Comprehensive Vaccination Guide

This is a 2014-2015 update to 2013’s Comprehensive Guide to Vaccinations for School Aged Children. The NYS requirements have changed for the 2014-2015 school year. I’ve also included individual vaccine ingredients listed with the data sheets this year.

I have not updated this for the 2015-2016 school year, but check here for the NYS requirements, there have been changes.  While this is not updated, there are still great resources here to help you get started on your research, including links to vaccine data sheets from the manufacturers, the majority of which have not changed. 

This guide is geared toward residents of New York State because that’s where I live. Much of the info can be applied to other states as well though, and I have included links to find your own state’s requirements.

The goal of this guide is not to sway you to either side of the controversy. It is simply to educate both of us. What do vaccines even do? Why do we get them? What’s in them? Do I have options? Everyone has an opinion when it comes to vaccinations. My opinion is this:  Do your research, ask questions, and make your own informed decisions on what is best for you and your family. It is critical in this day and age, and absolutely our responsibility as parents to educate ourselves when it comes to our children and their health. You can no longer rely on the expertise of the government and health care industry to provide accurate and unbiased information and research when it comes to your health. They just haven’t been able to keep up with all of the changes that have occurred. It’s a scary thing to take charge of your own family’s health and advocate for them. It requires honesty, responsibility, and accountability.

2014 Comprehensive Vaccine Guide for School Age Children - Requirements, Brands, Ingredients, Exemptions, Safety, Issues, Natural Immunity | Musings of a Modern HippieComprehensive Guide to Vaccinations for School Aged Children – Required, Recommended, Risks, Exemptions


     CDC Immunization Schedule
     NYS Requirements for School Age Kids
     Vaccine Data Sheets (Manufacturers, brands, ingredients)
     More about Vaccine Ingredients
     Vaccine Issues (Contamination, Shedding, Drift, Shift)
     Vaccine Effectiveness
     Herd Immunity
     Vaccine Exemptions
     Vaccine Safety
     Natural Immunity

CDC Immunization Schedule 0-18 yrs 2014

Here is the current vaccination schedule recommended by the CDC for all kids under age 18:

New York State does not require all of these vaccinations for entrance into Kindergarten.
Here is the list of required vaccines for NY state. There are some notes that you should be aware of, below the list.

Required Vaccines for New York State Entrance in to Kindergarten 2014

Listed below the original table are notes, summarized as follows, along with info compiled from the CDC list notes:

Actually required by NYS to enter Kindergarten in 2014

DTaP (Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis) – 4 to 5 doses total (If the fourth dose of DTaP was administered at age 4 years or older, the fifth booster-dose of DTaP, vaccine is not necessary.

IPV or OPV (Polio) – 3 to 4 doses total (If 4 or more doses were administered before age 4 years, an additional dose should be received at age 4 through 6 years. For children 4 years of age or older who have previously received less than 3 doses, a total of 3 doses are required.

MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) – 1 dose total

Hepatitis B – 3 doses total

VAR (Varicella – Chickenpox) – 2 doses total

Hib (Haemophilus influenzae type B) – (For previously unvaccinated children 15 months of age or older, 1 dose of vaccine is required.)

PCV (Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine) – (Previously unvaccinated children 24 through 59 months of age should receive only 1 dose.)

Recommended, in addition to the above list, by NYS to enter Kindergarten in 2014:

TIV (Influenza) – 1 dose annually

Hepatitis A – 2 doses

RV (Rotavirus) – 2 doses by 6 months

Additional vaccines that are recommended for older kids, but not required to attend school in NYS

TIV (Influenza) – 1 dose annually

Tdap (Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis) – 1 booster at age 11, then every 10 years

HPV (Human Papillomavirus) – 3 doses, starting at age 11

MCV (Meningococcal Conjugate Vaccine) – 1 dose at age 11, 1 booster at age 16


Looking for a different state than NY? Do a Google search for “[STATE] requirements for vaccination for kindergarten” and enter your state where the [brackets] are.

Unsure of which vaccines your child has already had? Check with your pediatrician. They should be able to provide you with a vaccine administration record listing all the vaccines as well as dates administered, manufacturer, lot number, site given, and who administered the vaccine.
In making your decision on vaccinating, one thing that I have a hard time coming up with is the Brands, manufacturer, and ingredient info. I’ve comprised a list of brands and links to their info pages. All are for kids unless otherwise noted. This list includes only the most common vaccines for adults. There are others also given in rare occasions (adenovirus, anthrax, encephalitis, rabies, small pox, tuberculosis, typhoid, yellow fever) depending on location and risk.
It’s important to at least glance over the prescribing information of the vaccines so that you can see for yourself what the risks are and what possible complications can arise. There is also contraindication info that your doctor may overlook. For example, anything containing the pertussis component seems to have a higher incidence of encephalopathy within 7 days of vaccine administration. Therefore anyone who has had a prior incident should take serious note and decide carefully if this is a risk they are willing to take with future pertussis-containing vaccines, including DTap (kids) and Tdap (adults). Yes, even the adult version is contraindicated if there have been any brain issues in the past.

Vaccine Data Sheets: 

Vaccine, Brand Name, Manufacturer, and Ingredients

(Click on the Brand Name to open the manufacturer’s info)


DTaP, IPV, and Hib combination:
     Pentacel (Sanofi) – aluminum phosphate, polysorbate 80, formaldehyde, glutaraldehyde,bovine serum albumin, 2-phenoxethanol, neomycin, polymyxin B sulfate, Mueller’s Growth Medium, Mueller-Miller casamino acid medium (without beef heart infusion), Stainer-Scholte medium (modified by the addition of casamino acids and dimethyl-beta-cyclodextrin), MRC-5 (human diploid) cells, CMRL 1969 medium (supplemented with calf serum), ammonium sulfate, and medium 199 
DTaP, Hep B, and IPV combination:
     Pediarix (GSK) – formaldehyde, gluteraldehyde, aluminum hydroxide, aluminum phosphate, lactalbumin hydrolysate, polysorbate 80, neomycin sulfate, polymyxin B, yeast protein, calf serum, Fenton medium (containing bovine extract), modified Latham medium (derived from bovine casein), modified Stainer-Scholte liquid medium, Vero (monkey kidney) cells
DTaP and IPV combination:
     Kinrix (GSK) – formaldehyde, glutaraldehyde, aluminum hydroxide, Vero (monkey kidney) cells, calf serum, lactalbumin hydrolysate, polysorbate 80, neomycin sulfate, polymyxin B, Fenton medium (containing bovine extract), modified Latham medium (derived from bovine casein), modified Stainer-Scholte liquid medium
DTaP (Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis):
     Daptacel (Sanofi) – aluminum phosphate, formaldehyde, glutaraldehyde, 2-Phenoxyethanol, Stainer-Scholte medium, modified Mueller’s growth medium, modified Mueller-Miller casamino acid medium (without beef heart infusion), dimethyl 1-beta-cyclodextrin, ammonium sulfate
     Infanrix (GSK) – formaldehyde, glutaraldehyde, aluminum hydroxide, polysorbate 80, Fenton medium (containing bovine extract), modified Latham medium (derived from bovine casein), modified Stainer-Scholte liquid medium
     Tenivac (Sanofi) – aluminum potassium sulfate, peptone, bovine extract, formaldehyde, thimerosal (trace), modified Mueller and Miller medium, ammonium sulfate
Hib and Hep B combination: 
     Comvax (Merck) – yeast (vaccine contains no detectable yeast DNA), nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, hemin chloride, soy peptone, dextrose, mineral salts, amino acids, formaldehyde, potassium aluminum sulfate, amorphous aluminum hydroxyphosphate sulfate, sodium borate, phenol, ethanol, enzymes, detergent
Hib (Haemophilus influenzae type B):
     PedvaxHIB – 2 dose (Merck) – aluminum hydroxphosphate sulfate, ethanol, enzymes, phenol, detergent, complex fermentation medium
     ActHIB – 3 dose (Sanofi) – ammonium sulfate, formalin, sucrose, Modified Mueller and Miller medium
     Hiberix – booster (GSK) – formaldehyde, lactose, semi-synthetic medium
Hep A and Hep B combination: 
     Twinrix (GSK) – formalin, yeast protein, aluminum phosphate, aluminum hydroxide, amino acids, phosphate buffer, polysorbate 20, neomycin sulfate, MRC-5 human diploid cells
Hep A:
     Havrix (GSK) – aluminum hydroxide, amino acid supplement, polysorbate 20, formalin, neomycin sulfate, MRC-5 cellular proteins
     Vaqta (Merck) – amorphous aluminum hydroxyphosphate sulfate, bovine albumin, formaldehyde, neomycin, sodium borate, MRC-5 (human diploid) cells
Hep B:
     Recombivax HB (Merck) – yeast protein, soy peptone, dextrose, amino acids, mineral salts, potassium aluminum sulfate, amorphous aluminum hydroxyphosphate sulfate, formaldehyde, phosphate buffer
     Engerix-B (GSK) – aluminum hydroxide, yeast protein, phosphate buffers
HPV (Human Papillomavirus – over age 9):
     Gardasil (Merck) – yeast protein, vitamins, amino acids, mineral salts, carbohydrates, amorphous aluminum hydroxyphosphate sulfate, L-histidine, polysorbate 80, sodium borate
     Cervarix (GSK) – vitamins, amino acids, lipids, mineral salts, aluminum hydroxide, sodium dihydrogen phosphate dehydrate, 3-O-desacyl-4’ Monophosphoryl lipid A, insect cell, bacterial, and viral protein
IPV (Polio): 
     Ipol (Sanofi) – 2-phenoxyethanol, formaldehyde, neomycin, streptomycin, polymyxin B, monkey kidney cells, Eagle MEM modified medium, calf serum protein, Medium 199
M (Measles): 
     ATTENUVAX (Merck) – Medium 199, fetal bovine serum, glutamate, human albumin, neomycin, sorbitol, sodium phosphate, sucrose, sodium chloride, hydrolyzed gelatin
M (Mumps):
     MUMPSVAX (Merck) – Medium 199, fetal bovine serum, glutamate, human albumin, neomycin, sorbitol, sodium phosphate, sucrose, sodium chloride, hydrolyzed gelatin
MCV (Meningococcus):
     Menactra (Sanofi) – formaldehyde, phosphate buffers, Mueller Hinton agar, Watson Scherp media, Modified Mueller and Miller medium, detergent, alcohol, ammonium sulfate
     Menomune (Sanofi) – thimerosal (multi-dose vial only), lactose, Mueller Hinton casein agar, Watson Scherp media, detergent, alcohol
     Menveo (Novartis) – formaldehyde, amino acids, yeast extract, Franz complete medium, CY medium
MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella):
     M-M-R II (Merck) – Medium 199, Minimum Essential Medium, phosphate, recombinant human albumin, neomycin, sorbitol, hydrolyzed gelatin, chick embryo cell culture, WI-38 human diploid lung fibroblasts
     ProQuad (Merck) – sucrose, hydrolyzed gelatin, sorbitol, monosodium L-glutamate, sodium phosphate dibasic, human albumin, sodium bicarbonate, potassium phosphate monobasic, potassium chloride, potassium phosphate dibasic, neomycin, bovine calf serum, chick embryo cell culture, WI-38 human diploid lung fibroblasts, MRC-5 cells
PCV (Pneumococcus): 
     Prevnar 13 – PCV13 (Wyeth) – casamino acids, yeast, ammonium sulfate, Polysorbate 80, succinate buffer, aluminum phosphate, soy peptone broth
     Pneumovax 23 – PPSV23 (Merck) – polysaccharide, saline solution, phenol
R (Rubella): 
     MERUVAX II (Merck) – MEM, fetal bovine serum, glutamate, human albumin, neomycin, sorbitol, sodium phosphate, sucrose, sodium chloride, hydrolyzed gelatin 
RV (Rotavirus):
     RotaTeq (Merck) – sucrose, sodium citrate, sodium phosphate monobasic monohydrate, sodium hydroxide, polysorbate 80, cell culture media, fetal bovine serum, vero cells [DNA from porcine circoviruses (PCV) 1 and 2 has been detected in RotaTeq. PCV-1 and PCV-2 are not known to cause disease in humans.]
     Rotarix (GSK) – amino acids, dextran, sorbitol, sucrose, calcium carbonate, xanthan, Dulbecco’s Modified Eagle Medium (DMEM) [Porcine circovirus type 1 (PCV-1) is present in Rotarix. PCV-1 is not known to cause disease in humans.]
Tdap (adults):
     Boostrix (GSK) – formaldehyde, glutaraldehyde, aluminum hydroxide, polysorbate 80 (Tween 80), Latham medium derived from bovine casein, Fenton medium containing a bovine extract, Stainer-Scholte liquid medium
     Adacel (Sanofi) – aluminum phosphate, formaldehyde, glutaraldehyde, 2-phenoxyethanol, ammonium sulfate, Stainer-Scholte medium, dimethyl-beta-cyclodextrin, modified Mueller’s growth medium, Mueller-Miller casamino acid medium (without beef heart infusion)
Td (adults):
     Decavac (Sanofi) – aluminum potassium sulfate, peptone, formaldehyde, thimerosal, bovine muscle tissue (US sourced), Mueller and Miller medium, ammonium sulfate
     Tenivac (Sanofi) – aluminum phosphate, formaldehyde, modified Mueller-Miller casamino acid medium without beef heart infusion, ammonium sulfate
     generic (Massachusetts Biological Labs/Akorn) – aluminum phosphate, formaldehyde, thimerosal (trace), ammonium phosphate, modified Mueller’s media (containing bovine extracts)
TT (Tetanus): 
     generic (Sanofi) – aluminum potassium sulfate, thimerosal, formaldehyde, saline, bovine muscle tissue, peptone-based medium
TIV (Flu virus):
     Afluria  (CSL/Merck) – beta-propiolactone, thimerosol (multi-dose vials only), monobasic sodium phosphate, dibasic sodium phosphate, monobasic potassium phosphate, potassium chloride, calcium chloride, sodium taurodeoxycholate, neomycin sulfate, polymyxin B, egg protein, sucrose
     Agriflu  (Novartis) – egg proteins, formaldehyde, polysorbate 80, etyltrimethylammonium bromide, neomycin sulfate, kanamycin
      Fluarix (GSK) – octoxynol-10 (Triton X-100), α-tocopheryl hydrogen succinate, polysorbate 80 (Tween 80), hydrocortisone, gentamicin sulfate, ovalbumin, formaldehyde, sodium deoxycholate, sucrose, phosphate buffer 
     Fluarix 4 (GSK) –  octoxynol-10 (TRITON® X-100), α-tocopheryl hydrogen succinate, and polysorbate 80 (Tween 80), hydrocortisone, gentamicin sulfate, ovalbumin, formaldehyde, sodium deoxycholate
     FluLaval (GSK) – thimerosal, formaldehyde, sodium deoxycholate, egg proteins
     FluLaval 4 (GSK) – thimerosal, formaldehyde, sodium deoxycholate, egg proteins (ovalbulmin), α-tocopheryl hydrogen succinate, polysorbate 80, hemagglutinin (HA)
     FluMist (Medimmune) – ethylene diamine tetraacetic acid (EDTA), monosodium glutamate, hydrolyzed porcine gelatin, arginine, sucrose, dibasic potassium phosphate, monobasic potassium phosphate, gentamicin sulfate, egg protein
     Fluvirin (Chiron/Novartis) – nonylphenol ethoxylate, thimerosal (multidose vial–trace only in prefilled syringe), polymyxin, neomycin, beta-propiolactone, egg proteins, phosphate buffer
     Fluzone (Sanofi) – formaldehyde, octylphenol ethoxylate (Triton X-100), gelatin (standard trivalent formulation only), thimerosal (multi-dose vial only), egg protein, phosphate buffers, sucrose
TIV (Flu virus – adults): 
     Agriflu (Novartis) – egg proteins, formaldehyde, polysorbate 80, etyltrimethylammonium bromide, neomycin sulfate, kanamycin
     Afluria (CSL/Merck) – beta-propiolactone, thimerosol (multi-dose vials only), monobasic sodium phosphate, dibasic sodium phosphate, monobasic potassium phosphate, potassium chloride, calcium chloride, sodium taurodeoxycholate, neomycin sulfate, polymyxin B, egg protein, sucrose
     Flublok (Protein Sciences) – monobasic sodium phosphate, dibasic sodium phosphate, polysorbate 20, baculovirus and host cell proteins, baculovirus and cellular DNA, Triton X-100, lipids, vitamins, amino acids, mineral salts
     Flucelvax (Novartis) – Darby Canine Kidney (MDCK) cell protein, MDCK cell DNA, polysorbate 80, cetyltrimethlyammonium bromide, β-propiolactone, phosphate buffer
     FluLaval (GSK) – thimerosal, formaldehyde, sodium deoxycholate, egg proteins
     FluLaval 4 (GSK) – thimerosal, formaldehyde, sodium deoxycholate, egg proteins (ovalbulmin), α-tocopheryl hydrogen succinate, polysorbate 80, hemagglutinin (HA)
     FluMist (Medimmune) – ethylene diamine tetraacetic acid (EDTA), monosodium glutamate, hydrolyzed porcine gelatin, arginine, sucrose, dibasic potassium phosphate, monobasic potassium phosphate, gentamicin sulfate, egg protein
     Fluarix (GSK) – octoxynol-10 (Triton X-100), α-tocopheryl hydrogen succinate, polysorbate 80 (Tween 80), hydrocortisone, gentamicin sulfate, ovalbumin, formaldehyde, sodium deoxycholate, sucrose, phosphate buffer
     Fluvirin (Chiron/Novartis) – nonylphenol ethoxylate, thimerosal (multidose vial–trace only in prefilled syringe), polymyxin, neomycin, beta-propiolactone, egg proteins, phosphate buffer
     Fluzone (Sanofi) – formaldehyde, octylphenol ethoxylate (Triton X-100), gelatin (standard trivalent formulation only), thimerosal (multi-dose vial only), egg protein, phosphate buffers, sucrose
     Fluzone High-Dose (Sanofi) – formaldehyde, octylphenol ethoxylate (Triton X-100), gelatin (standard trivalent formulation only), thimerosal (multi-dose vial only), egg protein, phosphate buffers, sucrose
     Fluzone Intradermal (Sanofi) – formaldehyde, octylphenol ethoxylate (Triton X-100), gelatin (standard trivalent formulation only), thimerosal (multi-dose vial only), egg protein, phosphate buffers, sucrose
VAR (Chickenpox):
     Varivax (Merck) – sucrose, phosphate, glutamate, gelatin, monosodium L-glutamate, sodium phosphate dibasic, potassium phosphate monobasic, potassium chloride, sodium phosphate monobasic, potassium chloride, EDTA, residual components of MRC-5 cells including DNA and protein, neomycin, fetal bovine serum, human diploid cell cultures (WI-38), embryonic guinea pig cell cultures, human embryonic lung cultures
ZOS (Herpes Zoster – Shingles – adults):
     Zostavax (Merck) – sucrose, hydrolyzed porcine gelatin, monosodium L-glutamate, sodium phosphate dibasic, potassium phosphate monobasic, neomycin, potassium chloride, residual components of MRC-5 cells including DNA and protein, bovine calf serum
So what is one to do with all of this info? Well, maybe nothing if you trust your doctor to make the decisions for you. I know first hand that even some of the best doctors aren’t up on their vaccine info. Or, you could opt not to allow any of these vaccinations for your child. (Info on exemptions is further down.) Another option is to create your own vaccination schedule and bring it, along with a list of brands, to your pediatrician so they can order the specific vaccines for you ahead of time.
One of the important things I often suggest to people who fully vaccinate is to avoid combination vaccines whenever possible. The combinations tend to have more preservatives (i.e. toxins), and are harder on the still forming immune systems of our little ones. I completely understand the reasoning for the combos…who wants to watch their kid be jabbed 5 times when they could only get one jab and be done with it? Not to mention having to go back to the doctor’s office every month or so just to get a vaccine. The offices are often not thrilled with it either, since it takes up time that they could be seeing patients. BUT, this is your right as a parent. Time and momentary pain are not more important than allowing the body to properly detox and heal. The Pediarix combination states “In clinical trials, PEDIARIX was associated with higher rates of fever, relative to separately administered vaccines.” Parents often give an NSAID like acetaminophen or ibuprofen when kids spike a fever, which can lead to further gut damage and inhibit the liver from detoxing the vaccines, not to mention decreases the effectiveness of the vaccines.  (See also: Why I don’t reduce a fever.)

Ingredients in Vaccines

Listed below are details on the most common vaccine ingredients besides the actual toxoids and antigen-containing components. For a comprehensive list of ingredients (last updated September 2013) by specific vaccine, check here:

2-phenoxyethanol – A common anti-bacteria component used to preserve skin creams, sunscreen, and insect repellent. According to the FDA, 2-phenoxyethanol is toxic to infants via ingestion, and “can depress the central nervous system and may cause vomiting and diarrhea.”
α-tocopheryl hydrogen succinate Vitamin E supplement.
Aluminum hydroxide A potent neurotoxin that may be linked to Alheimer’s disease, dymentia, and other neurodegenerative diseases.
Aluminum phosphate A potent neurotoxin that may be linked to Alheimer’s disease, dymentia, and other neurodegenerative diseases.
Aluminum potassium sulfate A soil fertilizer, preservation and pickling compound in food, and in deodorant. Can be irritating to the skin. Aluminum is a neurotoxin.
Amorphous aluminum hydroxyphosphate sulfate Another aluminum containing compound used to stimulate the immune response. As above, aluminum is a neurotoxin.
Ammonium Sulfate Used to adjust pH. Also used in insecticides, herbicides, and fungicides. Generally recognized as safe by the FDA which means that it is exempt from meeting the same rigorous standards for other “food” additives.
Beta-propiolactone A suspected human carcinogen.
Bovine muscle tissue – Cow meat.
Bovine serum albumin – Extract from cow’s blood.
Casamino acid From casein (dairy protein). Used in place of Peptone (see below).
Dextran Large sugar molecule associated with kidney failure.
Egg protein – A common allergen in young children. Second only to milk.
Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) – A heavy metal chelator, product stabilizer, and anticoagulant.
Fetal bovine serum – Extract from young cow’s blood.
Filamentous Hemagglutinin Adhesin (FHA) – A protein in certain viruses that is used to attach the virus to the respiratory tract.
Formaldehyde – Highly toxic fixative/preservative, known to cause cancer in humans as well as a host of other health issues. Also found in many building materials and household furniture.
Formaldehyde-treated filamentous hemagglutinin [FHA] – A cell clumping agent produced by pertussis bacteria to attach to cells of the respiratory system. In vaccines, these are treated with formaldehyde (see above) to deactivate the cells.
Formalin – Another term for Formaldehyde (see above).
Gentamicin sulfate – An antibiotic used to extend vaccine shelf life.
Glutaraldehyde – Used to disinfect medical and dental equipment. It is also used for industrial water treatment and as a preservative. Causes a number of health issues.
Hemin chloride – An iron containing compound used to grow Hib bacteria.  Chronic excessive intake of iron has been  associated with damage to the liver and pancreas. People with a genetic disposition to poor control over iron are at an increased risk. Iron overload in men may lead to diabetes, joint inflammation, liver cancer, heart irregularities and problems with other organs. (source)
Human albumin – A component of the MMR (ProQuad) vaccine. A protein isolated from human blood plasma.
Hydrocortisone – A steroid hormone that increase blood sugar, suppresses the immune system, and decreases bone formation. Also causes birth defects and a number of other health issues. Found in the flu vaccine (Fluvarix).
Hydrolyzed porcine gelatin – Gelatin from pigs used as a stabilizer.
Lactalbumin hydrolysate – A protein from dairy.
Mineral salts – Important minerals for overall health.
Monosodium L-glutamate – Also known as MSG. Generally recognized as safe by the FDA, but know to cause a host of health issues with those who are sensitive. Stimulates the release of insulin.  Found in the FluMist vaccine.
MRC-5 cellular protein – Protein from fetal human lung cells. Used to produce a few different viruses.
Neomycin sulfate – An antibiotic used to extend vaccine shelf life.
Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide – A coenzyme used to produce Hib bacteria.
Nonylphenol ethoxylate – A known estrogen disruptor, spermicide, and environmental toxicant. Used in the production of (and found in) the Flu vaccine (Fluvirin).
Octoxynol-10 – A surfectant (detergent) used to produce the Flu vaccine (Fluarix, Fluzone).
Octylphenol ethoxylate (Triton X-100) – See Octoxynol-10.
Ovalbumin – Protein from chicken eggs. Second most common allergen in kids after dairy.
Peptone – A compound used to prepare bacterial cultures. Has been associated with severe reactions and has been replaced by casamino acid (see above) in some vaccines.
Pertactin – A protein used in the production of the pertussis bacteria. Helps the bacteria attach to the airway tissue.
Phenol – A vaccine preservative associated with a variety of health issues.
Polymyxin B – An antibiotic used to extend vaccine shelf life.
Polysorbate 20 (Tween 20) – A filler used to stabilize vaccines and extend the shelf life.
Polysorbate 80 (Tween 80) – A filler used to stabilize vaccines and extend the shelf life. Allows permeability of the blood brain barrier. Can be allergenic. (more)
Potassium aluminum sulfate – See Aluminum potassium sulfate above.
Potassium glutamate – Similar to MSG (see above), but the sodium has been replaced with potassium.
Sodium borate – (Borax) A naturally occurring mineral salt with a variety of household uses. Used to buffer the pH of vaccines. Banned as a food additive in the US. Considered a Substance of Very High Concern by the European Union and products containing it require labeling as follows:  “May damage fertility” and “May damage the unborn child”.
Sodium chloride – Common table salt. Used for buffering.
Sodium taurodeoxychoalate – A bile salt that is naturally occurring in the small intestine. A residue of the manufacturing process.
Sorbitol – Sugar alcohol (sugar substitute). Also used as a laxative. Class C Pregnancy category (Animal reproduction studies have shown an adverse effect on the fetus and there are no adequate and well-controlled studies in humans, but potential benefits may warrant use of the drug in pregnant women despite potential risks.)
Soy peptone – See Peptone, above. Isolated from soy, mostly likely genetically modified.
Succinate buffer – Used to adjust pH. The neutral pH of a chemical important in everyday glucose metabolism.
Sucrose – Common table sugar. Used as a stabilizer.
Thimerosal – Mercury containing compound. Used to preserve vaccines. A known toxicant, extremely harmful in pregnancy. May have an association with Autism.
Xanthan – A thickener produced by fermenting sugars. Often sourced from GMOs; corn, soy, or wheat. Potential allergen source.
Yeast – Used in the manufacture process of vaccines. A potential source of MSG (see Monosodium glutamate, above). May be a source of allergies for those with yeast issues, and possibly linked to the increase in autoimmune disorders.
Yeast extract – A potential source of MSG (see Monosodium glutamate, above). May be a source of allergies for those with yeast issues, and possibly linked to the increase in autoimmune disorders.
For those of you who are hardcore animal rights activists, you might be interested to note that many of the vaccines were grown in media containing cow (bovine) extract or grown in monkey cells (VERO cells). A lot (if not all) of vaccines are also tested on animals like guinea pigs, rats, and mice. Read the section 11 of the product insert for Pediarix closely…you will see all 5 animals mentioned. And still other vaccines (many of the Flu vaccines) are produced in chicken eggs, while the chicken embryos continue to develop.
It’s also interesting to note that the polio component of Pentacel is grown in MRC-5 cells – cells that originated from aborted human fetal tissue. This is also the case for a few others like MMRV, Chickenpox, and Hep A.

 Vaccine Issues

          Vaccine Contamination

There are a number of potential issues arising with vaccination. One of which is the possibility of contamination. Like anything manufactured, there is always a risk of contamination during the manufacturing process. When we eat food that has been contaminated, there are several built-in protective measures. Our taste buds can often tell us if something tastes “off.” Saliva and stomach acid help to break down and inactivate things that could potentially harm us. There is also the mucous and bacteria lining the GI tract that serve to protect us. And finally, our bodies have a built in expulsion method that, anyone who has food poisoning or the flu can attest, is very effective. Vaccines (with the exception of the oral polio vaccine, which is not used in the US anymore, and the Rotavirus vaccines) are injected directly into the body. No barriers are in place to protect us, nor is there any way to remove it once it’s been injected. The CDC says themselves that “…no drugs, including vaccines, are 100% effective or safe…” They also mention that “Your doctor may notify you if a vaccine given to you or your child is recalled. Most [but not all] vaccine recalls are due to low vaccine potency or strength.” (See info on effectiveness, below.)  The problem with this is that doctors have to follow the recall notices to even catch a recall. Then they have to go through their patient records to see who has taken the recalled vaccine, and notify the patient that something they’ve been given has been recalled. This can be a very tedious process of looking through dates and lot numbers, especially if the office is not yet on eRecords. There is also the issue that nothing really can be done after the fact.  Because nothing can be done, and to avoid mass panic, vaccine recalls rarely make the news. Only if there has been a huge incident, severely affecting loads of people, is any mention made.
Another issues with safety is that most people don’t even report minor reactions to their doctor. (See why you should report ALL vaccine reactions, below.) The clinical studies done on the vaccines before they are released to the public are often very small – only a few thousand people total (see clinical study information in specific vaccine data sheets, above). Compare that to the conservative estimation of approximately 18 million vaccinated kids under age 5 in the US.
The recall notices are not that easy to find either. The FDA has a list of recalls on food, medications, cosmetics, vaccines (Biologicals), and medical devices. This list only extends back 60 days though. To find recalls prior to 60 days, requires checking the archives, which are sorted by year. There is a specific archives list for vaccines (biologicals) as well, also sorted by year. Having these links will do you no good though, if you haven’t got a list of vaccines and lot numbers from your doctor. You should be able to ask for a copy of yours or your child’s vaccines from your doctor. As said above though, there is not a lot that can be done for you after receiving the vaccine, regardless of recall reason.
There are a number of more public news stories on contaminated vaccines. In 1999, the vaccine Rotashield® was removed from the market. It “indicated a strong association between RotaShield® and intussusception (a rare, potentially life-threatening form of intestinal obstruction) among some infants during the first 1-2 weeks following vaccination.”  Another well known incident was the initial issues with the 1955 polio vaccines. Back then, they were found to contain whole live virus, which actually gave 40,000 kids polio, and was later known as the Cutter Incident. Recently making the news again was the discovery in 1960 that polio vaccines from 1955 to 1963 (yes, they kept administering it for 3 years after discovery) were found to be contaminated with the SV-40 virus, a common rhesus monkey virus (polio is produced in monkey kidney cells), that can be transmitted to humans and may be linked to various cancers. It is estimated that between 10 and 30 million people received the contaminated vaccine in the US alone. The CDC removed their original data sheet, but nothing is every truly removed from the internet.


          Vaccine Shedding

Another issue with vaccination is the potential for shedding. While there are those that use this term to frighten anyone considering vaccination, the truth is, that only a vaccine containing a live virus can result in the live virus being shed. According to the data sheet from MedImmune for the FluMist vaccine, “FluMist and  FluMist Quadrivalent contain live attenuated influenza viruses that must infect and replicate in cells lining the nasopharynx of the recipient to induce immunity. Vaccine viruses capable of infection and replication can be cultured from nasal secretions obtained from vaccine recipients (shedding).”  In the studies that they did on vaccine shedding, in the 24-59 month age group, 69% shed the virus at some point in the 28 days following vaccine administration (the 6-23 month age group were as high as 89% – the vaccine is not recommended for under 24 months). The percentage is slightly decreased in older recipients. The only transmission study that MedImmune did to test just how readily one can pick up a shed virus (after all, transmission requires 2 willing parties – one to excrete it and one to acquire it), was a study of 197 children under age 3 at a daycare. And indeed, based on their collected data “the probability of acquiring a transmitted vaccine virus was estimated to be 2.4%.” The flaw in this study is first that there were only 197 people in the study, only  80% of the FluMist recipients had detectable virus strains (see Vaccine Effectiveness, below), and they didn’t address whether any of the recipients experienced symptoms of the flu themselves.

This is just one example. The vaccines that have the potential to shed are:  MMRII, ProQuad (MMR), FluMist, Varivax (Chickepox), RotaTeq, and Rotarix.

          Antigenic Drift 

Antigenic Drift is just a fancy term for a mutation in the genes of the virus. This mutation results in a different strain of virus to which a new vaccine would have to be created in order to afford protection. The problem is that viruses like influenza can mutate so quickly it’s sometimes hard to keep up with vaccine production. There also is quite a bit of guesswork on the part of the manufacturers as to which viruses will be most prevalent in any given year. The flu vaccines usually only have 3 viral strains in them each year. And any person can host the virus that gets mutated to become an new strain – and infect other people with the new strain. 
Antigenic Drift - Musings of a Modern Hippie

credit: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)

          Antigenic Shift

Antigenic Shift differs from Antigenic Drift in that the mutation is such that the virus can jump from one species to another (like the Swine flu and Bird flu).
Antigenic Shift - Musings of a Modern Hippie

credit: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)


           Vaccine Effectiveness 

Another hot topic when it comes to vaccinations is the subject of vaccine effectiveness. There is much debate as to whether vaccines are effective at all or if the decline of these diseases is simply due to increased nutrition and hygiene. Some vocabulary should be mentioned here. There is a difference between vaccine effectiveness and vaccine efficacy. Efficacy is the effectiveness of a vaccine in ideal circumstances – if everyone is vaccinated, how well does that vaccine work – the best case scenario. Effectiveness is how well the vaccine prevents disease with normal usage in a community. Effectiveness depends on population reception to vaccine efficacy – in other words, if a community is confident in the vaccine’s ability to prevent a disease (and assuming the vaccine would work 100% of the time), and everyone gets vaccinated, in theory, the effectiveness would be 100%.  So actually, most people talk about how well a vaccine actually works (efficacy) when they speak of effectiveness.

There is a math formula that is commonly used to figure out percent efficacy:

Vaccine Efficacy % = ((Attack rate in the unvaccinated population – Attack rate in the vaccinated population) /Attack rate in the unvaccinated population)   x 100

Shortened:  VE = (ARU – ARV)/ARU (x 100)

Another way to express efficacy is:

Vaccine Efficacy % = (1 – Relative Risk) x 100   where Relative Risk = Attack Rate in the vaccinated population divided by Attack Rate in the Unvaccinated Population.

There is a bunch more math used to calculate effectiveness of a vaccine, which I won’t go into detail with here, but if you are interested in reading up on it yourself, here is my source for the above formulae.


The bottom line is this: All vaccines go through clinical trial testing to determine efficacy. Whether that testing can be considered rigorous or not is subjective, in my opinion, but the FDA/CDC ultimately determine if the clinical trial efficacy is sufficient enough in order to be released for use in the general public. And efficacy doesn’t factor in any long term issues stemming from additives, preservatives, etc. Another issue with calculating efficacy is that testing is not done in a closed, controlled environment. People volunteer (or are monetarily compensated) to take part in a clinical trial, but they are not kept in a bubble for the duration of the study. They continue their normal daily lives, being exposed to many other factors and variables. Location, environment, economic status, and even ethnicity can play a part in immune response to a vaccine. The location(s) of the clinical trials may affect efficacy outcome.
The data sheets for each brand of vaccine above will list the vaccine efficacy (clinical trial data). For example one of the rotavirus vaccines (Rotarix), which was only tested in Latin America and Europe, was found to be 87.1% effective in Europe (where 98.3% of the study patients were white) “against any grade of severity of rotavirus gastroenteritis through one rotavirus season.” (They did not calculate this value in the Latin America studies (Hispanic 85.8%, white 7.9%, black 1.1%, and other 5.2%). GSK did calculate efficacy in severe gastroenteritis (95.8% in Europe vs. 84.7% in Latin America) and with 1 vaccine vs. 2 (89.8% in Europe calculated only). They ran no clinical trials on efficacy in the United States.
Fluarix efficacy was only tested in Europe (test groups were 60% female, 99.9% white, ages 18-64). The vaccine was not tested for efficacy in kids (but is approved for use in kids). It was found to have an efficacy of 66.9% (range 51.9 – 77.4%). In the age group 50-64, the efficacy was found to be only 13.8%. Keep in mind that this efficacy was against the exact flu strains that are in the vaccine. The only testing they did in kids was testing for antibody production in 6 months – 4 years as compared to a competitor vaccine. Ages 6 months to 35 months showed low antibody production (compared to the competitor). They did not perform any efficacy testing or comparisons in ages 5-17.
It is helpful to read the actual efficacy studies  in the vaccine data sheets (see above), but they can be a bit complicated to decipher. You can get the general idea if you read between the lines. Like with the Fluarix vaccine. It’s only 13.8% “effective” in people over 50, and was only tested in white people in Europe (a very different environment than here in the US).
There are plenty of studies in PubMed showing that vaccines are effective. The manufacturers have to “prove” it to the FDA in order to be release for public use. There are also many studies showing specific vaccines (especially the flu vaccineto be not as effective in kids and the elderly, or that long term efficacy is much declined.
Vaccine Trial Process - Musings of a Modern Hippie


           Herd Immunity

Herd Immunity (or Community Immunity) is a term you may hear often. The CDC defines Herd Immunity as: “A situation in which a sufficient proportion of a population is immune to an infectious disease (through vaccination and/or prior illness) to make its spread from person to person unlikely. Even individuals not vaccinated (such as newborns and those with chronic illnesses) are offered some protection because the disease has little opportunity to spread within the community. Also known as herd immunity.”
Herd Immunity: NIAID - Musings of a Modern Hippie

According to the CDC and WHO, there is a threshold of percent of vaccinated people required in order for herd immunity to work.

Diphtheria 85%
Pertussis 92-94%
Polio 80-86%
Measles 83-94%
Mumps 75-86%
Rubella 83-85%

Below that threshold and outbreaks occur such as a possible correlation with the pertussis outbreak in California in 2010.
There is a different school of thought that argues we haven’t actually had herd immunity in many years and haven’t had a resurgence of these diseases in full force. Dr. Russell Blaylock MD, a retired neurosurgeon, wrote:
“When I was in medical school, we were taught that all of the childhood vaccines lasted a lifetime. This thinking existed for over 70 years. It was not until relatively recently that it was discovered that most of these vaccines lost their effectiveness 2 to 10 years after being given. What this means is that at least half the population, that is the baby boomers, have had no vaccine-induced immunity against any of these diseases for which they had been vaccinated very early in life. In essence, at least 50% or more of the population was unprotected for decades.
If we listen to present-day wisdom, we are all at risk of resurgent massive epidemics should the vaccination rate fall below 95%. Yet, we have all lived for at least 30 to 40 years with 50% or less of the population having vaccine protection. That is, herd immunity has not existed in this country for many decades and no resurgent epidemics have occurred.
Vaccine-induced herd immunity is a lie used to frighten doctors, public-health officials, other medical personnel, and the public into accepting vaccinations.”


Vaccine Exemption Information

If after doing your research, you have decided to avoid some or all vaccines, you will need to determine several requirements for exemption, and decide which exemption you will apply for (medical, religious, or personal/philosophical). Medical exemptions must come from a licensed doctor and be properly documented in how the specific vaccines may contribute to or cause declining health or be contraindicated. Most states allow for religious exemptions and don’t require you to prove your faith for the exemption, or be a member or affiliate of a specific religious organization. In other words, if you state that it goes against your religious beliefs, that *should* be enough. You may come up against some very strong resistance to this, so it is vital that you know the laws and your rights and come prepared with proper documentation. If your child attends public school or a private school that is state regulated (all registered/licensed child care), the requirements are state regulated. If your child attends an unregistered day care (for example at someone’s home that watches less than 3 kids for less than 3 hours a day), that may be slightly trickier but you still have rights.

          New York State Exemption Forms

As New York is one of the harder states to obtain vaccination exemptions in, use the following information as a general guideline for your state as well. It may be easier to obtain exemptions in your state, but the information is still valuable as state laws are ever changing. 


Each school district is required to draw up their own exemption forms. This is a sample form suggested by the New York Statewide School Health Services Center. Your pediatrician will probably have a medical exemption form already on hand for your area, otherwise contact your school nurse’s office for their medical exemption form. It is helpful to read through the vaccine data sheets (above) in considering medical exemptions. There is contraindication information listed for every vaccine that may allow you to obtain a medical exemption for at least some of them. Forms will probably have to be filed yearly. 


          Religious – School: 

 The same laws apply for both school-age religious exemptions and day care. The public health law section 2164 states in paragraph 9:
This section shall not apply to children whose parent, parents, or guardian holds genuine and sincere religious beliefs which are contrary to the practices herein required, and no certificate shall be required as a prerequisite to such children being admitted or received into school or attending school.
Each school district is also required to draw up their own religious exemption form, but most use something very similar to the one suggested by NYSED. Notice a few things on the form. First, in NY, “Philosophical, political, scientific, or sociological objections to immunization do not justify an exemption …”  NY only has exemptions for medical or religious reasons. Second, “A written and signed statement from the parent, parents, or guardian of such child, stating that the parent, parents or guardian objects to their child’s immunization due to sincere and genuine religious beliefs which prohibit the immunization of their child in which case the principal or person in charge may require supporting documents. 
Some possible reasons to use in writing your statement (these are just examples and don’t necessarily reflect my own personal views on why or why not to vaccinate): 
Most vaccines have animal components.
The injection of foreign substances directly into your blood stream.
Some vaccines have human components, including aborted human fetal tissue.
Certain diseases for which we are vaccinated as children (Hep B, HPV) can only be obtained through IV drug use or sexual intercourse.
The principal may request any of the following supporting documents:
  • A letter from an authorized representative of the church, temple, religious institution, etc. attended by the parent/guardian, literature from the church, temple, religious institution, etc. explaining doctrine/beliefs that prohibit immunization (Note: Parents/guardians need not necessarily be a member of an organized religion or religious institution to obtain a religious exemption). 
  • Other writings or sources upon which the parent/guardian relied in formulating religious beliefs that prohibit immunization.
  • A copy of any parental/guardian statements to healthcare providers or school district officials in a district of prior residence explaining the religious basis for refusing immunization.
  • Any documents or other information the parent/guardian may be willing to provide that reflect a sincerely held religious objection to immunization (for example: disclosure of whether parent/guardian or other children have been immunized, parent/guardian’s current position on allowing himself or herself or his or her children to receive or refuse other kinds of medical treatment.).

It is important to know the laws regarding religious freedom. A state cannot deny exemption simply because a person is not a member of a formal religious organization (U.S. Supreme Court level in Frazee v. Illinois Dept. of Security, 489 U.S. 829). A religious belief is subject to protection even though no religious group espouses such beliefs or the fact that the religious group to which the individual professes to belong may not advocate or require such belief. (Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as amended Nov. 1, 1980; Part 1605.1-Guidelines on Discrimination Because of Religion.) In other words, you are entitled to your own beliefs, and have the right to them under federal law – the first amendment. 

Third, the form must be notarized by a notary public. Most of the time you can take your letter (unsigned – you must sign it in front of them), down to the town clerks office and they can notarize it for you. This is just a way to make it official that you were the one signing the form. 
Lastly, notice: “You will be notified in writing of the outcome of this request. Please note that if your request for an exemption is denied (merely stating that the request does not demonstrate a sincerely held religious belief is not sufficient articulation), you may appeal the denial to the Commissioner of Education within thirty (30) days of the decision, pursuant to Education Law, Section 310.”
If you do run into a lot of push back for your informed choices, this place seems like a decent advocacy center.
Since you are the one submitting the application for exemption (the onus is on you), it would be wise to have all of your paperwork submitted WELL before the start of the school year. Legally, schools may allow your child to attend with out any record of vaccination or exemption for 14 calendar days. After that they are under no obligation to allow your child to continue to attend school. Showing that you are genuinely trying to follow the rules and just want your unvaccinated child to attend school, and are not trying to exert your rights just for the sake of the fight (there is a time and place – the start of your kid’s school career is not it), will go a long way in helping to facilitate acceptance of your application. Remember, the school district must strictly follow state education laws and can be subject to audits and massive fines and penalties if they don’t adhere. The amount of documentation that schools are required to keep is immense and requires many man hours to process; each exemption application is reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Show the school that you are responsible and get your paperwork filed early.  Forms will probably have to be filed yearly. 

          Religious – Daycare:

In New York state, child care laws require this form to be filled out by a doctor and submitted yearly. There is a place for medical exemptions on the form, and at the very bottom states: 


Religious Exemptions 
Public Health law Section 2164 allows a child to be religiously exempted from immunization. A written and signed statement from a parent, parents or guardian of the child stating that they object of the immunization of their child due to their sincere and genuine religious beliefs should be submitted to the day care owner, operator or administrator who shall determine whether the statement of religious belief is acceptable. 

The wording of this is a bit tricky in that it leaves room for the day care provider to determine that the religious statement is unacceptable, however the actual public health law section 2164 states in paragraph 9:

This section shall not apply to children whose parent, parents, or guardian holds genuine and sincere religious beliefs which are contrary to the practices herein required, and no certificate shall be required as a prerequisite to such children being admitted or received into school or attending school.

That reads to me that no notice is even required, but for documentation purposes (because all schools are required to submit the number of vaccinated and unvaccinated kids every year), a statement should be submitted and kept on file. 
I would use the same form that your area school district uses (see above). If the school letter head is at the top, type up your own version with the same information.  Fill it out exactly as you would for school, have it notarized and submit it to the director or owner.

New York State Antibody Titer/Serology Information

New York allows the submission of antibody titer information (positive serology) as prove of immunity as well for school entrance. They only allow this information for measles, mumps, rubella, hepatitis B and/or varicella/chickenpox. Ask your doctor to request the serology testing (blood draw) for the above vaccines if you or you child have already received one vaccine or have had any of the diseases naturally. Depending on the levels, (A minimum serum antibody (antitoxin) protection level has been determined for each vaccine – see the data sheets above.) a subsequent vaccination may not even be needed and the antibody information will be sufficient for school entrance.

          Other State Exemption Information

State Exemption Map

State Exemptions Map: NVIC - Musings of a Modern Hippie


Vaccine Safety Information

          Pregnancy & Nursing

Interesting to note was this little tidbit in almost every data sheet: “[Vaccine] has not been evaluated for its carcinogenic or mutagenic potential or its potential to impair fertility.” Many vaccine manufacturers do perform animal experiments to test for any obvious effects on fertility and pregnancy, but as pointed out on many data sheets, even for those listed as Pregnancy Category B: “There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. Because animal reproduction studies are not always predictive of human response, [vaccine] should be given to a pregnant woman only if clearly needed.”
Many vaccines are listed as Pregnancy Category C:
“Animal reproduction studies have not been conducted with [vaccine]. It is also not known whether [vaccine] can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman or can affect reproduction capacity. [Vaccine] should be given to a pregnant woman only if clearly needed.
“Nursing Mothers: It is not known whether [vaccine] is excreted in human milk. Because many drugs are excreted in human milk, caution should be exercised when [vaccine] is administered to a nursing woman.”
BOOSTRIX (referenced above for Category B) is one of the vaccines that is commonly prescribed for pregnant women.

VAERS – Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System

VAERS is the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System. It is really used as a 4th phase of clinical trials for vaccine safety after that vaccines have been approved by the FDA for use on the general public. Anyone can (and should) report a reaction to a vaccine. In fact, ideally, ALL reactions should be reported. Often this is not the case, especially for mild reactions that are to be expected (as listed in the information pamphlet that the Pediatrician gives after administering a vaccine). Most parents don’t even report mild reactions to their Pediatrician. It is important to report all reactions, no matter how mild, so that the FDA, CDC, and manufacturers can reevaluate the safety of a vaccine, and also to document the reaction in case any issues arise down the road. The website even states, “VAERS seeks reports of any clinically significant medical event that occurs after vaccination, even if the reporter cannot be certain that the event was caused by the vaccine. CDC/ISO (Immunization Safety Office) and FDA review adverse reports; VAERS has identified important signals that after further research resulted in changes to vaccine recommendations. VAERS encourages the reporting of any clinically significant adverse event that occurs after the administration of any vaccine licensed in the United States. You should report adverse events even if you are unsure whether a vaccine caused the event.”
The VAERS is a bit tricky to work through. There are certain serious adverse events that are actually required to be reported, by law. See the table here. Many reference the contraindications listed in the vaccine data sheets (above). It is beneficial to read through the Help section before reporting – or even before getting a vaccine, so you know what info to ask your doctor for (how the office paid for the vaccine (Private, Public, Military, or other funds), date/time administered, who administered it, manufacturer, vaccine name, lot number, route, site, number of previous doses, any other vaccines administered within 4 weeks prior (including name, lot number, route, site, number of doses, manufacturer, date), and any previous adverse events. Any medications that the patient was on at the time is also requested.
The FAQs are also helpful to review when filling out the VAERS.

Claims & Compensation

Because no vaccine is 100% safe, there is a separate entity called the VICP or National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. to cover the compensation for injuries caused by vaccines. It is funded by a tax placed on each vaccine and is paid for by the manufacturers.
There is an Injury Table that lists the most common injuries for which people are compensated, but is not all inclusive. In other words, other injuries may also be compensated. Interesting to note that the amount compensated for injuries in 2012 alone was almost 244 million dollars
Claims can be filed for any vaccine resulting in an injury that lasted for more than 6 months after the vaccine was given or resulted in a hospital stay and surgery.


Autism and ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorders) are two terms we hear associated with vaccines quite often these days. The official stance is still that no association has been found linking vaccination to Autism or any ASDs. That being said, there is an abundance of anecdotal evidence to the contrary. Clearly there is a link between Autism and the increase in number of vaccines. In 1980 the average kid received 9 vaccines before age 6. In 2012 the average kid received 49 vaccines before age 6. That’s 40 more vaccines in 6 short years, during a significant developmental period.

Concurrently, Autism rates in 1980 were around 1 in 3750. In 2012 Autism rates were 1 in 88. Today that rate is as low as 1 in 54, in boys.

The increase can be contributed in some part to better diagnostics, but clearly there is a link beyond that. Whether this link is causal remains to be seen and continued research is clearly needed. I suspect a big factor is the standard American diet that most of us have grown up with. The decrease in nutritious foods, and increase in toxic burden from processed, low quality foods renders our immune systems and detoxification pathways unable to keep up. It also opens our guts (our first line of defense) to penetration by all of these toxic chemicals, vaccine components included – which circulate through our blood streams and end up in our brains.

At any rate, for concerned parents that still choose to vaccinate, I can’t stress enough the importance of separating vaccinations, by at least a month between. It is also critical that children never receive a vaccine when they are ill. Even a minor illness with a vaccine thrown on top can be more than their little bodies can handle. There are also some important preparation and detoxification measures that I will address below.

Lastly, never give a child Tylenol for preventative pain relief. Tylenol puts a major burden on the liver, which is already working hard to detoxify the vaccine components. In fact all NSAID pain relievers (Advil, Motrin, Tylenol, generic ibuprofen, generic tylenol, asprin, naproxen), when given immediately before or after a vaccine decrease their effectiveness. (See here why I never reduce a fever either.)
Increase in Vaccine Numbers - Musings of a Modern Hippie’s_Health.html

Increase in Autism Rates - Musings of a Modern Hippie


A Final Word – Ways to Boost Immunity Naturally

Regardless of your decision to vaccinate or not, there are some natural ways to boost immunity that everyone can take advantage of.

Get enough (quality) sleep. Sleep is one of those highly under-rated things that often eludes us these days. 8 hours at least (for adults), of quality sleep does wonders for boosting immunity.

Drink lots of filtered water. Ideally 1/2 your body weight in fluid ounces a day. Other liquids count towards this goal as well, even coffee.

Exercise. Start slow if you don’t regularly exercise. Even a 10 minute walk, every other day, has immune boosting benefits. Try and get your heart pumping a bit, but don’t over exert yourself. Too much exercise (for the average person this is >90 minutes, daily, of INTENSE physical activity) can actually decrease the immune system. Most of us aren’t even close to this amount though.
Probiotics. A quality multi-strain probiotic can do wonders for boosting immunity. As I said above, our gut is our first line of defense. It is critical that we have the proper bacteria in our guts. Besides attacking foreign invaders, bacteria aid in digestion, produce crucial vitamins (K, Bs), regulate metabolism, reduce inflammation, and help prevent allergies. The best source is fermented vegetables, kefir, and kombucha, but a supplement will do in a pinch, if sourcing these foods or making your own is not currently an option for you.
Vitamin C. The standard American diet is sorely lacking in fruit and veggies – natural sources of Vitamin C. Look for a supplement with rose hips and L-ascorbic acid (D- is synthetic and not as bioavailable).
Vitamin D. If you don’t get 15 minutes of direct sunlight on 50% of your body each day, it will be helpful to take a D supplement. Look for D3 instead of D2.
Elderberry Syrup. A great immune booster for the winter flu season or anytime you’ve been exposed to an illness or are feeling rundown.
Echinacea. Another great immune booster.
Wash your hands often. This is a very important step in preventing the spread of disease. Avoid antibacterial products which promote antibiotic resistant bacterial strains as well as kill of your good defensive bacteria. Apply a quality chemical-free hand lotion or oil like coconut oil after each wash to act as a barrier.
Don’t touch your face if you are out in public and can’t wash your hands. Cough and sneeze into your elbow to prevent spreading your germs to others. Wash your hands after blowing your nose or touching your face.
Consider your diet and lifestyle. In my opinion these are the two most important factors in preventing and healing from disease. Small changes, made slowly, will be less daunting, and can make all the difference in the world in terms of your health. Focus on eating real foods, not processed gimmicks from a box, bottle, or container. If you can’t quite give up your convenience items just yet, look for organic versions of the same thing. Read labels. If you can’t pronounce something or don’t recognize an ingredient, find something else.
Ultimately, do your homework, read the vaccine inserts and don’t blindly trust your physician or others to provide you with all of the information necessary to make an educated decision. Once you’ve made your decision, feel confident that you are making the best choice for yourself and your family. Don’t let others discourage you or pressure you to make up your mind. Take your time and own your decision. People feel very passionately about vaccinations and while it can be beneficial to listen openly to both sides, the decision is still yours.
I hope this post, Comprehensive Guide to Vaccinations for School Aged Children – Required, Recommended, Risks, Exemptions, was as helpful to you as it was to me in doing the research. Feel free to post any follow up questions you may have below.
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4 comments for “Comprehensive Vaccination Guide

  1. April 2, 2014 at 6:11 pm

    Wow this is a great one stop shop for vaccine info. Ill be sharing this. We decided on a modified vaccine schedule excluding the less serious diseases like chicken pox. I really appreciate the ingredient break down!

  2. April 5, 2014 at 7:37 pm

    Great info. I wish you lived in Georgia as I would love to have a personalized version of this.

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