Jenny McCarthy treating vaccine injury, not autism; will lead rally with Jim Carrey

Jenny McCarthy was on Larry King Live last night and she was very clear that she thinks her nearly six year old son, Evan, would not have suffered from autism if it wasn’t for vaccinations. She said that autism is a global epidemic, and that she and the autism community are not anti-vaccination, but that they’re anti-toxin and anti-schedule. She’s says “we’re not treating autism, we’re treating vaccine injury.”

Larry asked Jenny about the schedule and she said that back in 1987 there were 10 shots scheduled for children and today it’s 36, which is “too many too soon.” She says we need an alternate schedule, and that the mercury has not been removed from vaccines and that the shots also include aluminum, ether, and antifreeze.

MCCARTHY: I personally haven’t heard of that many people falling off the map that we needed to implement 26 new shots in this time. And isn’t it ironic, in 1983 there was 10 shots and now there’s 36 and the rise of autism happened at the same time?

And parent after parent after parent says I vaccinated my baby, they got a fever and then they stopped speaking and then became autistic.

KING: Is your link scientific or statistical?

MCCARTHY: Well, I believe that parents’ anecdotal information is science-based information. And when the entire world is screaming the same thing — doctor, I came home. He had a fever. He stopped speaking and then he became autistic. I can’t — I can see if it was just one parent saying this. But when so many — and I speak to thousands of moms every weekend and they’re all standing up and saying the same thing. It’s time to start listening to that. That is science-based information. Parents’ anecdotal is science-based information…

KING: Jenny, will you agree that some cases have nothing to do with vaccines, which makes it more puzzling?

MCCARTHY: Absolutely. You know, environmental toxins play a role. Viruses play a role. Those are all triggers. But vaccines play the largest role right now and something needs to be done. You know, testing these kids for immune issues, you know, that would help so much, changing the schedule. You know, I don’t understand — as a precautionary measure, why don’t they do this?

If everyone is screaming this and they’re so worried about parents going into offices right now telling the pediatrician j everyone is going I’m too scared to vaccinate my child. This is the new parents’ number one fear — I am afraid to vaccinate.

I am not trying to start this global non-vaccinating world. I’m trying to implement change.


Jenny says that her son Evan hasn’t “recovered,” but that he no longer qualifies as autistic for special services. She compared it to being hit by a bus. You can get better but you’re never quite the same. She called him a “a wonderful example of hope and possibility for parents out there.”

They had journalist David Kirby, the author of “Evidence of Harm” on. He discussed the case of Hannah Polling, in which the “vaccine court,” a special court created by the US government to shield the pharmaceutical companies from large lawsuits, ruled that vaccines did contribute to Polling’s autism. In that case Kirby notes that Polling had an underlying mitochondrial disorder that was exacerbated by the vaccines. Kirby says, like McCarthy, he’s not anti-vaccination but thinks that the schedule should be individualized to each child. He said you could for example specifically test for the genetic defect that causes a mitochondrial dysfunction and make sure that those children, who are genetically more susceptible to autism, be given less vaccinations at once.

At the end of the show there was a panel of doctors trying to sum up the issue. Earlier they discussed the importance of vaccination and how childhood illnesses have been eradicated. The discussion got heated and McCarthy plainly said “that’s bullshit” when one doctor said vaccines have been a boon to families. She said “my son died in front of me,” and talked about how her son died for two minutes and went into cardiac arrest. She asked “are we considered acceptable losses?”

Clip of McCarthy saying “that’s bullshit!”

I clipped the rest of the show and the links are below if you would like to watch it. This is an important issue that touches so many families and I can’t imagine the heartbreak of having a child with autism. Good for Jenny for having the courage to speak out about this. There are no clear-cut answers and there needs to be more study into this, but it seems as if the pharmaceutical companies have been shielded from scrutiny due to the reasonable fear that people will stop vaccinating.

Larry read out a statement from Jim Carrey at the end of the show that “Vaccines are more a profit engine than a means of prevention. And that’s why there are so many vaccines.”

Jenny and Jim Carrey will lead a march on Washington on June 4th, and you can learn about it on

MCCARTHY: Jim and I are going to lead a march and rally in Washington, D.C. And I’m announcing it right here on June 4th. You can go on for more information. We will be there and we’re asking every parent that can make it there in Washington on that day, every grandma, mom, dad, to be there with us marching, rallying. You have a voice that day.

KING: Are you raising money?

MCCARTHY: Oh, no. This is a day — you know, I’ve been talking to parents across the country, thousands of them. And they’re so dying to have a voice one day. So we’re bringing the media. We’re bringing the attention, and now I’m asking every parent that’s watching this right now, come there that day and you will be heard.

KING: Where do you go online?


Jenny McCarthy on Larry King Live 4/2/08, Part 1
Jenny McCarthy on Larry King Live 4/2/08, Part 2
Jenny McCarthy on Larry King Live 4/2/08, Part 3
Jenny McCarthy on Larry King Live 4/2/08, Part 4
Jenny McCarthy on Larry King Live 4/2/08, Part 5
Jenny McCarthy on Larry King Live 4/2/08, Part 6
Jenny McCarthy on Larry King Live 4/2/08, Part 7

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59 Responses to “Jenny McCarthy treating vaccine injury, not autism; will lead rally with Jim Carrey”

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  1. Anonymous says:

    As a parent of two children under 3, many of my nights have been spent pouring over CDC douments, medical journals, watching seminars, reading books, articles… anything I can get my hands on regarding vaccinations. I’m continuing my research and until I get a clear-cut answer of “this is SAFE” then I’m not going to choose to vaccinate my children. I’ve spent so many hours researching but it’s NOTHING compared to what Jenny McCarthy and other parents have gone through when it comes to vaccine-injury.
    Good for her for standing up and being HEARD! I would love to join her in Washington DC! This is a fight that I support.

  2. geronimo says:

    *Ok. It can involve many types of animals. I’m wrong. Mooing it is. Bah.

  3. summertime921 says:

    Vaccination is very important but I completely agree with her that they should be tailored to fit each individual child. That makes so much more sense in my opinion, since everyone is different and everyone reacts to vaccination and medication differently.

  4. Kathryn says:

    “Parents’ anecdotal is science-based information”

    And with that, Ms. McCarthy excuses herself from the valid discussion table.

    This woman is not courageous, just frightened and frighteningly misinformed.

  5. AC says:

    i think she has a point. why not be more cautious.. if SO many parents have the same story … why not look into it. why not tailor make a childs vaccine schedule to them.

  6. Carrie says:

    I like Jenny McCarthy. But I have to agree with Kathryn – she didn’t do herself any favors with that anecdotal comment.

  7. plot says:

    How is she misinformed?

    Anecdotes are not evidence, but something is going on with the huge rise in Autism among children showing itself at the same age.

    I can’t think of any diseases that have been eliminated since 1984 to cause 26 more vaccines to be added to the schedule. Why? And isn’t it healthier for a child to get some diseases and build the immunities naturally?

    Science gave us polio. Science is not always good. Our rush to believe in the supreme goodness of science allows for lots of dubious changes without enough testing. Do you want your child to be a test subject?

    My brother insisted that his kids get vaccinations for only the life threatening diseases. Yeah, they got chicken pox for a week, and mumps. So what? They are now immune for life…while the shots haven’t existed long enough to prove a life long immunity.

    Jenny may be another idiot celebrity, but I’m with her on this one.

  8. Bodhi says:

    Jenny McCarthy may be best known for being a professional ditz, but she knows what she’s talking about.

  9. Bodhi says:

    plot~ You said it WAY better than I could

  10. riz says:

    CB-that was amazing !
    i never watch larry king so thank you sooooooo much for posting the clips from redlasso.
    my family is not affected with autism but if i were pregnant or planning to be pregnant i would benefit from all the information about vaccines that the panel spoke about.
    i agree w/jenny that it’s too many too soon!
    thanks CB!
    i hope parents go to the rally on june 4!

  11. MSat says:

    I have to agree with Jenny. I think medical research and science are amazing things, but has there ever been any studies done on the effect of all these vaccines being administered back to back in such a small window of time? I know that each vaccine gets researched individually, but what about all 36 of them? When you think about what vaccines really are- which is a small dose of the actual disease, mixed with toxins- it really is scary that there are so many of them going into a small child’s system like that.

    My girls both are vaccinated, but they are older – 13 and 8.My older one never got the chicken pox vaccine- it wasn’t available yet. I don’t know if I would be so quick to have 36 shots administered by the age of 3 if I had a baby today.

  12. geronimo says:

    Plot – voice of reason.

  13. cc says:

    Listening to a real mother speak, not just those pamphlets in the doctor’s office, really make me reconsider my kid’s shots. I think they make those pamphlets so long and convoluted, you get confused and figure, well, there is a ton of info, it must be safe. I have a feeling I will have a long talk with my husband tonight about our son’t next appointment.

  14. Kolby says:

    Autism scares the crap out of me. When I was young, no one had autism, at least no one that I knew of. No one had ADD or ADHD either. There are so many things that we put into our kids’ bodies these days. What ever happened to letting a kid fall down & get hurt, or get sick once in a while?

    I think there needs to be more research on this. Far too many kids born today will be diagnosed with autism. There has to be a reason.

  15. journey says:

    the pro-vaccine people at the pharmaceutical companies make billions of dollars off from those 36 shots they drill into babies. and they use a small part of those billions to pump into our medical schools. our doctors are learning to be doctors at institutions financed by vaccine money.

    and as for the people who sneer about anecdotal evidence? talk about deliberate blindness! it can be a simple case of cause and effect. science does not demand us to ignore the evidence of our senses, and our reasoning. yes double blind studies are nice, but that doesn’t mean that anything less has to be ignored. sir isaac newton didn’t sneer at the apple falling on his head, and ignore it because it wasn’t part of a double-blind study!

  16. Bex says:

    Her comment about parental annecdotes did not remove her from vaild discussion-btw. Who is the most involved in a child’s medical history?? Mommy and daddy who go to all the appts, cover all the scrapes, and stay up the sleepless nights with their sick kids, make the various appts and communicate with their docs all that is going on with their kids. They need to be heard! My own mother is crying out the same thing in regard to my brother. It’s an issue that needs to be considered very carefully. And with SO MANY ppl saying the SAME THING, scienctists, medics, whoever, need to get their head in the game and stop discounting it. Find out WHY. Think about all the things that COULD contribute, not necessarily ways they don’t. Vaccinations don’t need to be defended, bc overall, they’re a positive thing. But consideration of individulaized treatment, or looking at better ways to administer these drugs that don’t include toxins and freakin’ mercury are well within the bounds of reason. Doctors need to listen to the ppl on the recieving end of this crap and stop blowing it off. Clearly SOMETHING is going on, and people need to up their game in looking into these issues.

  17. k says:

    Autism is scary, yes, but polio, measles, mumps, rubella, etc. etc. are too.

    I agree that vaccines shouldn’t be administered in a one-size-fits-all regimen. I also agree that there are a lot of kids out there who are reacting badly to them, and that more research is needed. But we’re just starting to crack the shell of autism, and I’m not sure it’s a good idea for parents to seize on other people’s bad experiences as a reason for not vaccinating their kids.

    People used to have huge families, in part because half of your kids wouldn’t survive childhood because of the diseases that we can now vaccinate against. It was a given. Now, those diseases are thankfully rare, and a large part of that is due to vaccines.

    I’m not saying that Jenny is wrong or that parents shouldn’t be concerned, or that people who choose not to vaccinate are bad people. Everybody’s trying to do what’s best for their kids. What I am saying is that we should take a deep breath, ask questions, do more research, and bear in mind that these vaccines may not be as easily disposable as you might think. Nobody wants to create a generation of autistic kids, but at the same time do we want to go back to high childhood mortality and iron lungs and paralysis and blindness and deafness?

    There has to be a middle ground. Maybe the 10-shot schedule from 20 years ago is it. I don’t know.

    (And yes, I am a parent, if you’re wondering.)

  18. Breederina says:

    After my eldest had bad but mercifully not lasting
    reactions to his first rounds of shots 18 years ago,
    (even though we waited until he was 3 months old to start) we decided no more shots for any of them.
    When they’re 7 they get the tetanus shot without the DP. If they’re traveling to countries where certain vaccines are suggested they get some of those otherwise nada. They are all healthy as can be. Yes they’ve had chicken pox, big woo.
    I have yet to hear a reasonable explanation of why any new born in the United States needs a Hep B shot at birth.
    Also consider the rise in life threatening allergic reactions to certain food. One theory is that after evolving all these generations to fight disease the immune system must find a new enemy when the old ones are taken away.

  19. Ginny says:

    Autism is more genetic than caused by vaccines. I’m not saying that vaccines don’t have anything to do with it in SOME children, but it’s highly unlikely. My husband’s father has Asperger’s Syndrome, the mildest form of Autism, that wasn’t diagnosed when he was young because they didn’t know about it then. On top of that, my husband has some of the traits that his father does–even though he’s not actually autistic.

    But not vaccinating your child, if you want to send them to public schools, to public churches and play grounds, etc, is not only endangering them towards diseases that aren’t common anymore, but everyone else, too, because even people who get vaccines and boosters and everything aren’t fully protected.

    I wish I could find the link again, but there was an article about how they had changed the components of vaccines because of the Autism worry, taken out what everyone thought was causing it, and that autism rates still didn’t go down.

    Also, my husband and his father have a theory that because more math/engineering/computer type people have been marrying each other, it’s putting more people with the genes for Autism together. For example, Microsoft as a company has insanely high Autism rates in the children of their employees that marry within the company.

    Autism is something we need to deal with, but people not getting vaccines is a real problem.

  20. Ginny says:

    And adding on to that…I think everything now is overmedicated and over prescribed, so no, I don’t think people need vaccines for everything when they’re babies. Certainly not Chicken Pox and Hep B, except in certain situations. Mumps, however, can sterilize boys, so I wouldn’t do that.

    There isn’t harm in spacing vaccines out, and waiting until your kids are older for Hepatitis shots, and things like Gardisil.

  21. Breederina says:

    Ginny, I agree that you take a calculated risk by not getting vaccinated but I have a problem with the argument that unvaccinated people pose a threat.
    The vaccinated are safe aren’t they? If they’re not then why bother risking your health for shots that may or may not work? Again another calculated risk.

  22. Melly says:

    Look people, get your kids vaccinated. It wasn’t 100 years ago that 50% of children died from those very diseases for which we now vaccinate. It’s not just the doctor wanting to give another shot. And yeah, chicken pox can kill your child. Duh.

    A few years ago the Dutch concluded a multi-year study with thousands of participants and guess what? Vaccinations and autism ARE NOT LINKED. It is THE conclusive study. It involves more people over a long span of time with more controls than any other study out there.

    Don’t be a crack-pot and endanger my child by not vaccinating yours – because Ginny is right vaccination is not complete immunity. Not too long ago a number of folks DIED from whooping cough and some were vaccinated as children, but some were not and they were the ones who spread the disease. You really want your child to suffer or die because you don’t understand the science behind medicine? Don’t be so pompous.

  23. Anonymous says:

    What’s wrong about waiting until our kids are older to vaccinate? Like they did in the past… oh yeah… a lot of people have to put their kids in daycare and feel they are left with no alternative. This is a complicated problem, beyond even the trigger theory and beyond vaccinations. It goes to big corporations running this country and setting invisible policies. Physicians with unchecked powers. Only the government has the power to coerce. Jenny McCarthy is VERY brave in this fight she is mounting. I wish her all the best. There are a lot of big corporations and physicians who wish she did not have a voice in regards to this particular subject, so they try and discredit her by saying she is undereducated. When in fact a lot of pediatricians are undereducated in autism. This is all about money and convenience. Not about health of our children. Jenny is not the enemy here, that is for sure.

    As far as raising money for autism charities… when has it ever gone to help these kids directly who need help now? You hear all the stories of parents who cannot get any money from insurance or otherwise to pay for their kids therapies to the extentthat will be effective…yet charities like autism speaks etc.. tons of money they have raised, but does any of that money go anywhere but to the doctors research groups? I donated once and then had my friend ask me why I did. I said to help families who struggle to get appropriate services and help. If I had only known that none of it goes to help families that have been affected directly. Their ads are very misleading.

    Thanks for a great post. Thanks to all the commenters. Very interesting.
    I always say follow the money trail…

  24. Breederina says:

    One reason it’s so difficult to have a reasonable discussion on this topic is that it doesn’t take long for the name calling to begin.
    Before I placed my belief in a study I would need to know a number of factors that went into it. There are too many variables to suggest a Dutch study would have solid relevance in the U.S. For instance:
    Are the vaccines used by the Dutch identical in chemical make up, dosage amounts and administration scheduling to their U.S. counterparts. How does the Dutch sample group compare in racial and ethnic diversity to the U.S. population, and so on.
    So please let’s not make assumptions or judgy.

  25. lola lola says:

    Thank you CB for posting this! If autism were simply genetic, there would be a test for this or doctors could discover genetic malformaties in the womb…but they can’t! And the timing with the appearnace of autism after vaccinations is just too odd. As far as “Scientific evidence” goes, I will never forget aftr 9/11 (I lived in NYC), all the “science” told us the air at ground zero was safe but if you were there, you know how bad it smelled–like burned plastic and chemicals. And now so many people are suffering illnesses. Clearly there was something wrong there and we weren’t told the truth. Sorry to shake the conspiracy tree.

    As a soon to be mother, I want to delay vaccinations as long as possible. All the assurances from the pharmaceutical companies telling me vaccinations are safe just makes me more suspicious. They don’t want a hit in thier money-makers.

  26. Ginny says:

    No, vaccines don’t always work. But they aren’t supposed to give complete immunity — they work on the principle that everyone has had them, and so there isn’t a breeding ground for a full-blown version of the disease. The vaccines can crumble under the full-blown version, which wouldn’t be a problem if there wasn’t anyone around who could incubate the disease. So when people don’t get vaccines, they can incubate mumps or polio or whatever, and then pass it on to people whose vaccines didn’t hold, or aren’t strong enough to prevent a full infection.

    But you’re right, it’s a calculated risk either side of the fence. The only thing is it’s more of a calculated risk that could cause other people problems if you don’t do it.

    Genetics aren’t cut and dry. There are other genetic diseases/issues that can’t be pinpointed on a gene yet. Psoriasis is another one (yet another thing my husband and his father have, lol). Also, as I have mentioned with my father-in-law, he has Autism, it just wasn’t known about when he was a child. Part of me wonders whether the Autism rates have really risen that much, or if people can just diagnose it now when they couldn’t before. The same thing happened with ADD and bipolar disorder.

    No, Jenny isn’t the one to blame here. She’s just trying to help her son, and other people’s children. I just don’t think that vaccinations are the right thing to go after.

  27. Cindy Kennedy says:

    I believe pharmaceutical companies lie to earn more profits. They will NEVER EVER admit that vaccines cause autism and the U.S. government will back them all the way.

  28. Lucinda says:

    Always a hot topic and so many factors.

    I agree that the schedule of vax. is a bit extreme. Waiting until children are a bit older can reduce the number of shots required because they don’t need so many booster shots. That is certainly something that needs to be considered.

    And yes, it is a money-making thing too but so are all medications.

    However, no one has pointed out, Jenny included, that the definition of Autism has expanded greatly in recent years which is why there are more children diagnosed with it. Autism isn’t a disease. It’s a spectrum of behaviors. Some children are mildly autistic while others are extremely autistic with everything in between. But that has conveniently been left out of the conversation.

    As for damage from vaccines, it’s much like many autoimmune disorders. There are genetic diseases with environmental triggers. The child may already have the disease and something in the vaccine is the trigger. That doesn’t make the vaccine bad. Gluten is a trigger for Celiac disease but it doesn’t make wheat, barley or rye lethal for everyone.

    Her comment that anecdotal information is scientific speaks more to her unwillingness to listen to all sides. Anecdotal stories are just that, individual stories that give light to a bigger situation but are not scientific evidence. Instead, they should be a catalyst for more scientific research. Research which has been done. There is not anti-freeze in vaccines. Nor is there mercury anymore in most vaccines. (It is still in the flu shot.)

    It’s unfortunate that she has to go there, but she is understandably passionate. I think the schedule needs to be examined before more people throw the baby out with the bathwater and refuse all shots. That’s why we have whooping cough again. Tuberculosis is making a comeback. And the plague has even shown up a time or two. These diseases never go away completely and we need to be ever vigilant.

  29. Syko says:

    Really? They do 36 different vaccinations now? My kids only got diptheria, tetanus, whooping cough, polio, and at a year, the smallpox vaccination. Things have been changing and it sounds like not necessarily for the better. Poor kiddies.

    But I have known a child who died from chicken pox. I’ve known men who could never father a child due to mumps. I’ve seen kids with birth defects because Mom had rubella while pregnant.

    I think vaccinations are necessary, but possibly if they were a little less aggressive and early with them? And a little analysis of how the child is likely to react would be good, too.

    Apparently it’s a damned if you do, damned if you don’t, situation. But then most parenting is.

  30. Melly says:

    I’m not being “judgy.” I’m saying that not everyone’s opinion is equally valid. People seem to think if they read an article in some magazine or talk to some friend about a medical topic they automatically know more than their doctor. Hey, it’s my body and I know what’s best for it. Well, that is just bullshit. You wouldn’t try to fix your own car without the PROPER training, so why do that with your health? Doctor’s aren’t always right, but they sure as hell know more about medicine than even a well-verse layman.

  31. RC says:

    While the timing is suspicious, think about it a little harder: when are vaccines given? the largest number (it is not even CLOSE to 36) is between 12 and 18 months. That is exactly the same time period when autistic behaviors (lucinda is right, autism is not a disease in the traditional sense) would appear anyway – asocial behavior, trouble speaking, data processing issues, would not be at all apparent until that period. And of course the kid got a fever – i got a typhoid vaccine last week and was miserable all day. it means the body is doing its job. I agree that a lot of the vaccines seem unnecessary, but there are so many factors that are being ignored in favor of using vaccination as a scapegoat because it’s easy. in urban areas, with high disease rates and high population density, you MUST vaccinate school age children. Some pediatricians will let you spread out the shots (though not within a series, and for good reason. better to take the time to find an accomodating pediatrician than for your child to get a debilitating illness.
    btw it’s a lot easier to get diagnosed with disorders related to behaviors (rather than physical symptoms) now. Besides which, since IDEA mandated the least restrictive environment for kids, autistic children who would have been kept away, or in special ed and labeled “learning disabled” before (this was the most common tag for autistic children) are now fully integrated. we can see them now, and their presence requires, for many, some explanation

  32. plot says:

    God I wish people wouldn’t go off the deep end on this issue. NO ONE is advocating the complete cessation of vaccinations! No one I’ve read here, not Jenny.

    I think we are over vaccinating our kids, though, because we’ve bought into the drug company hype. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if these one shot megadoses of vaccines are very bad for kids in one way or another. the timing of these mega-shots is weirdly coincidental with the onset of autistic symptoms. Is there a connection? We don’t know, and the drug companies aren’t going to figure it out for us.

    So for me, the best recourse is to get the old favorites against diptheria, small pox, polio (even though sage scientific thinking caused that one) and other lethal diseases. As someone said, why are newborns getting Hep B shots? Because hospitals are full of it and giving birth there might not be safe?

    The food and drug industries know how to play parents with fear. The anti-bacterial products are a good example. Only truly good mothers use them, right? But they don’t tell you that these products also kill all your good bacteria, that protect your skin from the bad bacteria. Way to go big business! They have now created a market where you HAVE to use their wipes and cleansers because they have destroyed your natural immunity. THAT is a great business plan, actually.

    No, I don’t think we can trust these industries to make the best products for our kids. Their interest is not in our health, but in our belief in their authority so they can make profits.

  33. rose says:

    I do not know what state ( or country) most of you live in,but in NJ you cannot enroll your children in day care, preschool, public school or private school without proof of immunization. This also pertain to summer camp and after school programs. I do not have the resources or the money to home school my children.Regardless of this law,and weighing the pros and cons I would still choose to vaccinate my children.The key word here of course is Choose.

  34. Bodhi says:

    I friggin hate all the anti-bacterial bruhaha. I was a ridiculously healthy little kid & I know for sure that I ate dirt and maybe a bug or two (mean older cousin).

    Normal healthy kids shouldn’t be raised in a bubble

  35. Breederina says:

    To the poster who wrote that those living in urban areas must vaccinate their children, this is not true.
    I live in an urban area and if you choose not to vaccinate or vaccinate on a different schedule/not administer all the “recommended” shots you can sign a waiver saying that due to your beliefs your child will not be immunized as recommended.
    Parents are often not told about this but it is available.

  36. calimom2one says:

    I also live in an urban area and we are declining to vaccinate my son w/ the second dose of MMR due to a severe reaction to the shot when he was 1. We then started our own delayed vaccination schedule.

    I have the option for my son who is starting K in August that we can decline to get all shots due to medical reasons. There is also an option to decline the vaccinations for personal reasons.

    I am totally on board w/ delaying the shots until kids are older. There’s no need to get them all done right away.

  37. shannon says:

    What I want to know is how many mothers of autistic children had pitocin, epidurals, and other crazy chemicals poured into their bodies during labor. That’s gotta have an effect.

  38. Adriana says:

    There are people who have very valid reasons for worrying about challenging their children’s immune systems with shots at such an early age in such large quantities.

    My daughter is 3 and is partially vaccinated. we are delaying and dividing shots. We avoided certain shots because I did not either see the need to vacinate for a particular disease or at such an early age or we took advantage of the CDC catch up schedule which reduces the number of shots at later ages. For example, Prevnar (meningitis shot) – if given according to schedule – is 4 shots. If your child is 4 years of age or older and has not started the Prevnar schedule – the shot is not needed after 48 months.

    I saw this as a way to minimize her exposure to challenges to her immune system. My child has anaphalactic food allergies and you CANNOT tell me that environmental toxins did not play a role in this screwed up immune system response in her. We are not a family of food allergies yet my child could die if she eats a nut.

    One other note…..why isn’t anyone harrassing parents who stick their children in day care at 8 weeks? Don’t they understand that this is one of the valid reasons we have such an aggressive and all encompassing immunization schedule?

    Also, I want to make clear that while I may have risked my child I also controlled her environment as much as possible. She is an only child. I am a stay at home mom and she did not attend school or daycare until recently and she had achieved nearly 75% of her shots. I took care to minimize risks as much as I could.

    But what REALLY gets my goat is when parents who have given this issue FAR LESS thought than I have, or have perfectly healthy children with no issues question why I don’t vaccinate on schedule. It is as if they lack a basic understanding that these shots are a challenge to the immune system.

    Oh – and if I lived in NJ I’d MOVE. for more reasons than this one but still – I’d get the hell out of a state that mandated what I consider to be a little bit better than medical experiments on my child just to attend school.

    they need to get a clue because the state is opening itself up to liability by not allowing for exceptions.

  39. rottenkitty says:

    Excuse me, but absolute dumb fuckery cannot be allowed to stand.


    It’s of ancient origin and it was only through massive efforts by WHO in the 20th century that it has been all but eradicated as a scourge of mankind.

    Seriously, if you are stupid enough to believe that polio is of recent origin, you need to get yourself fixed. We have plenty of stupid in the gene pool already.

    And anecdotal evidence is just that — anecdotal. In scientific terms it doesn’t mean dick. It is all too common to confuse coincidence with causality.

    And let me also point out that right now, autism is the current “popular” diagnosis for a rather astonishing range of behaviors. Ten years from now there will be a new favorite disorder.

  40. Trashaddict says:

    I never rule out anything because science has frequently reversed itself over decades – exactly because studies are done looking for objective evidence, and continue to be done. Anecdotal observations brought us to the cause for Lyme Disease. So maybe Jenny will be right and there will be new information down the line.
    BUT, please think carefully about delaying immunizations. If your child has had a reaction, that’s a very valid reason to delay.
    BUT, having seen a 3-4 y/o child who could not understand what was happening to her going through extremely frightening paroxysms of whooping cough (imagine watching a kid not be able to inhale for about 30-40 seconds and almost pass out, and have this happen continuously for several days, and by the way folks there is not a DAMN thing you can do about it at that stage except hope you don’t have to intubate), I in all honestly wanted to shake some sense into her mother.
    I have seen an adult with post-polio syndrome.
    I have seen kids neurologically devastated by pneumococcal and other bacterial meningitis: have you? In the age of hemophilus immunization, we almost never see cellulitis around the eyes any more. Used to see it an awful lot as a resident. Bad news if it progressed behind the eye to the brain.
    Those of you who want to ride on the backs of the rest of us and benefit from our heard immunity have a valid point but you are also exposing the REST of us to risk. Lack of immunization has led to outbreaks of measles/mumps recently. Measles in a pregnant woman can mess up her child’s brain, mumps can make you sterile.
    Frequent vaccinations and frequent diagnosis of autism coexist in time. Vaccinations are easily identifiable events. There may be other causitive events that are not. Read your statistics, folks, and understand that correlation is NOT causation. You may be able to access the larger study that was done on the Institute of Medicine website, read that before you form a final opinion.
    I am not ruling out some idiosyncratic immune reaction in subsets of autistic children. But at the moment, the scientific evidence does not support it. Let’s hope for Jenny’s son’s sake and many others like him that the answer IS found.

  41. Scott F says:

    God, the herd mentality on this topic is so painfully clear I can actually hear mooing’ in the background. Notice how nearly everyone who’s against vaccinations mentioned those ‘evil corporations’, which seem to be the scapegoat for everything these days.

    Seriously, what the fuck have you done to better this world? Do you know how many TRILLIONS of dollars in profit those corporations went without in order to rid an ENTIRE PLANET from numerous diseases in the last 100 years? Do you think tribesmen living in dirt huts in Africa paid for their polio vaccines? The majority of those medicines were manufactured and provided by companies all over the world free of charge, or at cost.

    People love to rant and rave, spewing their ignorant shit all over the place and blaming these people for society’s ills for one reason: they’re rich, and that pisses you off. We actually live in a culture where people who cure life-threatening diseases and vastly extend our lifespans (doctors) are too terrified to do their jobs because of whiny, ungrateful little fucks sue them for not being able to perform miracles.

    When I got out of the service, I actually took the MCATS, and qualified to attend medical school. No way in hell am I going to deal with that headache though. People think they can read for 20 minutes on Web M.D. and suddenly they know more than you, just like most of the posters in this thread.

    I honestly pity doctors, and you should too.

  42. Pokey says:

    i ususally stay out of these things with people I dont know because its a heated topic, this is a light, fluffy site, and yes, many people speak as though they are experts when they are only spitting back anecdotally stories or “facts” from unreliable sources

    I am a mother of two freaken wonderful kinds under the age of 4. The have been through many serious medical issues. I am college educated. I am pro vaccine. I am pro western medicine. I have much faith in my personal doctors. I am pro pharmaceuticals when U believe the pro out weighs the cons

    I also believe in eastern philosophy and medicine. I believe that not all vaxes are necessary and i did delay some. i believe pharmaceutical companies are in business to make make not cure diseases but do offer good to the human race.

    I believe that people need to be educated and not to the medical community’s word as gospel.

    My credo is “I am not a medical expert by any means by I am an expert on my child’s body”. i have yet to have a hospital that didnt lead to at least one major fight with someone over something, yet i believe that doctors are in the profession to help and believe what they are telling me.

    i straddle a fence every day for my children. i read everything I can get my hands on when it come to their conditions and I always, but always consider the source.

    many a medical study may be funded by a commercial business that has a monetary interest in a certain outcome and many radical non-medical “crunchy” websites have anecdotal story that you cant ignore but as an educated consumer, you need to be aware of all sourced before you make a decision.

    so my boring long winded opinion on jenny’s stance is this:

    do I believe that vaxes CAUSE autism – no.

    Do I believe that SOME children may be PREDISPOSED to SOME level of autism to begin with MAY have the autism “turned on” or worsened by certain vaxes or certain compounds in the vax?


    I believe that autism often shows itself at the same time as the MMR is traditionally given and that there is plenty of ANECDOTAL stories to understand why some people believe that there is a CORRELATION between the two

    HOWEVER, I am scientific enough understand the difference between CORRELATION and CAUSATION.

    I also believe to too many doctors do not respect dietary and environmental factors and totally pooh pooh eastern and ancient medicines/herbs/ tintures and the like

    I think that all parties need to step back and accept that both sides have merit, that there is not ever a one size fits all answer, and that at the end of the day the patient ( or guardian of the patient) need to both stand up for what they believe and stick to their guns BUT accept responsibility for their actions.

    no one probably read this, but being that I am in the hospital with my oldest daughter who went through a life threatening condition this week and is in the PICU, it felt good to reiterate my beliefs “out loud” and hopes it help just one parent or patient.

    peace out

  43. geronimo says:

    Christ, Scott F. Anger issues or what?? If anyone’s presenting themselves as an authority here, it’s you. Seems to be very little room in your world for other people’s views. Mybe you need to take some of that medication you’re so fond of.

  44. Scott F says:

    Geronimo, you might want to read what I wrote again. You see anything in there that can be said to fall on either side of the immunization argument? No, didn’t think so. Know why you don’t see an opinion? Because I’m not a doctor, or a medical researcher, and I know that. The greatest minds we’ve ever known all agree that the most valuable knowledge one can possess is knowing the limits of your knowledge.

    I do however have a father with an MD who had to quit a very successful practice and go into research (for one of those awful corporations) because of the high cost of malpractice insurance.

    I’ve also been to many countries where vaccinations weren’t exactly priorities. Like someone else pointed out, have you ever seen what something as ‘harmless’ as the measles can do to an unborn child if the mother contracts it? How would you like to raise a child, knowing the only reason it’s mentally retarded is because someone else was too stuck up their own ass to get vaccinated, so you got a disease that otherwise would have been wiped out?

    I have a friend who emigrated from Croatia during the height of the ethnic cleansing in Bosnia, who has TB. Why? Because she was exposed to a members of a religious sect in a refugee camp that didn’t believe in immunization. If you don’t get immunized, you’re not just a threat to yourself, you’re a threat to the rest of us. We don’t need another Typhoid Mary just because they bought into the bullshit.

  45. geronimo says:

    Well, your tone is slightly more tempered and reasonable but you’re still patronising and lecturing me.

    Which is a shame because the points you make are not unreasonable or that much removed from those of most reasonable people.

    Incidentally, herd mentality involves sheep who, as I know you know, baa not moo.

  46. sassymommy says:

    There is a reason there are more cases of autism. It’s called “improved diagnostics”. Doctors and parents know what to look for, take a child in to be evaluated, and as a result they receive treatment at a much earlier age. Maybe there is a link to vaccinations, but please be absolutely clear on this: vaccinations save lives. Would you rather have a child with autism or one who is dead from preventable meningitis?

  47. headache says:

    Austism is not on the rise. Austism diagnosis is. 20 years ago austistic children were labeled mentally ill or simply stubborn. It is quite possible that austism has always been prevelant but now we are familiar with the spectrum of disorders and have children diagnosed when before we might have punished that child more often in a milder case or had them institutionalized in more extreme cases.

    It’s hard to come up with a cohesive thought towards the debate, at least it is for me. I am a mother of two and my children have both had for the most part, all their shots. (They were out of the chicken pox one at the beginning of the school year and I haven’t bothered to find out if they have restocked.) I did put off, passive aggressively anyway, the Hep shots because I don’t see the reasoning behind it.

    I do think kids get too many shots too soon and if I felt like going through the excemption process, I probably would only get them vaccinations against the outbreak/debilitating/caught through common exposure with a high rate of death or disfiguration illnesses such as polio, MMR, and Dtap.

    The rest seem like overkill. I don’t even get them or me the flu shot generally speaking. The only time I’ve ever gotten a flu shot was when my daughter was tiny because she was a preemie and the risk of death if she caught the flu is much higher.

    So if I feel that way, why have I gotten them all their vaccines? I am not a doctor. I do not have any medical training to speak of nor do I have any statistics to prove that the risks of the vaccines outweigh the benefit.

    Secondly, I just don’t believe the vaccines cause autism. I think that it is a bit odd to believe that because the symptoms pop up at the same age as the vaccines are administered that it means something. I’m sure in five years as more parents opt not to vaccinate, that we’ll see those same symptoms crop up at the same age, regardless of the vaccination schedule they are on. But we’ll also see a rise in the very illnesses the vaccinations are intending to ease.

    There are many illnesses and disorders for which symptons become apparent at a certain age or activity but that does not mean there is a definitive link. Bipolar disorder appears in late adolescence and is being diagnosed at a higher rate every year and there are a host of things that teens are exposed to at that age but no one seems to be suggesting a link. Same thing with schizophrenia and it’s diagnosis in the early 20′s around the time of college and the required meningitis vaccine.

    I’m not saying that my logic is for everyone. It is what it is and it works for me. I think it is easier for parents to believe that a disorder is caused by something tangible, some visible trigger that they can fight against rather than the helplessness associated with an unknown and perhaps even genetic link.

    I can’t imagine anything worse as a parent that being told a) we have no idea why your child is this way and b) there isn’t really much you can do about it. Your only choice would be to either accept it or find some explanation, no matter how unlikely or unproven and come up with some kind of treatment. No parent is comfortable standing by helpless and for that reason, though I disagree with her, I cannot condemn Jenny for any attempts she makes to rationize her son’s disorder nor how she chooses to treat it. What she does for her son is out of love and since her efforts are not bringing him harm, I don’t feel I have the right to judge her.

  48. plot says:

    to rottenkitty -

    Nice lady you are! And obviously you are the ignorant one here.

    Polio immunities were passed on in a mother’s breast milk. It was very rare for ppl to get the full blown disease, though they did, before the introduction of bottle feeding.

    At the time of the polio epidemic, science and doctors were practically forcing women to bottle feed their children as the healthier alternative. It was a curiosity at the time that the epidemic didn’t seem to spread to poorer countries (where it still existed at a much smaller rate.) Doctors and scientists were very puzzled by it. Guess why – because mothers still breast fed and people were exposed early, while they were being breast fed, inside “dirty” rural environments.

    In the Western world, we broke the chain of immunities that made polio infrequent before the 20th century by the elimination of breast feeding for almost an entire generation, so now we need vaccines.

    Did polio exist before the 20th century? Sure. But it wasn’t the epidemic which was created by the best efforts of Western science.

  49. plot says:

    Scott F,

    I’m puzzled by one of your examples – the woman from Croatia who caught TB from a sect of poeple who did not immunize. As there is not a vaccine for TB that I have ever heard of, how could this Croatian woman’s exposure led to any other outcome through a shot of something?

    Not being snarky at all! I’m just very curious. What course of infant and child vaccines can one take to ward off TB? TB is usually treatable, was this religious sect refusing to treat their diseases? If so, then you are talking about a very different circumstance than a communicable childhood illness that has a vaccine.

  50. rottenkitty says:

    Plot, Unlike you, I will actually cite a support for my argument.

    from wikipedia:

    >>Polio epidemics have crippled thousands of people, mostly young children; the disease has caused paralysis and death for much of human history.>The first clinical description was provided by the British physician Michael Underwood in 1789, where he refers to polio as “a debility of the lower extremities”.[76] The work of physicians Jakob Heine in 1840 and Karl Oskar Medin in 1890 led to it being known as Heine-Medin disease.
    Poorer sanitation of the time resulted in a constant exposure to the virus, which enhanced a natural immunity within the population. In developed countries during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, improvements were made in community sanitation, including better sewage disposal and clean water supplies. These changes drastically increased the proportion of children and adults at risk of paralytic polio infection, by reducing childhood exposure and immunity to the disease.

  51. rottenkitty says:

    the rest of my post:

    It wasn’t breast milk that gave immunity. It was the constant exposure to a pathogen from shit in water.

    Yes, terrible science cleaned the shit out of the water so we weren’t also getting cholera, hepatitis A, rotavirus, salmonellosis, along with polio. (Polio is a fecal-mouth transmission.)

    Bad, bad science for teaching us not to shit where we drink.

    SCIENCE DID NOT CREATE POLIO!!!!!! And you can stand on your head and spin around until you turn blue in the face and it still won’t make it so.

  52. Scott F says:

    Plot: for someone who wants to lecture others about the causes of diseases (which you were also wrong about), you know very little about them.

    Wikipedia again:

    “TB prevention and control takes two parallel approaches. In the first, people with TB and their contacts are identified and then treated. Identification of infections often involves testing high-risk groups for TB. In the second approach, children are vaccinated to protect them from TB. Unfortunately, no vaccine is available that provides reliable protection for adults. However, in tropical areas where the incidence of atypical mycobacteria is high, exposure to nontuberculous mycobacteria gives some protection against TB.[38]


    Many countries use BCG vaccine as part of their TB control programs, especially for infants. This was the first vaccine for TB and developed at the Pasteur Institute in France between 1905 and 1921.[39] However, mass vaccination with BCG did not start until after World War II.[40] The protective efficacy of BCG for preventing serious forms of TB (e.g. meningitis) in children is greater than 80%; its protective efficacy for preventing pulmonary TB in adolescents and adults is variable, ranging from 0 to 80%.”

    80% in children. She was in the unfortunate 20% – not because she didn’t have the vaccine – but because a group of children from a conservative religious order didn’t have it when they entered her refugee camp. Bottom line – these vaccines are necessary to save lives, and there’s no arguing it.

  53. plot says:

    Scott F, you have still left a lot of holes in your argument. Intentional or are you just out of time?

    Your Croatian woman is an adult, correct? She was exposed to TB through other adults, right? In which case, by your own reference, any vaccination would have been variable at best.

    So vaccination against TB, in the case you site, wouldn’t have provided an immunity and I’m wondering why you brought it up.

    And rottenkitty, are you saying that breast feeding has NOTHING to do with the passing of immunities for polio and its cessation has nothing to do with the epedemic? I notice you refuse to address the salient point of my contention.

    With modern sanitation, by your own argument, the virus should have been irradicated just like cholera. It wasn’t. It isn’t. Our exposure to the virus is stymied by our vaccinations, but we used to be largely immune through our mothers through breast milk. The Polio Epidemic, which killed or crippled millions of people, was created by the break in the chain of shared immunities.

  54. Scott F says:

    Plot – I’m in my mid-twenties, and so is she. She emigrated in the early 90′s when Bosnia was ripping itself apart. Why would I have brought it up if she wasn’t a child? The fact is that most people got the shot after WWII as children, including her (though she got the sub-standard Soviet equivalent). Children who could have been immunized, but weren’t, caused an outbreak that infected her.

    As someone else pointed out, immunization only works on mass scales, rarely on an individual infection. They prevent mass epidemics, not single cases.

    Your argument on polio is beyond ridiculous anyways. That shit about breastfeeding is totally anecdotal! Did it ever occur to you that those ‘rural communities’ you cited where they breastfed also lacked the complex sanitation systems that actually eradicated our immunities to it? It was the shit they dumped out their windows, not the breastfeeding that helped provide the immunity.

    What’s your point anyways? Before the immunizations the cases were less potent because we had an immunity due to exposure? Yeah, so what? Now, with the immunization, it’s GONE. I would rather have a disease eradicated, than for us to just suffer less.

  55. Amie says:

    I think it’s completely disrespectful for her to have said “I’ll take measles over autism” There are THOUSANDS of children all over the world that DIE from this entirely preventable disease. I’m sure the parents of those children would choose autism over the death of their child. Jenny seems to have a personal vendetta. I think she is careless in her arguments. I think she has good points about spreading the vaccinations apart and tailoring the vaccination schedule to each individual child, but she is very inflammatory in her speech and I think she’s doing more harm than good.

  56. Elizabeth Soliday says:

    Carrie and Katherine,

    Jenny is certainly not the first to suggest that parent anecdotal information is scientific evidence, Dr. Blaylock and many others support this view. Poor monkeys chain smoked just so that modern medicine could have PROOF that smoking caused cancer, then the monkeys didn’t even get cancer! “A lie grows and grows until it’s as plain as the nose on your face” – fairy from Pinocchio. I love this quote because it is so true. The CDC has nothing more than a couple sentences to defend themselves against causing the autism epidemic, their few sentences look really stupid among many lengthly studies that have been done that prove otherwise. Their lie is getting more and more obvious.

  57. Saige says:

    ““Parents anecdotal is science-based information”

    And with that, Ms. McCarthy excuses herself from the valid discussion table.

    This woman is not courageous, just frightened and frighteningly misinformed.”

    I just want to remind everyone that if you were to call your doctor saying your child was sick, the first thing they would ask about is things like fevers and other symptoms, then they would work to find a short-term cure. Most doctors don’t try and concern themselves with the cause of something like this and if a child gets a fever from an immunization oh well, it’s a common thing in their opionion, give the kid some tylenol and he’ll be fine in the morning right? To any typical pedatrician its not worth immediatly checking the neurological effects of a child based off a bad immunization reaction especially when it seems as mild as a fever. They’re not the ones who see day by day the de-proggression of our children’s social behaviors. The parent’s are. Parent’s are documenting many symptoms, considering their their children’s environments, diets, medications and coming to the same hypothesis. I hate to break it to you, but a dr’s initial study wouldnt be much more in depth than that. As a typical mom you can’t do much more than that, and doctors simply dont. Parent’s dealing with the case of autism seem like the ONLY ones making scientific studies in the area.

    As a mother of two (with an eldest son who is on the autistic spectrum)Im scouring the internet trying to find out what schedual McCarthy and Jim used before my son’s 4 month immunizations. I cant even find it on her website. Does any one have any reccomendations where i can look?

  58. v's mommy says:

    I am not a doctor BUT i am a mother of a child that is diagnosed with AUTISM.

    I personally think that autism is not often caused by immunizations.People think that’s the most common answer and it’s NOT!!! my daughter has always been the way she is she never started talking and then stop. For her i know it was genetic.

    My friend went to a seminar where they had DOCTORS EXPLAINED THAT AUTISM IS NOT CAUSED BY IMMUNIZATIONS!!!!! and parents with 1 or more of the following had more chances of having a child with autism are:

    -someone with mental illness in the family
    -one adult is older than the other one(or both are older)
    -while pregnant the mother was under a lot of stress

    also i seen this show on tv called “Uncovering Autism” and they were doing research and they took blood test and they could tell you if your at risk to having a child with autism if you were planing to have a baby. they also noticed that parents with autistic kids will sometimes show signs them self they called it a shadow of autism and i agree!!! on the same show they had a couple with 6 kids that all had autism!!!

    So i think that you should NOT avoid immunizations because you think your child can develop autism!!!! which if they are gonna there more than likely to develop it anyway what your really doing is increasing their chances of getting diseases!!!!

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