An Open Letter To Amber: Please Vaccinate Your Baby

By Dr. Carolyn Roy-Bornstein
Guest Blogger

Dear Amber:

We’ve never met. You just had a baby named Angelese with my cousin’s son George. I guess that makes us family. You had your baby at home. I am glad things went well for you with no complications. She’s beautiful. I’ve seen pictures of her on my cousin Christina’s Facebook page. Christina says you’re going all organic for the baby. That’s the way to go. She doesn’t need all those antibiotics and hormones in commercial meat and milk.

She also says you’re not planning on vaccinating your baby. Ever. Against anything.

And that’s where we have a problem. Or at least I have a problem. You see, I’m a pediatrician. I vaccinate for a living. I’ve been around a while and have seen children die of diseases that have largely been eradicated due to vaccines. Vaccines I believe in.

The truth is Angelese will probably be just fine. She is afforded a certain amount of protection — called herd immunity — because most parents do vaccinate their children. That may not always be true. In fact if enough parents en masse refuse all vaccinations, herd immunity will evaporate and we will all be at risk, not just Angelese.

And that’s the thing. You have only your daughter to take care of. I have to keep all the other children in mind. If Angelese gets chicken pox, besides a few pox scars, she will likely do just fine. She’s strong with a healthy immune system. She can fight viruses just fine. But some children are not strong or fine and do not have healthy immune systems. My niece Emma just underwent chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant for neuroblastoma. For her, varicella could be deadly. Those are the children I need to think about. For me, this is the ethical reason to vaccinate.

In my community there are some pediatricians who won’t accept you into the practice if you don’t go along with the immunization schedule as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. In my practice, you’re welcome. (In fact, one solo practitioner’s, to me, over-the-top response is to threaten you with a call to DCF. He believes with-holding vaccines from your child amounts to child abuse.) I don’t believe that. I do believe deep in my heart, that all parents loves their children and no matter what decision they make, they are making the decision that they truly believe is in the best interest of their kids. I don’t believe in cutting those parents off from health care just because they disagree with me. But I do believe it’s my job to continue to defend and recommend vaccines.

We have parents in our practice who, for whatever reason, want to space out their children’s vaccinations, give just one at a time, delay some and defer others altogether. I take care of all of them.

When pregnant women come to the office to interview me as a possible pediatrician for their babies, the most frequently asked questions involve the vaccine schedule. I make it clear that they should not interpret my willingness to give them their shots on an alternative schedule to mean that I agree with them that it isn’t safe to give three shots at once. I don’t agree with them. And it is. One of the most compelling pieces of evidence for this was a June 2010 study in the medical journal Pediatrics that found no adverse neuropsychological outcomes in children who received on-time vaccines in their first year of life.

These parents also need to understand that their children are at risk for whatever disease they’ve not vaccinated them against for as long as they’ve put off that vaccine. I also tell them up front that I’ll be hawking them at every visit to pony up and get vaccinated. I even email my patients news stories about disease outbreaks and clinical studies on vaccine safety and efficacy.

It was easier to convince parents about the efficacy of vaccination when their biggest worry was autism. The relationships between the MMR vaccine, thimerisol and autism have been roundly debunked for some time now.

Parents’ concerns nowadays seem more to have to do with the necessity of vaccines at all. The vaccine program is in some ways a victim of its own success. Parents who have never seen encephalitis from measles, amputations after meningococcal infection or a seizure during a case of pertussis may not fully appreciate how aggressive some vaccine-preventable diseases can be.

No decision is easy when it comes to our children. There is always something to worry about. (My 28-year-old son announced recently that he is taking up sky-diving. Believe me. There will always be things to worry about.) You’d feel terrible if something happened to Angelese because you vaccinated her. You’d never forgive yourself if something happened because you didn’t. As parents, we all just do the best we can with the information we have. I hope you’ll consider listening to the information regarding vaccines.

Carolyn Roy-Bornstein is a Haverhill-based pediatrician who writes about health care. Her new memoir, CRASH! published by Globe Pequot Press will be out in October 2012.

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  • Theresa

    Dear doctor,

    It’s me, a non-vaccinating mom. Well, except I used to vaccinate my kids. Until that fateful day when my son received his diagnosis. He had Histiocytosis. After several relapses and a bone marrow transplant, my son beat the odds against him and survived. But his bone marrow transplant doctor highly advised we avoid vaccinations, seeing as vaccines are connected to the activation of certain forms of histiocytosis and are suspected as key activators in others. Afterall, vaccines cause an immune system response, and some forms of histiocytosis are immune system responses that essentially don’t know when or how to stop.

    I have never forgiven myself for vaccinating him. I will never forget holding him for 3 long years as he was one one chemotherapy after another until we finally had a bone marrow donor and could stop the vicious cycle of remission and relapse. In case you were wondering… my son endured 11 chemotherapies before his 3rd birthday.

    Yes, I realize that he “had” the predisposition for this disease. But still… a vaccine was the trigger that nearly killed my son. I held his nearly lifeless body time and time again as I begged for him to live.

    You may vaccinate for a living, but I’m the parent of a child who nearly died from the very thing you believe saves lives.

  • Andrew

    Having a baby is definitely a proudest moment for every parent but parenting skills brings several types of responsibilities and sincerity especially in baby care issues; we need take better care of our babies and that needs our baby should be vaccinate properly and should be blessed with better protein, nutrition and vitamin supplements.

  • Erwin Alber

    There is NO WAY I would let some brainwashed fool of a doctor with a vaccine to come near me or any child of mine. End of story.

    • Murfle

      That “brainwashed fool of a doctor” studied science and medicine for years and knows way more than you do. I suppose you’d trust a doctor if YOUR life was in danger instead of other peoples’?

  • Robert Reeves

    As a  attorney wrongful death and a parent, I personally believe it’s important to vaccinate your children. My child has received all of her vaccinations and will continue to do so. Yes, it’s true. Most of the vaccinations we receive are against hard to receive illnesses but that never means we won’t catch it. I think it’s important to eliminate the problem before it arises.

    • Tootrue

      what about damage that arises DUE to vaccines? the problem started with the vaccine itself, not the disease. There are a whole lot more health problems in society now than ever before. Especially in today’s children. Have YOU ever actually read any of the studies done on vaccines and the ingredients?

  • guest

    For those who are anti-vaccine, could you please discuss the horrors of eradicating smallpox by using a (gasp!) vaccine?!  I’m sure the only benefit of the vaccine was to make Big Pharma lots of money… right?  No one’s lives were actually saved because of that vaccine, is that correct?

    • ConcernedParent

      You are aware that only 10% of the population was ever vaccinated for smallpox, right? And that AFTER the introduction of the vaccine, the number of cases actually increased before peaking and going away? Have you actually LOOKED at the numbers, the diagnostic criteria (and changes post-vaccine) for each disease? A little research goes a long way.

  • Guest

    Has anyone on here been to Africa? Have you seen children DIE of pertussis? Because they do, especially in places where the herd immunity (which, by the way, is a scientific concept, not a mythical concept) is lower because parents cannot access vaccines the way they can in richer countries. I understand that non-vaccinating parents are well-meaning, but they are also misguided. When I lived in Africa, I had students– healthy students– who died of diseases I had been vaccinated against. It’s easy to say that children won’t get these diseases in countries where many people are vaccinated (that’s not true, by the way, just look at the 10 infants in California who died of pertussis in 2010), but if nobody vaccinates, childhood death rates will climb. It’s nice to be so comfortable that you can take for granted and even ignore life-saving measures many parents in the world only wish they could have had to save their children.

    • ConcernedParent

      You cannot compare disease in a third world country to disease in a first world country. Apples to oranges. This whole “one factor at a time” looking at vaccines as the only life-saving measure is a little misguided, don’t you think? How about access to clean water, nutritious foods, clean uncrowded living conditions, and proper sanitation? It’s funny, we don’t routinely vaccinate for smallpox anymore, yet I don’t see the death rates climbing (and FYI only 10% of the population was ever vaccinated against smallpox, making “herd immunity” theory null and void)?? What about scarlet fever? Funny, I don’t see ebola here in the states, yet there is currently no vaccine. Let’s not forgot mononucleosis. Must be running rampant. And Hep C. I’m sure everyone and their neighbors have that one, too.

      • Murfle

        That’s because smallpox was eradicated due to vaccination campaigns so successful the virus could not find hosts to live in.
        FYI, diseases in a third world country are the SAME diseases you would get over here. There’s just less vaccination and less medical care. You don’t see ebola here because we don’t have a source of the virus–another way to apply your line of thinking is: we don’t have any elephant traps in the US, and yet you don’t see any elephants walking around, do you?

        • ConcernedParent

          You obviously don’t have a clue how designed experiments and definitive screening work. Confoundment much? Logic fail. You missed the whole point. APPLES to ORANGES. You cannot consider vaccination status as the only factor.

  • Carolyn Roy-Bornstein

    I appreciate the thoughtful comments of some readers. Vaccines are not 100% effective and are not, as one reader pointed out “a panacea.” That is a known fact and one I do not argue. I see chicken pox with some regularity and we had a recent spate of pertussis. But vaccines do afford protection. According to the Pediatric Infectious Disease Society, even small numbers of unvaccinated individuals in a community can facilitate the spread of disease. The risk of measles is 35 times greater for unvaccinated children than vaccinated ones and 23 times higher for pertussis. (Infectious Diseases in Children June 2011.) I also agree with the reader that “no medical decision should be one size fits all.” That is why I continue to take care of families with varying opinions about vaccine safety and efficacy. I spend a great deal of time educating myself about new developments in pediatrics. I owe that to my patieints. I share with them new information and results of current studies. In turn, they often educate me. I have families who send me links to articles they have read about not just vaccines, but many topics. It is a two-way street. We spend a lot of time in thoughtful dialogue. Maybe some day they will change my mind about vaccines. But for now, I’ll continue to recommend them.

    • Guest

      Err, you DO realize, of course, that the VAST MAJORITY of children under 18 who contract pertussis have, in fact, been previously and ‘appropriately’ vaccinated against it, right? You have a very severe cognitive bias in your information, and I feel you are an extremely arrogant pediatrician who NO parent should trust. Any pediatrician who feels it is appropriate to do what you have done here, to someone very distantly ‘related’ to, lacks professionalism, and courtesy. It is very clear that your agenda is to promote, sell, and administer more and more vaccines, as opposed to providing optimal care for your patients. If a very healthy unvaccinated child was to come in, one who rarely falls ill, would you manipulate their parents to vaccinate them? If those vaccinations were to cause that child to have a broken down immune system, and that child began getting sick, would you accept responsibility, or merely write it of as a coincidence?

      Unvaccinated children provide no greater risk to the immuno-compromised population than do adults who have a full, and ‘appropriate’ history of childhood vaccination, and it is extremely IGNORANT of you to disregard that. Until pediatricians begin recognizing that vaccines, in fact, DO carry risks, people are not going to be able to trust you. A good pediatrician would say something more along the lines of:

      “Yes, your child has a 1:14,000 chance to react with seizures to this vaccine, or a 1:1,000 chance to react with encephalitis. There are risks with this vaccine, but it is my professional OPINION that the benefits outweigh the risks.”

      Don’t play vaccines off as though they are 100% safe, or that with increased numbers of vaccines there is no added risk (which, there is). You are not infallible, your OPINION does not necessarily ring true. If you were my pediatrician, and I saw this public letter addressed to ANYONE, I would fire you on the spot due to your extreme lack of professionalism and your disingenuity. Shame on you for trying to use fear instead of facts.

  • Anonymous

    “He believes with-holding vaccines from your child amounts to child abuse.”Consider withholding the hyphen, rather than the vaccines.

  • Nonayo Biznis

    Dear Doctor,

    Babies don’t need to eat hormones and antibiotics in food but they can all be safely injected with the more than 50 untested for long term safety neurotoxins, additives and unwanted contaminants found in vaccines, just fine? Infinitely, as much as the CDC and APA approves them and as fast as they pop out of the factories?  Of course you “believe” they are safe and effective, that pretty much sums up what you learned in med school about vaccines: slogans.  Show us the science supporting the dogma, then we’ll share your “belief”. Questioning this threatens everything you believe in and I understand that you would stand to lose too much to even consider that you could be wrong, and I am not talking about money.  

    You should really continue your education with real scientific articles instead of the nicely colored Merck and GSK flyers…  A recent article in the BMJ analysing German pharmaceutical advertizings, says 94% of the “information” contained in them is not supported by science… And Germany has very rigorous regulations. 

    Sooo you say we need to vaccinate to protect all those who are not strong and have weakened immune systems and cannot be vaccinated…  You mean, like the thousand *premature babies” that GSK used as guinea pigs to safety test a rotavirus vaccine, administering the test group and even the control group with *multiple* vaccines? This study is not only sickening but totally useless so much it is methodologically flawed. This is a total disgrace to science. 
    Not to mention they should be put on trial for violation of the Nuremberg code on inhumane experiments… Your collective blindness is truly fascinating.Oh and I hope you changed the names because this is absolutely unacceptable. What’s next? sending mobs of angry parents you scare with lies to their doorstep?  

  • Guest

    Unfortunately, this is a terribly-written article that tries to make a valid point.  Vaccines do prevent disease. There is no doubt about that. 

    Anecdotal evidence about someone’s neighbor’s kid who never got vaccinated and is healthy as a horse does not mean vaccines don’t save lives. The kid is either just lucky and/or benefitting from the herd effect. Some of the responses here are so lacking in science that the writers might as well be claiming that the earth is flat because it looks flat outside their window.  And the reports about chicken pox increasing in Texas despite a law requiring vaccination?  Read the entire article. The suspected reason is that the law only requires an initial vaccination not a necessary booster given between age 4 and 6. Parents have to use their own initiative to get the booster. The article also states that the biggest benefit of the chicken pox vaccine is that it reduces the severity of the disease. This can be life-saving in some cases.

    • Nonayo Biznis

      Tonibark showed us but a tiny fraction of the published scientific articles that does not support this mythical concept of “herd” you speak of…  Can you post something that supports you claim?

  • Tonibark

    Vaccination Ineffectiveness: Specific Examples in Outbreaks and Epidemics Worldwide

    Meta-analysis of Chicken Pox vaccine and its effectiveness

     Houston, Texas in 1989, t outbreak of 4200 cases of measles in fully immunized populations in one high school and two intermediate schools. 
    -Matson DO, et al, Pediatr Infect Dis J; 12(4): 292-9. — 1993- 4- 1

    Texas recorded a 41 percent increase in cases of chicken pox from 2005 to 2006, despite an eight-year-old requirement that children be vaccinated before they can enter kindergarten.
    -The Associated Press, — 2008- 1-21

    During 2006, a total of 6584 confirmed and probable cases of mumps were reported to the CDC.  College campuses with mumps outbreaks included ones with 97% of students having had 2 doses of a mumps vaccine.
    Anderson, LJ, Mumps epidemiology and immunity: the anatomy of a modern epidemic, Pediatr Infect Dis J; 2008 Oct;27 (10-suppl):S75-9

    The czech republic has had a two dose MMR vaccination programme since 1987. The last outbreak of mumps was reported in 2002, but an increase in the number of mumps cases was observed in 2005, starting in October that year. In an 18 month period examined, 5,998 cases of mumps were notified, with a peak incidence in May of 2006. The highest incidence rate was observed in those in the age group of 15 to 19 years, in which 87% of the cases  had received two doses of mumps vaccine. 
    Boxall N, An increase in the number of mumps cases in Czech Republic, 2005-2006, Euro Surveill; 2008 Apr 17;13(16)

    230 cases of   in a fully immunized population in the Qassim province of Saudi Arabia, during January-August of 2007. 
    Jahan S, Measles outbreak in Qassim, Saudi Arabia 2007: epidemiology and evaluation of outbreak response, J Public Health (Oxf); 2008 Dec;30(4):384-90

    We investigated a measles outbreak that began in March 2003 in a Pennsylvania boarding school with >600 students to identify all cases, including the source; implement outbreak control measures; and evaluate vaccine effectiveness. Of the 663 students in the school, 8 (1.2%) had never received any doses of MCV, 26 (3.9%) had received 1 dose, and 629 (94.9%) had received 2 doses before the outbreak.
    Yeung LF, Lurie P, A limited measles outbreak in a highly vaccinated US boarding school. Epidemic Intelligence Service, Epidemiology Program Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia 30333, USA., Pediatrics. 2005 Dec;116(6):1287-91

    In 1989 the CDC reported Measles outbreaks in schools with vaccination levels greater than 98%.
    -MMWR (Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report), 38 (8-9), 12/29/89.

     1989, the country of Oman experienced a widespread Polio outbreak (118 cases) six months after achieving complete vaccination.
    -Outbreak of paralytic poliomyelitis in Oman; evidence for widespread transmission among fully vaccinated children. Lancet vol 338: Sept 21, 1991; 715-720.

     United States in 1986, 90% of 1300 Pertussis cases in a Kansas outbreak were in appropriately vaccinated persons.
    -Neil Miller, Vaccines: Are They Really Safe and Effective? Fifth Printing, 1994, p. 33.

     Norway and Denmark in 1998, there was an epidemic of whooping cough in a nearly 96% vaccinated population.
    -British Medical Journal, 1998

    Of 479 Pertussis (whooping cough) cases in the United States during a 1982 outbreak, 60% of the recipients had one or two doses of the DPT vaccine, while the other 40% had been fully vaccinated.
    -Weekly Report, Centers for Disease Control, July 2, 1982

    In Michigan in 2003 there was a chickenpox outbreak…vaccination was verified for 485 students, resulting in a vaccination coverage of 95.7% (485 of 507)
    -Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)., (MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep.;53(18):389-92) — 2004- 5-14

    “Over the past five to six years, the nation has seen a spike in pertussis, said Dr. Richard Tooker, chief medical …. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the United States has about 5,000 to 7,000 reported cases each year. The incidence of the disease has been increasing steadily since the 1980s….the vaccine has not been effective as long as was planned, he said.”
    -Mah, Linda S, — 2006- 9-22

    Arctic Greenland had an outbreak of the measles in 1968. More than 90% of the total population was vaccinated and a 94-100% seroconversion was obtained.
    -Pedersen IR, et al, Vaccine; 7(4):345-8. — 1998- 8- 1

    “During December 1, 1996-September 30, 1997, a total of 20,034 cases of measles were reported to the Ministry of Health in Romania. 13 cases were fatal… the findings of the investigation suggest that high routine vaccination coverage…was not sufficient to prevent periodic outbreaks of measles. ”
    -DCD; MMWR / 46(49); 1159-1163 — 1997-12-12

    “Recent measles outbreaks in highly vaccinated populations have highlighted the role of vaccine failure as a barrier to the elimination of measles.”
    -Anders, Jennifer F. MD, Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal. 15(1):62-66 — 1996- 1- 1

    “In 1991, in Fukuoka, Japan, a measles outbreak occurred in which we observed 15 cases of measles vaccine failure (MVF). ”
    -Hidaka Y, et al, Scand J Infect Dis; 26(6):725-30. — 1994- 1- 1

    “The rates of secondary immune response (SIR) and secondary vaccine failure (SVF) during a measles epidemic were evaluated. In conclusion, neither prior vaccination nor detectable SIR ensures protective immunity.
    -G Ozanne et al, J Clin Microbiol; 30(7): 1778-1782 — 1992- 7- 1

    • Nonayo Biznis

      Thanks Toni! 

    • Sloire

      At first I thought this was a joke. Alas it is not. What is most interesting is her false notion of herd immunity. This concept was first coined in response to people having a disease and gaining natural immunity. It NEVER had anything to do with vaccinating which does not offer herd or any other kind of immunity., yet it is touted as science.
      Looking at the thread I never get why people are afraid of vax choice kids. ESP since the rounds of disease we are seeing now are among the vaccinated community An unvaccinated child does not threaten a vaccinated one if you follow the line of thinking that vaccinations work.

      • Murfle

        Herd immunity works like this: 90% of the population is vaccinated (in theory). Therefore, when a disease they are vaccinated against arises, their body is able to fight it off quickly and effectively. They are less contagious for a shorter amount of time. This way, the 10% who aren’t vaccinated (for whatever reason) have a much smaller chance of getting the disease, which to them could be fatal.

        • ConcernedParent

          Hmmm, that’s funny. Can you explain why, then, populations 100% vaccinated have contracted and spread mumps, measles, and pertussis – within the fully vaccinated community? Or maybe you missed those news reports and studies? Perhaps you should yell at all the adults who haven’t gotten their boosters, seeing as that number is a farcry from 90%. Not even 50%. Maybe you should look into taking a statistics course. And Six Sigma while you’re at it. Vaccination status is not the most important factor in spread of disease since we have established the fact that a fully vaccinated population can and will spread disease and cause virus mutation; I think one should consider exposure as a relevant factor.

  • mom

    Dear Amber, 

    I’m so, so sorry you have such an obnoxious sister in law. She’s never met you and yet is willing to publicly put you on blast for not doing what she thinks is best for your child. Not sure whether she thinks this is professional or personal? I guess it’s convenient you’re family not a patient giving her some legal leeway to air your personal healthcare choices publicly.

    Bravo to you for standing up for what you believe in the face of bullying from a pediatrician (and relative no less). I think it’s beyond valid to question the advice of a medical community that refuses to acknowledge there is reason to question vaccines.

    Not to mention, reason to doubt the judgement of a pediatrician who seems unaware of the fact that vaccines like pertussis and chicken pox can not produce herd immunity even when given to every child on schedule. Why? Because they do not produce full, lifelong immunity. 

    Even if they found a way to mandate that every US citizen receive DtaP boosters every three years (something any public health official would admit is impossible), we STILL would not be free of whooping cough outbreaks. International travel is a fact of life.

    There are flaws with the MMR vaccine schedule too. Not because of autism fear (although lets be clear there too: one study doesn’t make the link valid nor does one study make the lack of link valid: both sides cherry pick to make a point). When they continued to see outbreaks of measles in vaccinated kids after one shot, they made it to. Now they suspect extended breastfeeding may make the first shot taken on schedule ineffective because outbreaks among vaccinated children still occur. 

    I guess your sister in law missed that. I can only assume she’s missing a lot of current research if she’s choosing to assume vaccine avoiding parents are to blame. There is simply no data supporting her hypothesis.

    If our care providers are so willing to hang their hat on the CDC and refuse to continue to question the pharmaceutical industry out of concern for their patients’ well being, I think it’s right to distrust their guidance. I know I find myself constantly curious why flu rates and severity don’t seem to be impacted by the aggressive campaign to have every man, woman and child receive a flu shot. 

    If Dr.Roy-Bornstein were my child’s pediatrician and I read this, I would have to conclude her priority is selling a pharmaceutical product, not my, or any other child’s health. 


    A mom who fully vaccinates and STILL thinks it’s reasonable to question vaccines and thinks this doctor’s fear mongering is baseless and dangerous.

    • Erin

       Thank you for this! My name is Erin Kroll, and I am “Amber’s” or Aurora’s mother. I have yet to meet my Doctor B and because of this was very shocked byher public letter, and the strong convictions of fear within it.

      I do look forward to meeting her someday, as I am sure we have much to speak about and share both as mothers who care deeply about their children and their beliefs.

      I recognize how frightening it must be for her, and her fellow docs to now have to meet the Vaccine question again and again from parents of my generation.  I recognize the deep visceral belief to protect and heal children, and to promote health and medicines.

      She believes Vaccines save lives and have a roll to play in wellness.  I can not say that at the moment, and continue to feel intense distrust.  In the end, this is an question about belief systems and because of that their will never be a right answer.

      Do I feel comfortable injected human diploid cells into my daughter, along with the viruses and a host of other nasty chemicals–do I want this stuff integrated into the fabric of her being?  No, I don’t.  I don’t think I ever will.

      If that makes me an unfit mother in the eyes of some people, I’m willing to stand up and say, “bring it on” because in my heart I believe I am making a choice that not only benefits my daughter, but public health as well.

      This also means that I am willing to accept that if Aurora does get sick because I my choices, I will have to surrender to that as welll. 

      I believe Vaccines are safety precautions sold on the paradigm of fear to prevent and eradicate a very devastating and difficult reality.

      We can teach our children to not get into the car with drunk drivers, always wear their safety belts, but we have absolutely no control over the car coming in the opposite lane and the drunk driver/texting behind the wheel. 

      Control is an illusion. 

      I believe unvaccinated children develop natural immunity, and in their vibrancy, support a healthier community.  I even believe that viruses, disease, and bacteria have a very important role to play in our world.  Why must we view it as all bad?

      I believe questioning the old paradigms of FEAR to be healthy and positive.

      So I will continue to support her wellness through boosting her natural immunity, I continue to breast feed, give her fresh organic fruits and veggies, give her sunlight and lots of love and laughter, and let her know that it’s okay to play in the dirt. 

      Most importantly, I will question whatever does not resonate with my truth and live my life beyond the influence of fear.

      Doctor B, I would like to thank you for this opportunity of practice.  I hope you understand that my choice about vaccines in no way reflects upon you or your ability as a healer.  Thank you for being so concerned about Aurora’s well being–it’s all I ever think about and i appreciate you taking the time to write this letter.


      Erin Kroll and Aurora Skye. 


      • Murfle

        You’re wrong and it’s because of people like you that children are now dying of pertussis and measles.

        • ConcernedParent

          Or maybe it is because of all of these vaccinated people who are causing the virus to mutate because the vaccine will not give proper immunity to everyone, and by definition, viruses mutate to survive and they need a host who is not immune (fully vaccinated does not equal fully immune). Have you ever considered that the type of treatment received, or other biological or genetic factors, actually contributed to the deaths?

  • Harggy

    How arrogant to call out a relative so publicly, surely of you really cared about the child’s welfare you would talk to them in person, instead of using them to push more vaccines. I guess they know how selfish you are and avoid you which is why you feel it’s appropriate to address them in a public arena instead. Guess you’re going to wind up very alone.

    • Murfle

      For all you know, she discussed it with her first and thought the issue was so important that it should be shared to the greater public in a format they can relate to.

  • Lula

    Pertussis? She really used pertussis as an example of why she thinks children should be vaccinated or all the babies are going to start dropping like flies? I contracted pertussis last year and my son (then 2 and a half – unvaccinated with the Dtap) didn’t catch it from me (or if he did he was asymptomatic). I’m a STHM and so he was obviously around me when I was contagious. My husband also didn’t catch as he too hasn’t been vaccinated. Pertussis vax is a joke (except for the dear parents who lost their precious babies to SIDS after trusting the medical establishment to give their newborns DTap!). This pediatrician is yet another robot for the multi BILLION dollar pharma industry. It more than tiring tiring to hear this propaganda continuously in mainstream media, it’s criminal. Any parent worth half their salt and who does more research than skimming the articles in Parenting magazine (while in the waiting room of their pediatricians office) or in talking to their uneducated girlfriends or Aunt Linda knows that the majority of doctors have no investment in their childs health. They do however have investment in paying their student loans back, their mortgages, and keeping up with the Joneses. 

    • Murfle

      Pertussis rates in the US are at their highest point in 50 years and still increasing. It’s because of people like you. Thanks!

      • ConcernedParent

        Or perhaps it is because the vaccine caused the virus to mutate to survive in a host that did not have full immunity. This can happen just as easily in a vaccinated person as a vaccine free individual, in case you missed that lecture in Immunology 101.

  • Kblanco1

    Bull, this is the worse article ever written.

  • Mmmmhmmmm….

    Key sentence “I vaccinate for a living.”

  • Guest

    I find it curious that this pediatrician chooses to callout the chicken pox and pertussis vaccines. She must know that neither vaccine creates immunity from those viruses. Chicken pox is slightly more effective (85% if memory serves) but it does not eliminate the potential for shingles. Does she also not know that shingles kills older patients? And that the chicken pox vaccine is associated with higher rates of shingles in older children and younger adults? I suppose those patients don’t matter to her because they’re no longer in her pediatric practice.

    It’s just getting old and hard to trust the judgement of vaccine-pushing doctors when they refuse to acknowledge these vaccines are not foolproof. Pertussis in particular is a virus that can present in adults without the obvious whooping cough symptoms and since that vaccine needs regular boosters, a large portion of the adult community is not immune. I’m sure she knows this given mom’s and regular care providers and now encouraged to be vaccinated in the hospital after the birth of a child. (And yet even that measure is not improving infection rates from pertussis.)

    If you truly want the trust of your patients, try appearing as though you are doing your research and at least acknowledge that it’s absurd to blame mothers that space out vaccines or elect to skip some for outbreaks of certain viruses. If you REALLY believe that you need to go back to med school. Even the measles vaccine is under question due to concerns that extended breastfeeding might be making that first shot on the schedule less effective than previously thought.

    The science is never going to be perfect. It is reasonable for patients (and your family) to have doubts. You ought to show them more respect than you do.

    • Tonibark

      the chicken pox vaccine has led to increased ocurances of shingles in all age groups as well as occular zoster in the pediatric age group post vaccine. THe mathematical predictive models all showed a several fold rise in shingles rates and deaths and concluded the chicken pox vaccine should not be a standard vaccine. the models were correct. Any pediatrician who is using the chicken pox vaccine as an example of a successful campaign needs to go back to math class.

  • Rredhead

    Unvaccinated children are not a threat. Most vaccines do not prevent transmission. If you are vaccinated for pertussis, you can still carry pertussis bacteria. If you have been vaccinated with the IPV (polio), travel to, say, India, and come into contact with the disease there, you can be carrying the polio virus. Vaccines are not a panacea. No medical decision should be one size fits all. 

  • Guest

    Once upon a time, in April 2009 to be exact, I was invited to give a
    speech at a conference on vaccination.  I was to talk after two of the
    best speakers France has to offer on the subject, journalist Sylvie
    Simon and biologist Michel Georget.  At hearing them speak in the past,
    it was absolutely clear to me that the best option is to stay as far
    away from vaccines as possible.  I just did not know what to do instead,
    to best assure staying alive and well.  As a paediatrician and
    homeopath qualified to speak on the subject, I decided to setup a
    conference called “The Marvelous Health of Unvaccinated Children”, along
    with my friends, Sylvie and Michel.  This work would later evolve into a
    book that analyses various life choices often made by families that do
    not vaccinate, including home birth, breastfeeding, simple therapies,
    good food, a tranquil living environment and trust in the capacity of
    the body to heal itself.

    In my life as a paediatrician [pediatrician], I had spent lots of
    time in dialog with the parents who often needed to voice their fears
    about both disease and vaccines.  We worked out together the best route
    for their children.  Some chose not to vaccinate at all.  Others held
    onto fear of disease, especially tetanus.  In those cases, we postponed
    vaccination as much as possible and used alternative medicine to prevent

    I worked in Switzerland where there is no real legal obligation to
    vaccinate, only great social pressure.  In France, just a few kilometers
    from my office, there were four compulsory vaccinations at the time
    (BCG was fortunately removed in 2007, and three remain: Di Te Pol).

    Some of the basis of my ability to speak on the marvelous health of
    unvaccinated children comes from my personal experience as a medical
    doctor, having collected years of feedback.


    “My child began coughing immediately after the vaccination.”

    “He has had constant ear aches since he was vaccinated.”

    “My 16 years old daughter is completely unvaccinated.  She is
    almost never sick.  If she does get sick, it’s two days at the most.”

    “The neighbor’s kids followed normal vaccination guidelines.  They are constantly sick and on antibiotics.”


    That was not enough upon which to write a book; however.  As it would
    turn out, I found these observations were paralleled over and over
    again all over the world.  Follow me around the planet.


    In England, Michel Odent, M.D. showed in two studies that children
    having received no Pertussis vaccine had 5-6 times less asthma than
    those who were vaccinated for it.  The first study was on 450 babies
    from La Leche League; the second on 125 children in a Steiner school.

    Throughout Europe, a group of mostly paediatricians studied 14,893
    children in Steiner schools in Austria, Germany, Holland, Sweden and
    Switzerland and found that children living in “anthroposophist culture”
    (where vaccination is largely shunned) were in better health than the
    controls. (2)  In Germany, one of the European Steiner schools study
    researchers wrote, “In the eastern part of Berlin before the fall of the
    wall, we saw less allergies than in the west.  This population was poorer, closer to nature and less vaccinated.”

    Too much hygiene is not always good. As UK researcher and originator
    of the hygiene hypothesis David Strachan might say, “give us this day
    our daily germs”.  In Spain, Xavier Uriarte, M.D. and J. Manuel Marn,
    M.D. published a study in 1999 on 314 children that they followed
    between 1975 to 2000. (3) This group of children is characterized by a
    majority of homebirth or natural births, prolonged breastfeeding, no
    vaccinations, holistic health education and no allopathic medicine. 
    There were no serious diseases, few hospitalizations (mostly for
    traumas), and 3.3% asthma compared to the 20% in the general
    population.  Of course, a lot of money was spared!

    The rate of autism in the U.S. is now an unthinkable 1 in 100.  Those
    who are unvaccinated boast numbers that run in shocking contrast to the
    nation’s statistics.  As this article is directed to the American
    people, I will not go on at length here.  Most of you know the work of
    your very own journalist Dan Olmsted showing the incredible absence of autism in the unvaccinated Amish communities
    of Pennsylvania and Ohio.  Further impressive is Chicago-based
    Homefirst Medical Clinic run by a group of doctors including medical
    director Mayer Eisenstein, M.D., J.D., M.P.H..  They have no known
    autism and super-scarce allergies in their children, many of whom were
    home deliveries, and most of whom have had no vaccinations.  In 1985, I
    translated to French, U.S. paediatrician Robert Mendelsohn’s “How to
    Raise a Healthy Child in Spite of Your Doctor”.  Now I find concrete
    results in the marvelous health of children whose doctors are Dr.
    Mendelsohn’s students!  I like these synchronicities in my life.


    In 1942, Leslie Owen Bailey, founder of the Natural Health Society of
    Australia, accepted guardianship of 85 children whose mothers were
    unable to care for them.  Among these 85 children, no vaccinations were
    ever given, no drugs were ever taken or used, and no operations were
    ever performed.  The only malady that occurred was when 34 of the
    children developed chicken pox.  They were immediately put to bed and
    given only pure water or fresh fruit juice.  They all recovered quickly
    without after-effects.  Investigations revealed that these children
    whilst at school had been swapping their healthy lunches for unhealthy
    conventional foods, so this outbreak was not altogether surprising.

    Many of these children inherited poor health due to a history of
    illness and malnourishment in their mothers.  Despite this, and the fact
    that they were never breastfed nor could enjoy the normal bonding of
    mother to child, they were able to grow into sturdy, self-reliant

    New Zealand

    Two studies done in New Zealand in 1992 and 1995 show that the
    unvaccinated children clearly have less allergies, less otitis (ear
    aches), less tonsillitis, less runny noses, less epilepsies and less A.D.H.D. (4)


    An interesting period in Japan was 1975-1980, when a decision was
    made to begin the first vaccinations at two years of age instead of at
    two months.  The reason was that more and more information was
    discovered linking vaccines and cot-death (S.I.D.S.). 
    A study was published in Pediatrics showing that from 1970 to January
    1975, there were 57 cases of serious vaccine reactions, including 37
    deaths.  From February 1975 to August 1981 there were eight cases of
    serious vaccine reactions, including three deaths.  Unfortunately for
    kids and their parents, the Japanese vaccination plan is now
    “normalized” again.  The study shows well that the immune system is
    stronger at two years than at two months.  How well would these kids
    have done had they not been vaccinated at all?

    We find the same observation in a Journal of Allergy and Clinical
    Immunology study.  Of 11,531 children studied at age seven, here are the
    results: vaccinated at two months, 13.8% are asthmatic, vaccinated
    between two and four months, 10.3%, vaccinated after four months, 5.9%.
    Again, how well would these kids have done had they not been vaccinated
    at all?

    The Lesson Learned on Vaccination

    As a concerned, compassionate and considerate paediatrician, I can
    only arrive at one conclusion.  Unvaccinated children have by far the
    best chance of enjoying marvelous health.  Any vaccination at all works
    to cripple the chances of this end.




    2) Allergic diseases and atopic sensitization in children related to farming and anthroposophic lifestyle – Persifal study. Allergy 2006, 61 (4) : 414-421.



    • Scientist

      Homeopathy is a quack medicine. I can’t trust any medical information from a so-called doctor who believes water is an effective medication.

  • Erinkroll

    Mothers there is something fundementally wrong if you do not ask questions regarding your children and their health. Do the research look at the ingredients inside these vaccinations and trust your gut.

    • MandyW

      Do you drink and drive?  Should I?  My gut tells me it’s alright – that’s enough in your world.  Bottom’s up!  Hope you are near me when I hit the road.  

      • Nonayo Biznis

        Unfortunately there will always be morons…that doesn’t mean mothers shouldn’t follow common sense and their instincts

  • WL

    Very well written piece supporting vaccination.  Highly recommend for other new parents. 

  • guest

    Awesome article. It’s nice to hear something that isn’t so aggressive at either point. I agree. I’m re-posting this on facebook to share with other parents.

  • Guest

    A hotly debated and deeply personal subject.  There are many reasons why parents would choose to not vaccinate, and the choice is one made with much science behind it–science found right on the CDCs website. everyone of the illness we vaccinate against were on a steady decline naturally up until the moment the vaccination was introduced.

    For some the choice is a spiritual/ethical one.   Do parents want to inject toxins, animal dna and metals into their children? Why are British researchers finding different conclusions regarding neurological damage in their studies

    While some may say your cousin put her life and baby’s life in danger by giving birth at home ( with a midwife I assume) their choice to birth at home was a personal one and a means to avoid unneeded and unwelcome medical interventions. In a world where 30%-40% of babies are born by c-section in the US—a world where people pop chemicals to make them happy, because they can not heal their own lives–a world where we are told if we dont vaccinatr we are child abuseors—there is a crazy belief among a generation that Women’s bodies are made to birth–and the human body and soul are connected and wellness is something that is not found by visiting a doctor or taking a pill and that healing and heath are a state of mind. 

    Wellness begins when we let go of FEAR.  there was a lot of fear in your letter as well as the need to control what is out of your hands. this fear is common in mothers who have lost or nearly lost children. 

    you said it yourself—you make a living giving vaccinations.  Are you supporting wellness or an ideology of FEAR.

    • Guest

      It is not personal, I disagree. It is a decision that effects the whole community. Your irresponsibility and ignorance causes medically vulnerable people to DIE. But that’s OK, because your friends think you’re cool, and you don’t have to actually see the suffering.  

      • ConcernedParent

        And vaccines kill as well. Let me guess, for the greater good? Until it’s your child I suppose.

    • MandyW

      Be careful!  The first link is to a WITHDRAWN study (a signal of it’s invalidity).  You, sir or madam, are promoting fear if you keep getting the facts heinously wrong.  Be careful what you cite.  You could end up with blood on your hands.

      Let’s be clear, any choice that could result in the death of me or my child is NOT PERSONAL but quite public.  In a civil society, you are wrong if you choose to drink and drive, or if you refuse to vaccinate.  A choice to worship the spaghetti monster -now that’s personal.  Vaccinations are not.

      • Nonayo Biznis

        If it was withdrawn, where is the similar study, respecting methodological rules that should have been done ages ago, and should be redone every time the vaccine schedule changes? Until then one can only speculate as to the real reasons it was withdrawn…  When the results could be no less than the collapse of the vaccine industry, it most certainly could have been withdrawn for other reasons…

        Until vaccines have been fully tested for their long term effects and the possible interactions of the different toxins in contains, forced vaccinations are in clear violation of the Nuremberg code on experiments. You speak as if it had already been proven that you can add as many vaccines as pop out of the factory to the schedule and children are perfectly fine and in better health than if they had not been vaccinated. This proof exists only in your mind, along with the spaghetti monster. Get all the vaccines you want, they’ll protect you since they are so great.  Go live in a bubble if you are so scared of contagious diseases. Your vaccinated kids are full of germs too, heck they could actually be the source of an outbreak.  Should we sue you or your kid then? 

        • Murfle

          It was withdrawn because it was awful science and the greater scientific community realized the numerous flaws and blatant falsifications apparent in the paper.

          • ConcernedParent

            Oohhhh oohhhh pick me pick me! I’d be happy to point out the flaws and serious design issues in the aforementioned studies showing how great, effective, and life-saving vaccines are!

  • Erinkroll

    Your job as a doctor is to present Facts without letting your emotions get in the way. Or your own personal worries as a mother. Present the hard data about why vaccination is still needed in the US and how safe they are. Present the facts and ethics about how they are engineered and then respect your patients choice. In there hearts they are doing what they feel is right for their children.

    • Freshness

       Even if it harms other people? Which it does.

      • amanda

        I agree- it can harm others. This article was written as a “letter” to another parent who isn’t a physician- that’s why she put just enough info to make her point.

        It should be required by law to get vaccinated.

        • Nonayo Biznis

          It should be only required by law when the vaccine makers can be held accountable for the damages their products cause.