October 15, 2019
Pregnancy is a time when you are faced with many decisions. You desperately want your child to be born healthy and beaming with life. Yet, during pregnancy you are bombarded with birth horror stories, videos of coughing babies, and the ever-increasing fear of disease.
But, have no fear, you are told. You can protect yourself and your baby with a simple shot.
It seems so easy at first, a little pinch in exchange for lifelong safety from disease. But the full picture is so much bigger. The full picture is that while you are told vaccines may save your infant’s life, the risk is that vaccines may also take your infant’s life.
Today, October 15th, is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. As we honor the babies who gained their angel wings too soon, we hope to share with you five alarming connections between vaccines and infant loss that should have been disclosed to you before any shots were ever offered. Knowledge is power, and when you know better, you do better. While many say the science is settled and it is unwise to ask questions about vaccines, I am confident that by the time you finish reading this, you will have a file folder of questions to investigate.
Here is what you need to know about injections and infant loss:
You should absolutely know that no vaccines have ever been tested on pregnant women, and there are no studies showing that vaccines are safe for the pregnant population.
The CDC recommends that all women receive both the flu shot and the Tdap during pregnancy. Both of these state clearly on the insert that there have been no safety studies showing that they are safe for use in a pregnant population.
In fact, a study performed by the CDC itself shows that women that receive certain strains of flu vaccine two years in a row were seven times more likely to miscarry.
In the largest post-market study on the health of babies whose mothers were given Tdap and/or flu shots, the abstract states that the study supports the safety of current vaccine recommendations to pregnant mothers. However, when examining the study’s methodology, it is alarmingly clear the data collected is insufficient to make any safety claim.
There are two main reasons that the study cannot claim vaccines are safe for the infant during pregnancy:
First, the authors did not compare outcomes for babies born to mothers who were vaccinated and those that were not. To know if a drug or safe, it’s imperative that we have a comparison group. This study had access to data on the health of babies that were born to mothers that were unvaccinated. Rather than comparing the two groups, the researchers simply excluded the unvaccinated. When they say vaccines are safe, what are they safer than? There were babies in the vaccinated group who spent time in the hospital, died during the first year of life and had all kinds of difficulties. Apparently, the number of difficulties was simply acceptable to the researchers. Were any of these difficulties related to vaccines? We don’t know because they didn’t compare the two groups to see which group was healthier in the first year of life.
Secondly, even more important than a comparison of the two groups is who was excluded from the research. The authors excluded any children that were miscarried, stillborn, born premature, died at birth, or spent time in the NICU. These are the babies that should have been the focus of a safety study, not ignored by it. As mothers and care providers, we need to know if a drug will increase or decrease the likelihood of survival for a baby. These are the possible injuries we want to know about. Were vaccinated mothers more likely to experience pregnancy loss, still birth, have a baby born with a birth defect, or a baby that spent time in the NICU? We don’t know because the study excluded them altogether.
We know that medication given to mothers during birth can have systemic effects on a developing fetus and potentially cause all of these things. For example, Zofran, another drug recommended to pregnant women before proper safety testing was performed, was found to double the risk of a baby being born with a hole in his or her heart and made it 30% more likely a baby would have a birth defect. We have a CDC study showing that the flu shot can increase the risk of miscarriage. Unfortunately, all other risks are hidden from us, as the potentially injured are excluded from the data.
This is the quality of the “settled science” of vaccine safety.
In February 2019, the Informed Consent Action Network won a lawsuit against the FDA, requiring them to produce all clinical trial data used to approve influenza vaccines for pregnant women. The FDA responded, “We have no records responsive to your requests.” Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., a vaccine safety advocate and lawyer in this case, stated, “As a nation, we can no longer pretend our trusted agencies are protecting our children. It is time to hold federal agencies accountable.” There is no one but you watching to make sure these vaccines are safe.
SIDS is listed as a potential side effect on the first vaccine your child will receive on the day he or she is born.
SIDS, or sudden infant death syndrome, is also not tracked well. There are 130 ways a coroner can report cause of death for a baby, and vaccine injury is not one of them. That means that though we know and accept some children will die because of this intervention, we have no way to accurately track how many, which ones, or if there is anything we can do to lower the risks.
The CDC says on their website that the hepatitis B vaccine is not linked with SIDS. However, the vaccine insert itself lists it as a side effect.
The study the CDC uses to show there is no relationship between SIDS and the hepatitis B vaccine is riddled with problems. It states this in its abstract:
We found no significant difference in the proportion of HBV-vaccinated . . . and unvaccinated . . . neonates dying of unexpected causes.
Great! According to the abstract, this paper addresses the most important question about vaccine safety: How do vaccinated populations compare with unvaccinated populations?This study compared outcomes for babies vaccinated with the hepatitis B shot at birth and babies who weren’t vaccinated with the hepatitis B shot at birth and found no significant difference in unexpected deaths. This is quite comforting and allows us all to sigh a deep breath of relief.
But it is not the full picture.
If you pay the $59 fee to read the study, you find something much different than the abstract would suggest.
The study actually compared a group of vaccinated babies that had an average (median) age of 38 weeks and weighed an average of 6 pounds at birth to a group of unvaccinated babies that were born on average at 28 weeks and weighed an average of 3 pounds at birth. You do not need to be a doctor to know that the second category carries a much higher risk of death than the first.
The abstract should read:
We found no significant difference in the proportion of 6-lb, full-term (38 weeks) Hep B-vaccinated babies and 3-lb, 28-week gestation non-vaccinated neonates dying of unexpected causes.
This means something totally different. Was there no risk from the hepatitis B vaccine, or was the risk from the hepatitis B shot so great that it posed as much risk as being born 10 weeks early and having a birth weight of 3 pounds?
Other countries, including Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and the United Kingdom only give this shot if the mother tests positive for hepatitis B. Each of these countries have a lower infant mortality rate than the United States (as do 54 other countries).
The hepatitis B vaccine is not the only shot that carries the risk of death that is given to babies on their first day of life.
In fact the vitamin K injection has a black box warning stating that death has occurred when given intravenously and intramuscularly.
What is the vitamin K shot? Let me share with you an excerpt I contributed to the book Naturally Inspired, which is a book written by nurses, doctors, and mothers about research and life without vaccines:
The vitamin K vaccine is not actually a vaccine but a high dose of a synthetic form of vitamin K. This is administered to prevent a rare but very serious bleeding problem called Vitamin K Bleeding Disorder (VKBD).
VKBD can happen in three stages. Early VKBD happens within the first twenty-four hours of an infant’s life. Classical VKBD happens within the first week. Late VKBD can happen up to twelve weeks after birth. The first two forms are rarely life-threatening and occurs most often when the mother has been ingesting prescribed medications which inhibit vitamin K absorption, such as barbiturates, blood thinners, antidepressants, and antibiotics. Early and classical VKBD can also occur after events such as circumcision, birth trauma (such as forceps delivery), or other medical interventions.
Late VKBD is rare but can be very severe, even life-threatening. It has a twenty percent mortality rate and a fifty percent intracranial hemorrhage rate, which can cause mild to severe brain damage. In fully breast-fed infants who did not receive vitamin K at birth, the incidence is between one in every fifteen thousand and one in every twenty thousand. Late VKBD is almost never seen in formula-fed babies.
Unfortunately, not even the CDC links to safety studies on their page about the safety of this injection.
The DTaP makes your child more likely to get sick.
The DTaP vaccine is meant to prevent diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis. If you spend much time online, you have likely seen videos of babies with a pertussis cough at the hospital with a caption saying “vaccinate your child.” If you follow the CDC schedule for this vaccine, your child will receive five doses, one at 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 15 months and 5 years. However, the effectiveness of this vaccine is being called into question. One study concluded that “all children who were primed by DTaP vaccines will be more susceptible to pertussis throughout their lifetimes, and there is no easy way to decrease this increased susceptibility.” Another study found that the vaccine does not prevent whooping cough, but lessens its symptoms. This means that anyone who is vaccinated can unknowingly have pertussis and spread it. There is no herd immunity for pertussis when the vaccine can mean silent carriers. This vaccine is very likely not making our children healthier, but rather paving the road for their sickness.
The DTaP vaccine was created to replace the DTP shot, which was removed from the U.S. market after an unquestionable connection to SIDS was discovered. DTP was used in the U.S. from 1948 to 1997. Danish researchers found that children given the DTP as part of an aid program in Guinea-Bissau, Africa, were 5 times more likely to die of all causes than unvaccinated children. DTP was used for 49 years before the safety concerns were addressed in the United States. It is still used today in some undeveloped countries. How long will it be before the safety concerns of the DTaP are addressed?
There is little to no safety testing on vaccines because they are not classified as drugs.
Many people assume that vaccines must undergo extensive research and intense safety studies before they are approved for the market. This is unfortunately not true. A typical drug must undergo at least three years of surveillance. A vaccine, which is not classified as a drug but as a biologic, is only studied for a few weeks. For example, the MMR, which is one of the most hotly debated vaccines on the market, was approved after eight clinical trials, involving fewer than 1,000 individuals, out of which only 342 children received the MMR vaccine. This is hardly enough cases to detect adverse reactions. Furthermore, instead of following these children for years and seeing if there were any long-term consequences of the vaccine, the safety review period was only 42 days. If the children had any developmental delays, developed arthritis, seizure disorders or other problems, it would not have been discovered in this time.
More than half of the participants in most of the trials developed gastrointestinal symptoms and upper respiratory infections. These events were attributed to “other viruses” and not considered in the MMR safety profile during licensure. There is evidence showing that vaccines may prevent one disease, but weaken the immune system and make the child more susceptible to any number of other diseases over their lifetime. This has been affirmed by a study on the flu vaccine, which found a four-fold increase in risk of non-flu upper-respiratory infections and pneumonia in vaccinated children. A 42-day safety trial would not give the chance to see complications such as these.
Safety studies have also ignored death during the trial period. Seventy-two babies died within 20 days of getting the Infanrix hexavalent vaccine during the safety trials. GlaxoSmithKline, the manufacturer of Infanrix, a vaccine indicated for active immunization against diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis in a 5-dose series, disclosed this information in a CONFIDENTIAL report required by an Italian court.
Researching vaccines should be a high priority if you are expecting a baby.
The truth is, the settled science shows that the risk of vaccines to our infants can be very great, both immediately and in the long term.
This information may not be easy to digest. Personally, I like things to be easy, and I wish with all my heart that vaccines were as safe as I once believed. Unfortunately they are not. But take heart, learning about health and understanding disease is possible. You are capable of providing a safe harbor for your child. As we see in other developed countries, babies are doing just fine with more limited vaccine schedules.
When we compare infant mortality rates across developed nations, we see that the more vaccines given, the higher the infant mortality rate. In one study 33 countries had lower infant mortality rates than the United States. All of them have fewer required vaccinations for infants.
Of course, we all can sigh a deep breath of relief that we have clean water, proper sanitation, child labor laws, know to wash our hands, and have a much greater understanding of what proper nutrition sustains life.
We can thank these things for decreasing all types of deadly diseases—including scarlet fever, for which there is no vaccine—well before vaccines were ever mass marketed to us.
Deciding which vaccines (if any) to choose for your children is a personal and important medical decision worthy of your time and research. Learning to maintain health by balancing more natural approaches with emergency allopathic medicine is truly an enlightening and joyful path to pursue.
Firefly is a mother, author, and doula. She is passionate about helping moms improve their lives and births through nutrition, mindfulness, and complete birth education. You can find her work at shebirthsbravely.com.