lungs and brain.

Not satisfied with the autopsy findings, Richie's parents made an appointment to talk with the coroner. As soon as they walked into his office, the coroner handed them an article entitled "The Pathologist and the Sudden Infant Death Syndrome."

But Richie's Mom knew that her baby did not die from SIDS. Armed with the Physician's Desk Reference and studies on DPT vaccine, she described in detail exactly what happened to Richie following his vaccinations. The coroner listened to her and wrote on the death certificate that the cause of Richie's death was "Irreversible shock due to a probable reaction to DPT."

At the time of Richie's death, his parents were concerned that the lot of vaccine he received may have been especially reactive and perhaps should have been investigated. Richie's parents worried that other babies might die from the same lot of vaccine that Richie had received. No health official ever contacted the family to find out what happened to Richie. There was never an investigation into this death by the manufacturer, state, county or federal Centers for Disease Control although they were all notified of Richie's death. It seemed to Richie's parents that no one cared that their baby had died and the government was not worried that other children might be at risk of dying like Richie had.

Richie's family filed a claim with the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program and in 1989, received official acknowledgment from the U.S. Court of Claims in Washington, D.C. that the DPT vaccine caused Richie's death.

A more complete profile describing what happened to Richie and his family can be found in the book A Shot in the Dark by Harris Coulter and Barbara Loe Fisher.


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Eight year old Anna cannot sit without support or cannot walk without braces and a walker. Most of the time she sits in her wheelchair. Anna was left paralyzed after she was injected with MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine at 15 months of age.

Anna was the second of two children born to a family in Virginia. She had been a bright, healthy baby and toddler and had started walking at 13 months. When it came time for her to get her first MMR shot at 15 months, the pediatrician told her mother to expect a mild reaction anywhere from 10 days to two weeks after the shot that might include cold symptoms or a rash.

Nine days after her shot, Anna had a runny nose and a low grade fever. Her mother was not concerned about those symptoms but she was concerned that Anna was very irritable. Although her cold symptoms eventually disappeared, Anna did not return to the happy, playful toddler she had once been. Instead she continued her strange behavior, crying and wanting to be held constantly. Then Anna started tripping and falling down.

When Anna's mother called the pediatrician, he told her to put ice on the leg where he had given Anna the injection and give her Tylenol. Fourteen days after the MMR shot, Anna's mother took her child back to the pediatrician. Although Anna had always loved to play and laugh with her pediatrician, this time she screamed every time he tried to come near her.

Over the next six weeks, Anna lost the ability to sit or walk. One doctor suggested that she be seen by a psychologist to determine why Anna was refusing to walk. When Anna's mother consulted a neurologist, the neurologist immediately hospitalized Anna with a suspected diagnosis of tumor on her spinal cord. The MRI scan of her brain showed there were lesions in the white matter of her brain. All other tests came back negative.

Anna continued to deteriorate and lost all control of her trunk and legs. When she tried to sit up, she would flop over like a rag doll. Nearly every week she would run a fever for two to three days. Lab test after lab test was performed to try to find out what had happened to her. In a four week period, she endured seven spinal taps. During one hospitalization, Anna turned completely limp and doctors feared she would lose her ability to breathe on her own and would have to be put on a respirator.

Eventually Anna was put on steroid therapy, which helped her to regain her personality and stop her brain from further deteriorating. However, she remained paralyzed in the lower body, with some upper body involvement and was left with processing delays.

Today Anna attends third grade in a wheelchair. As she grows and becomes taller and heavier, it is hard for her to keep the trunk of her body upright. Anna loves to swim underwater because she says it makes her feel free.

In 1993, the U.S. Court of Claims in Washington, D.C. officially acknowledged that Anna suffered post vaccination encephalopathy following her MMR vaccination as a toddler.


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