Are Pro-Vaccine Advocates Illiterate?

by Sherri Tenpenny, DO, AOBNMM, ABIHM

The speed at which the pro-vaccine forces are working to stomp out freedom of speech, freedom to learn and freedom of choice is simply staggering. Hijacking the media so they can take complete control of the message shows how far they are willing to go to censor information that is not lockstep with the Healthy People 2020 agenda. The plan is to vaccinate everyone, with few exceptions, allowing only difficult to obtain medical exemptions.

On February 5, 2015, Amy Goodman, on Democracy Now, interviewed Dr. Paul Offit, Professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases and the Director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia alone. He refused to be simultaneously interviewed with attorney Mary Holland, Director of the Graduate Legal Skills Program at New York University School of Law. His final comment to Ms. Goodman?

 “I think it is not important to have a debate about the science with someone who clearly doesn’t know the science. Ms. Holland misrepresented the science again and again. That doesn’t help your viewers. I don’t think it is fair to have a debate with two sides when only one side is represented by the science.”

Back in 1899, Charles H. Duell, the Commissioner of U.S. patent office made his famous quote, “Everything that can be invented has been invented.” Offit seems to be saying that every article in every publication lauds vaccines as safe, effective, harmless, wonder drugs. All research about vaccine efficacy and safety that can be done, has been done. He dismisses the myriad of side effects – even deaths – as anecdotal. He rebukes parents who have concerns about a vaccine connection with autism because “that article” has been refuted and “that doctor” has been discredited.

I’m beginning to wonder, in spite of his big credentials, is he illiterate? Or does he simply choose to ignore the science that could possibly contradict his views?

Abundant evidence has been published in scientific journals proving that aluminum and thimerosal do injure the brain. Several package inserts clearly state that a potential side effect is encephalopathy, a syndrome of global brain dysfunction. Encephalopathy and encephalitis are the accepted medical words to describe brain injury without using the “A” word.

As for the MMR vaccine, it can and has caused autism. But autism is not the only potential side effect from the MMR vaccine. A few of the adverse reactions from the package insert includes:

Encephalitis; encephalopathy; measles inclusion body encephalitis (MIBE); subacute sclerosing pan encephalitis (SSPE); Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS); acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM); transverse myelitis; febrile convulsions; afebrile convulsions or seizures; ataxia; polyneuritis; polyneuropathy; ocular palsies; paresthesia.

Again: These are possible side effects caused by the vaccine.

The pro-vaccine “science” is rife with conflicts of interest and deceptive research. For example, a shot of aluminum was used as the placebo during a safety study with Gardasil, a vaccine containing aluminum. When it was discovered that a true, inert placebo wasn’t used, pro-vaccine pundits shrugged it off. How can anyone say the science is settled when one the most essential truths in research – the use of an inert substance as a control – is abandoned in safety trials? You don’t have to be a scientist to understand this high school fundamental.

Why do Dr. Offit and public health officials refuse to have an open debate? Why should the opinions of the CDC and its drug company cronies be accepted without question? By saying that persons who have a differing opinion should be punished and jailed, complete medical tyranny.

Offit, CDC representatives, and the media talking heads are determined to gag any mention of science that glaringly points out vaccines are neither as safe nor as effective as claimed. Even the Pro-Choice and Pro-Life camps have more civil debates about their position on abortion than the Pro-Vaccine camp allows. Instead of intelligent discussion, vaccine advocates, and their internet trolls, resort to childish, condescending remarks and near-slanderous name calling. They label informed advocates lunatics. Nut jobs. Idiots. Morons. Habitual liars. Quacks. Dangerous.

The proverbial sticks and stones will never deter those who plow through PubMed, read full text studies and draw their own conclusions. The shrieking mainstream media will not persuade them to ignore what they have methodically studied. Once you know what you know, you can’t Un-Know It.

Over the last several years, medical and public health journals have published papers to instruct doctors on how to “deal with” parents who refuse to vaccinate, or want to choose a different schedule. Webinars and continuing education seminars are available to tutor doctors on how to convince parents to vaccinate. 

Offit and his buddies should spend less time working to suppress choice and coerce parents, and do something rather novel: Read. Perhaps they will find evidence that vaccines are ineffective and harmful right in their own pharma-funded journals.

 Perhaps Dr. Caplan, who called for revocation of a doctor’s medical license if s/he questions the sacred solutions and doesn’t comply with the vaccine schedule, and Dr. Offit don’t know where to begin. Here are a few studies to get them started.

>Aluminum and autism: “Aluminum (Al), the most commonly used vaccine adjuvant, is a demonstrated neurotoxin and a strong immune stimulator. Aluminum in adjuvant form carries a risk for autoimmunity, long-term brain inflammation and associated neurological complications and may thus have profound and widespread adverse health consequences. Is it unreasonable to question whether the current pediatric schedules, often containing 18 vaccines with aluminum, are safe for children?… Aluminum has all the necessary biochemical properties to induce neurological and immune disorders. The application of the Hill’s criteria to these data indicates that the correlation between aluminum in vaccines and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) may be causal. (Journal of Inorganic Chemistry, 2011)

>Thimerosal and developmental disorders: “Thimerosal, an organomercury compound, has been widely used as a preservative. Therefore, concerns have been raised about its neurotoxicity…These results indicate that embryonic exposure to thimerosal produces lasting impairment of brain monoaminergic system, and thus every effort should be made to avoid the use of thimerosal. (Brain and Development, 2013)

>Thimerosal and neurodevelopmental disorders: “Thimerosal, an organomercurial added as a preservative to some vaccines, is a suspected iatrogenic factor, possibly contributing to pediatric neurodevelopmental disorders including autism. These findings document neurotoxic effects of thimerosal, at doses equivalent to those used in infant vaccines or higher, in developing rat brain, suggesting likely involvement of this mercurial in neurodevelopmental disorders.” (Folia Neuropathologica, 2010).

>The Cost of Vaccination: The rate of hospitalization due to shingles did not change significantly from 1993 through the first few years of [chickenpox] vaccination use, which began in 1995. However, beginning in 2001, the rate of hospitalizations began to increase, and by 2004 the overall rate was 2.5 cases of shingles per 10,000 U.S. population, significantly higher than any year prior to 2002. Hospital fees increased by more than $700 million annually by 2004; in particular, persons aged 60 years or older accounted for 74% of the total annual hospital charges in 2004. Eliminating varicella…could generate an extra 21 million cases of herpes zoster (shingles) resulting in 5,000 deaths. (Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2008;2000. Nov. 10, 2008)

There are more than 6,500 similar articles and abstract links collected in the pages of the Vaccine Research Library. The subscription site costs $9.98 per month or $99 per year. I will gladly give Dr. Offit and Dr. Caplan a lifetime free membership.

Let’s see if they would dare to use it.

Photo by Jayel Aheram



  1. Very well said, Dr. Tenpenny. Given the number of times Dr. Offit’s outright lies have been exposed, it’s amazing that anyone, no matter what their views on vaccines, would even listen to him anymore. Thank you for your continued valuable work in exposing the inadequacies and dangers of vaccines.

  2. Thank God for all the ethical, honest and honourable doctors such as you, who are the populations’ guardians, informing the public of the truth of the dangers of vaccinations.Big Pharma and their pimps don’t like whistleblowers because it interferes with their billion dollar businesses. I have been researching myself for many years since my only child was nearly killed and suffered a violent reaction to vaccinations-it is absolutely sickening that so many doctors and others continue to peddle their lies – vaccines are not safe and not effective. All the people and babies and children who have either been vaccine injured or harmed are never or rarely reported in mainstream media. Should the population be concerned? – Hell Yes !!!!

    Similar to the continual lies they have peddled about water fluoridation and suppressed all evidence of harm:-
    Apply The Precaution Principle and DEMAND THAT THE AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT cease and desist all water fluoridation Australia wide immediately and for all time. Unfortunately for our population, our Authorities, dentists, doctors and ors. and their interests (it is alleged) are recklessly negligent in their `belief` (and the forcing of it on us all) in water fluoridation/pollution. It is only their political power and media power and also the ‘corporate sponsorships’ partnerships’ etc., at our dental schools at Universities that keeps these highly corrosive neurotoxic and carcinogenic hazardous waste pollutants hexafluorosilicic acid/silicofluorides and co-contaminants of lead, mercury, arsenic, cadmium, thallium, berrylium etc., (also added to that hazardous waste soup is aluminium sulphate) known as `water fluoridation` polluting our water supplies (and hence also contaminating our food chain, us, our pets, all life and our environment).

    Australia wide in dental crisis after widespread fluoridation in every State, first commencing Beaconsfield, Tasmania in 1953 – likewise USA in dental crisis after widespread `fluoridation` first beginning in 1945 Grand Rapids Michigan. There are more dental corporations everywhere than ever before. The only answer EVER was to provide access to affordable dental health care services for all the population, not the dumping/disposal of hazardous waste pollutants fluorosilicic acid/silicofluorides and co-contaminants of lead, mercury, arsenic, cadmium, thallium, beryllium, etc., (known as water fluoridation); into our drinking water supplies and hence also the contamination of our food chain and using the populations` kidneys as hazardous waste disposal/filtration units.

    These neurotoxic (and carcinogenic) hazardous waste pollutants and co-contaminants (from phosphate fertiliser industries) must not be dumped in the ground, air, rivers, oceans, creeks but dump it in the water supplies as a forced ‘medical /dental treatment’ (without informed consent ! ) and it magically becomes safe and effective. DEMAND THAT THE AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT cease and desist all water fluoridation Australia wide immediately and for all time.

  3. We the , activist parents , can read and our promise is to resist and oppose this organised vacc-tyranny every step of the way , in every way we can. Thanks Dr Tenpenny for all that you have done .

  4. Thank you for providing all of the medical references. As you know, people who question vaccine safety are usually portrayed as unscientific people reading unscientific health blogs. We know better. Most people I know who question vaccine safety are very educated and know much more about vaccines than the general population that is so easily angered by people who question the status quo. This list of medical research and quotes will be very helpful. Thank you again.

  5. Thimerosal is no longer included in any scheduled childhood vaccines, and hasn’t been since the late 1990’s. If it causes autism, why haven’t we seen the rate of autism diagnosis decline?

    • That is incorrect. Thimerosal is still in many vaccines as “trace” amounts. In addition, the multidose vials of the annual flu vaccine still has 25mcg of thimerosal per dose. Influenza vaccines are recommended for children starting at six months per age an given annually for life. Also, the amount of neurotoxic aluminum children through the vaccines has increased.

      • Still, I think that you would agree that children since the late ’90s are exposed to far less thimerosal from vaccines.

        Therefore, if thimerosal is causing autism, the rates of autism diagnosis should be in decline. As many in the anti-vaccination community are quick to point out, autism diagnosis rates are increasing. This says nothing about the high school-level chemistry knowledge that is needed to understand the chemical and biochemical difference between Ethyl(2-mercaptobenzoato-(2-)-O,S) mercurate(1-) sodium [thimerosal] and Hg [elemental mercury]. They are different compounds with different structures and different biological effects. Although not exactly the same, one could make the analogy to table salt (NaCl). In their pure form, both sodium (Na) and choride (Cl) are extremely toxic. Chlorine gas (non-ionic form of chloride) was used as a chemical weapon in WWI and sodium (a metal) releases a highly flammable gas when exposed to water. Yet when these elements are combined in their ionic forms as NaCl, they are not only safe, but vital to biological processes. This example shows that the chemical properties of a substance are VERY important. It is faulty logic to shun table salt because it contains chlorine when we know that salt is safe. Extensive studies (performed and funded by researchers/sources with no financial conflict of interest) have shown that the ethylmercury contained in thimerosal is quickly and easily cleared from the body with no ill effects whereas elemental mercury (being a heavy metal) is toxic and not cleared from the body.

        The single study that you cite as support for thimerosal causing lasting brain impairment is interesting. I’m sure that the title and abstract are thought-provoking, but I worry about the application of these results to the clinical setting. First, examine their choice of dosage keeping in mind that everything (even water) is toxic at incredibly high doses. They express dosage as mcg Hg/ kg body weight. This alone is strange since they are injecting Thimerosal and not mercury. Based on atomic mass, a molecule of Thimerosal contains ~49% mercury by mass (I’ll round up to 50% for simplicity). They bizarrely only use 2 dosages applied equally in a series of 4 injections (12mcg Hg/kg and 240mcg Hg/kg). A typical 0.5mL vaccine contains approximately 25mcg of Hg (bound as an ethyl; ref 1). The authors then claim that their 12mcg/kg dose is similar to those contained in vaccines. However, this is not true. Take an example of an average NEWBORN child in the US weighing 3.4kg (ref 2). A typical vaccine containing 25mcg of Hg would equate to 7.4mcg Hg/kg not 12mcg Hg/kg. This is an increase of 40% when administered to the smallest humans. The problem is only compounded when you consider vaccines given to older children. The 240mcg Hg/kg dose is completely arbitrary and has no justification whatsoever. Therefore, whatever evidence these authors present must be understood in context. They result from 4 doses of Thimerosal which are, at minimum, 40% greater than any human would receive.

        With that context, let us examine the results. They used 5 rats per group per sex. That is far too few to achieve the statistical power necessary for their study. Nonetheless, they actually do a very thorough statistical analysis of brain weight in response to Thimerosal. Here they use proper statistical tests to compare the mean weights of control and treated brains. The find no statistically significant change in response to Thimerosal. Despite their careful statistical analysis of brain weight, the rest of the study leaves a lot to be desired in terms of quantification. It consists of H&E or synaptophysin labeling to show changes in brain anatomy. The images presented are certainly compelling, but images are subject to all sorts of bias. What precise region of the brain does the image come from? Does the image shown fairly represent the entire data set? This is precisely the reason that quantification is necessary. The researchers need to quantify their data in order to know which images they should present as being representative. It is entirely possible that 4 of the 5 rats observed looked normal, and the one shown was the lone abnormal sample. This could easily be addressed by simply counting the number of “dark” neurons in Fig 1-2, taking an average and showing that the averages are significantly different among groups. The authors know how to do this (see the brain weight data), but they failed to do it for this data. Why? It certainly doesn’t prove that their data are wrong, but it also means that we cannot trust their data as proof of neuropathology. The one table showing quantification of synaptophysin signal is dubious as the corresponding images (only 2 shown for the 6 groups presented) do not support the numerical values given. Also, we come back to the problem with small data sets. Even this analysis is fatally flawed since the data set is not large enough to attain the necessary statistical power.

        For all of these methodological flaws (arbitrary non-relevant dosages, low sample number and poor statistical analysis), this paper may serve as the catalyst to investigate further, but it does not PROVE that clinical dosages of Thimerosal cause neuropathology. Fortunately, this further research has been done (ref 3). I know the default criticism of that statement is that the research was conducted or sponsored by the evil CDC, but I invite you to truly dig into the science. Where are the flaws in the methods? How were the results misinterpreted? It isn’t enough to criticize the source without offering tangible. Notice that I didn’t mention the author’s reputation, funding source or choice of journal in my critique.

        I do find it interesting that you bring up aluminum in response to a post about thimerosal. This is a common tactic of anti-vaccination supporters. When confronted with science-based opposition to your claims, shift the focus onto another piece of evidence to distract your opponent. There’s actually a term for this. It’s called proof by verbosity. It’s the practice of presenting so much evidence (of unknown quality, but typically poor) that your opponent cannot reasonably be expected to address every point. It actually works quite well, but those adept at critical analysis usually see through this technique. I bring this up because I found it disingenuous to bring up aluminum in response to my comment regarding thimerosal.


          • DrTenpenny,
            Could you offer a rebuttal to CJW? I want to appreciate what you fight for but if you do not have grounds to back up your own science… why should I believe anything else you say?

          • That’s your choice – Many others have posted about mercury; in fact, entire BOOKS have been written about it. I’m not going to debate on my blog – and that’s my choice.

        • CJW,

          I don’t see that Dr. Tenpenny committed the proof by verbosity fallacy that you allege – she simply refuted your statement by noting that 1) thimerosal is still found in trace amounts of vaccines, 2) the flu vaccines still contain thimerosal and are given to children annually (including in NYC where they are now mandated) and 3) she noted that aluminum has also increased during this time in terms of its contribution to the make up of vaccines, which as a neurotoxin may also explain why autism remains on the rise. I know that #1 and #2 are correct statements, but I am not certain of #3, which I would need to verify.

          Also, I find it disingenuous for either side to isolate a single cause for the increase in autism, which is likely due to and triggered by more than one factor (be it environmental or genetic). Frankly, I am concerned with the amount of herbicides (especially as delivered via GMOs), coal burning plants, and other pollutions that are also bombarding our ecosystems. I am also concerned about the insanity that is geoengineering where scientists are on record stating that they have not studied the effects that blasting heavy metals into the atmosphere will have on our neurodevelopment and general health. All that said, vaccines are one means of triggering these reactions that lead to autism and other neurodegenerative diseases, which could come after exposure from a number of other sources. In order words, vaccines could be either the triggering mechanism or underlying cause depending on the individual.

          I do appreciate your comments on the sample size and techniques employed in this study – we must all apply rigid critical thinking (use of the Trivium Method is essential) when evaluating the claims of any study. Part of that fact gathering must also include understanding the “who”, which would include accounting for the motivations behind those commissioning these studies. The revolving door between Big Pharma and these agencies is a red flag that should be an important element of deciding whether or not what they are telling you is true. You simply cannot ignore that without discrediting yourself. You cannot also deny that mainstream media and politicians are grossly swung to the side of Big Pharma and vaccines based on it being the largest lobby in the United States. Finally, I also find the vaccine liability court to be an absolute joke – if you cannot stand behind your product, then it has no place for consumption in our society. The passage of that act is an absolute fascist act shrouded in lies regarding vaccine profitability.

          • Justin,

            I disagree with your proclamation that points 1 and 2 are correct statements. First your statement 1 needs clarification. Do you mean that thimerisol is still found in trace amounts in some of the vaccines currently manufactured? If so, that is a true statement. But you said “thimerisol is still found in trace amounts of vaccines.” This almost sounds like you are stating that thimerisol is found in trace amounts in all currently manufactured vaccines…which is a categorically false statement. Your statement 2 is also false. The flu vaccine is made by mutiple manufacturers and only one of these manufacturers still uses trace amounts of thimerisol. Even so, there is a therapeutic equivalent manufacturer of this same formulation of flu vaccine that contains no thimerisol. In sum, there is not just one commercially available flu vaccine and all formulations of flu vaccine currently manufactured are available in thimerisol free varieties. As for the third statement that you are still investigating, allow me to provide a little direction. There is no evidence that neurotoxic aluminum levels have increased in vaccinations and that is why Dr. The penny does not provide any. Furthermore, CJW’s point on statement 3 still stands. If a child can be wholly vaccinated for life without exposure to thimerisol in these modern times, then you have removed entirely at least one of the “alleged” chemicals antivaxers point to as a cause for autism. If the alleged chemical does in deed cause autism but exposure to it has been eliminated there should be a corresponding drop in the rate of autism diagnoses. In fact, the opposite is true. So let’s assume that every single available vaccine contains neurotoxic aluminum (which is an erroneous assumption). If that is only one of the two culprits causing autism, and the other culprit has been eliminated entirely, why, Dr. Tenpenny, have we not seen a statistical drop in the number of diagnosed cases of autism??

        • Dear CJW / EYC,
          Your description of “proof by verbosity” fits only your post. Quite well I might add. Thank you.

        • I really wish McCain and the othres had agreed to the science debate. I’m not really concerned with what they know, but with the willingness they may have to bs an answer or to parrot the popular media. I don’t think I’m the only person who beleives the selection of head science advisor is just as important as Sec. Of State.

        • Indeed, trace amounts of mercury will be detected in several vaccines, and the multidose vials, from which most flu shots are given, contain the bolus 25 mcg per dose – and the current CDC schedule earmarks *two* flu shots for infants; one at six months, and again four weeks later.

          You’ve simply assumed in your post that thimerosal’s the only cause of autism. The ethylmercury in thimerosal is a neurotoxin. So is the aluminum contained in the majority of childhood vaccines, and the two work together in synergy; an amount of mercury that will kill one out of one hundred lab animals, combined with an amount of aluminum that will kill one out of one hundred lab animals, will kill all one hundred. When a six-month old infant is administered a flu shot, he’ll also receive four or five vaccines that contain aluminum, in the same visit.

      • Stating that thimerisol is still in “many” vaccines in trace amounts is an embellishment. To date there are a total of 52 licensed vaccines available in the US. 11 of those contain trace amounts of thimerisol while 41 are thimerisol free. For the 11 that have trace amounts of thimerisol, there is a thimerisol free equivalent. While it’s true that one manufacturer produces a multidose influenza vaccine containing trace amounts of thimerisol, (24.5mcg to be exact…but who’s counting), there is also a readily available thimerisol free multidose flu vaccine on the market. So now, you can recommend the influenza vaccine from 6 months for life and comply in a blissfully thimerisol free manner. Furthermore, Dr. Tenpenny, your statement about the influenza vaccines is misleading if not deliberately vague. To the untrained eye, it would appear that you are insinuating that there is only one maker of influenza vaccine and that the multidose vials which this singular maker of the vaccine offers can only be administered with thimerisol. In fact, there are a few makers of influenza vaccine and only one of these manufacturers has a multidose formulation that contains thimerisol. Therefore, CJW’s question still stands unanswered by you. Since thimerisol free vaccines are available throughout the entire vaccine spectrum and all schedules, why are autism rates declining???

        • Over a decade ago, a California advocacy group sent four samples of vaccine for lab analysis: two listed a trace of thimerosal; two listed none. Mercury was detected in all four samples, and though the mercury concentration in the two ostensibly thimerosal-free vaccines was markedly lower than the other two, it was nevertheless at or above the level deemed by the EPA to make drinking water unusable. Moreover, the movie, Trace Amounts, makes a compelling argument that there’s really no known lower safety limits to mercury. To the point, unless the respective batch of whatever vaccine has been lab tested, no one can guarantee it’s mercury-free.

          At the moment, as per the CDC, the multi-dose vials of Afluria, Fluvirin and Fluzone all contain thimerosal; and Flulaval lists thimerosal as an ingredient, but doesn’t specify whether it’s single or multi.

          Again, no one can validly pronounce any vaccine mercury-free unless the specific batch has been lab analyzed.

    • Can you please provide hard evidence that mercury has been removed entirely from all scheduled childhood vaccines including removed from the manufacturing process?

    • Dear Dr. Tenpenny,

      Thank you for recognizing CJW and EYC as the same individual (or entity) as obviously indicated by the easily identifiable passive aggressive and antagonizing tone, and not engaging further.

      Your calm, cool voice of reason and clear data continues to provide me great peace during this battle for truth.

      As long as the medical, pharmaceutical and cancer industries are permitted to remain above the law, with a primary focus on corporate interests such as shareholder returns and profitability with no accountability for their actions, we should naturally expect a continued push to remove our freedom, liberty and civil rights in the name of “the greater good”. The unprecedented money and power commanded by these industries dictates no other possible course. The whole concept of “the greater good” is hijacked and is no longer a matter of ethics but of profits and power. Forced vaccinations and forced compliance with deadly cancer treatment protocols are only the tip of the iceberg.

      Villains who twirl their mustaches are easy to spot. Those who clothe themselves in good deeds are well camouflaged. Parents seeking accurate data and the freedom to choose what gets injected into their children are being institutionally and systematically lied to by these well camouflaged villains such as Offet and Pan.

      Vigilance is the price we have to continually pay as parents and concerned citizens. Your work rewards this vigilance and gives us hope.

      Thank you!

  6. Dr. Tenpenny,When will your reference library be ready? The link is directing me to the web page not available.
    Thank you

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *