NVIC Vaccine News

Knowledge is the Antidote for Vaccine Orthodoxy

By Barbara Loe Fisher
Published January 10, 2016 in Rights & Ethics

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Humans have experienced two centuries of vaccine orthodoxy. That orthodoxy dictates that we believe vaccination is safe and effective and should be mandated by governments. It began with medical doctors insisting we get one dose of smallpox vaccine, 1 and has exploded over the past century into a U.S. government dictate that every child get 69 doses of 16 vaccines. 2

Vaccine orthodoxy equally applied to every disease, every vaccine and every person, regardless of need or individual susceptibility to harm.

Today, everybody knows somebody who was healthy, got vaccinated and was never healthy again. And when the risks of vaccination turn out to be 100 percent for us or someone we love, the logical course of action is to learn more so we can make sure it doesn’t happen again.

Pediatricians: Keepers of Vaccine Knowledge

Baby being given shot

When I was growing up, the place to acquire knowledge for free was the town public library and I happily checked out books on history, art, biology, philosophy and literature. Then, in the 1960’s, I joined the 15 percent of women attending college, 3 in greater numbers than any generation before, and gained access to a university library where I could learn even more.

When I became pregnant in the late 1970’s, one of the first things I did was go to the public library and read books on pregnancy, childbirth and nutrition so I could learn how to give my baby the best start in life. But those parenting books did not contain information about vaccine risks. And pediatricians, who were the keepers of vaccine knowledge, did not share vaccine reaction information with mothers trusting them to “first, do no harm” to their children.

Lack of knowledge was why I did not know how to identify classic symptoms of brain inflammation 4 5 that developed within hours of my son being injected with a fourth DPT shot.

1982: Parents Renew Protests About Vaccine Safety

Dissatisfied with the fact that I was not empowered with knowledge about vaccination that could have kept my child safe, in 1982 I joined with parents of vaccine injured children and launched a new vaccine safety and informed consent movement in America, one that renewed the parent-led grassroots dissent of earlier generations. 6 7 8

That was 16 years before a doctor in Great Britain wrote an article about MMR vaccine and autism; 9 and 26 years before a Hollywood actress talked about how her son developed autism after vaccination; 10 and 34 years before $3.3 billion dollars had been awarded to victims of vaccine injury and death under the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act, with brain and immune system damage caused by pertussis, measles and influenza containing vaccines accounting for 75 percent of the cases. 11

Knowledge is Power

President Thomas Jefferson said, “Knowledge is power, knowledge is safety and knowledge is happiness.” 12 A lifelong champion of education and free thought, he ensured that freedom of religion, speech, and press be among the most important rights outlined in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. 13

National Library of Medicine

Yet, today in America, when we take the initiative to become educated about vaccination and infectious diseases, we are publicly labeled as “ignorant” and “selfish” if our newfound knowledge leads us to disagree with vaccine orthodoxy. 14 15 16 Knowledge is power and, as a 19th century poet said so well, “doubt grows with knowledge.” 17 So, it is no wonder that physician keepers of vaccine risk knowledge, secrets and myths 18 are threatened in the 21st century by the people’s ability to gain free access to the Library of Medicine online 19 and engage in uncensored conversations about vaccination.

Educated Parents Rejecting Vaccine Orthodoxy

Study after study reveals that, increasingly, it is college educated, financially stable middle class parents, who are seeking knowledge and rejecting vaccine orthodoxy.20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 In response, those controlling and profiting from the mass vaccination system are using classic propaganda techniques 28 to persuade lawmakers to legally compel all Americans to be vaccinated according to orthodoxy or be punished with denial of civil and human rights. 29

Mickey Mouse with Measles

Last year at this time, we saw an unprecedented, highly orchestrated media campaign whipping up hysteria about a few cases of measles at Disneyland to justify eliminating personal belief vaccine exemptions from California education and child care employment laws. 30 31 32 Parents objecting to vaccine mandates were demonized and there were calls for their imprisonment, 33 as well as online censorship of public discussion of vaccine risks and failures, 34 and the de-licensing of doctors questioning vaccine safety. 35 36

This year, public humiliation of anyone who rejects vaccine orthodoxy has already begun. A New Year’s Eve editorial in a Colorado newspaper branded parents, who will not “listen and comply” with government “vaccination rules,” as “odd,” “foolish,” “irresponsible” and “reckless,” and said a law should be passed to force them to comply. 37

Two days later, a national business magazine targeted a Jewish holistic family practice doctor for shaming because he wrote a blog criticizing vaccine safety and objecting to the banning of children from Jewish summer camp if they have not gotten every dose of every vaccine on the federally dictated schedule. 38 He was described as a “threat to public health” and it was suggested that doctors like him criticizing vaccine orthodoxy should be stripped of their medical license.

Racial Profiling and Shaming of Caucasian Parents

Protect all Babies

Another disturbing type of propaganda to re-emerge as we head into 2016 is what I described in 2012 as “turning vaccine exemptions into class warfare.” 39 This involves highly educated, well-paid physician politicians and professors in academia, who are engaging in racial profiling and the shaming of educated, middle class Caucasian parents challenging vaccine orthodoxy.

“Rich, white and refusing vaccinations,” screamed one racially charged newspaper headline on Christmas Eve. 40 “If you live in a rich, white community where lots of people don’t vaccinate their kids, that could be dangerous” claimed a health policy professor. 41

As a middle class woman who worked my way through college and learned the hard way as a mother why it is unwise to blindly accept vaccine orthodoxy, I find it interesting that graduating from college, attaining financial stability and being born Caucasian has been turned into an excuse for normalizing prejudice, intolerance and discrimination that would not be condoned in America in any other setting.

Vaccine Injury and Death Does Not Discriminate

Crushing boot of state

Vaccine injury and death does not discriminate between races or social classes, except when people are kept ignorant, economically dependent and unable to make informed choices. As more women, no matter what their race or social class, graduate from college in even greater numbers in America, 42 they will be seeking knowledge about vaccine risks after they become Moms. It is one reason why we are witnessing an accelerated push by government and industry to eliminate the legal right to informed consent to vaccine risk taking in America. 43 44 45 46

Those embracing vaccine orthodoxy have a right to their beliefs, but they should not be given the legal right to persecute and punish fellow citizens refusing to convert. Tyranny by any other name is still tyranny.

Exercise and Defend Civil and Human Rights

While we still have freedom of speech, press, thought, conscience and religion in America, please exercise and defend those civil and human rights at every opportunity. If we all stand up for the freedom we have left today, we will not lose more of it tomorrow.

Knowledge is the antidote to vaccine orthodoxy because knowledge is power.

Subscribe to the free NVIC Newsletter and The Vaccine Reaction journal and gain knowledge. Learn about how to identify and report vaccine reactions. Read about vaccine ingredients in the vaccine manufacturer product inserts. Download an illustrated, fully referenced Reforming Vaccine Policy and Law guide and sign up for the free NVIC Advocacy Portal to work with others in your state defending vaccine informed consent rights.

In 2016, empower yourself with knowledge about vaccine science, policy and law. Be a teacher and pass that knowledge on to your family and friends and leaders in your community.

You never know whose life you will save.

It’s your health. Your family. Your choice.


1 NIH. Smallpox Vaccination. US Library of Medicine July 30, 2013.

3 Bidwell A. Women More Likely to Graduate College, but Still Earn Less Than Men. US News & World Report Oct. 31, 2014.

4 Medline Plus. Encephalitis Causes and Symptoms. Dec. 2, 2015.

5 Institute of Medicine Vaccine Safety Committee. Adverse Effects of Pertussis and Pertussis and Rubella Vaccines. Encephalopathy (pp. 86-88). Washington, D.C. National Academies Press 1991.

10 McCarthy J. Louder Than Words: A Mother’s Journey in Healing Autism. New York. Penguin Group 2008.

12 Jefferson T. Letter from President Thomas Jefferson to George Ticknor, Nov. 25, 1817. Thomas Jefferson Foundation, Monticello.org.

13 FindLaw for Legal Professionals. U.S. Constitution – First Amendment.

18 Fisher BL. The Vaccine Culture War: Are You Ready? NVIC Newsletter Mar. 8, 2015.

20 Smith PJ, Chu SY, Barker LE. Children Who Have Received No Vaccines: Who Are They and Where Do They Live? Pediatrics 2004; 114(1): 187-195.

21 Salmon DA, Moulton LH, Omer SB et al. Factors Associated With Refusal of Childhood Vaccines Among Parents of School-aged Children . Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2005;159(5):470-476.

22 Salmon DA, Sotir JS, Pan WK et al. Parental Vaccine Refusal in Wisconsin: A Case-Control Study. Wisconsin Medical Journal 2009; 108(1): 17-23.

23 Omer SB, Salmon DA, Orenstein WA, deHart PM, Halsey N. Vaccine Refusal, Mandatory Immunization and the Risks of Vaccine Preventable Diseases. N Engl J Med 2009; 360(19): 1981-1988.

25 Siddiqui M, Salmon D, Omer SB.Epidemiology of vaccine hesitancy in the United States. Hum Vaccin Immunother 2013; 9(1): 2643-2648.

29 Fisher BL. Testimony opposing SB277, a bill eliminating personal belief vaccine exemption . California State Assembly Committee on Health June 9, 2015.

32 Richardson D. The Fallout from California SB277: What Happens Next? NVIC Newsletter Sept. 5, 2015.

33 Berezow A. Jail 'anti-vax" parents . USA Today Jan. 28, 2015.

34 Kluger J. Facebook Must Shut Down the Anti-Vaxxers. Time Magazine Feb. 19, 2015.

35 Lipson P. Anti-Vaccine Doctors Should Lose Their License . Forbes Jan. 30, 2015.

36 Caplan A. Revoke the license of any doctor who opposes vaccination . Washington Post Feb. 6, 2015.

38 Lipson P. No Vaccination, No Camp. Finally. Forbes Jan. 2, 2016.

39 Fisher BL. Turning Vaccine Exemptions Into Class Warfare . NVIC Newsletter Sept. 14, 2012.

40 Bakalar N. Rich, White, Refusing Vaccinations. New York Times Dec. 24, 2015.

42 Rampell C. Data Reveal a Rise in College Degrees Among Americans . New York Times June 12, 2013.

43 Fisher BL. Blackmail and the Medical Vaccine Exemption . NVIC Newsletter May 18, 2015.

45 Hodge JG, Campos-Outcalt D. Legally Limiting Lies About Vaccines. Jurist Nov. 17, 2015.

46 Billington JK, Omer SB.Use of Fees to Discourage Nonmedical Exemptions to School Immunization Laws in the U.S. Am J Public Health Dec. 21, 2015.

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14 Responses to "Knowledge is the Antidote for Vaccine Orthodoxy"
Commenter Name
angelo and lena sturino
Posted: 1/12/2016 11:46:41 AM
This is very informative and really guides those who living in a age of the information highway to seek the necessary knowledge and understanding and the ability in a democratic society to debate the type of treatment necessary to assure the child safety and care...........
Commenter Name
Brett Thackeray
Posted: 1/12/2016 2:16:28 PM
Thank you for continuing to inform us. NVIC is a beacon amongst the political smog.
Commenter Name
Regina Creeley
Posted: 1/12/2016 7:41:41 PM
Hello, as a special education teacher of thirty years, I have experienced the increased numbers of special needs students in the same community over 3 decades. It is astounding how many more students qualify for special services and how much more severe the handicapping conditions are now than even twenty years ago. When vaccines were tested for safety they were tested on healthy children who were screened for their complete healthy profiles. There is more childhood illnesses today than when those tests were done and children have greater chemical body burdens. We need new testing to investigate the interactions of environmentally present chemicals with the many ingredients present in vaccines. Safety is an ongoing concern. Testing of the past needs to be re-done and where testing was non-existent or done over a short period of time like the Gardisal vaccine it must be re-done. Real beautiful, precious children need all of us to be continually vigilant about massive programs that affect millions. Sincerely, Regina Creeley Hudson, Maine
Commenter Name
Posted: 1/13/2016 2:48:05 PM
To Regina Creeley. Actually vaccine NEVER BEING TESTED FOR SAFETY!
Commenter Name
Jaydyn B
Posted: 1/13/2016 8:24:27 PM
I no longer feel like I have a legal right to refuse here in California even though I have a strong medical reason. Doctor's here are to afraid to write medical exceptions. Is there any States that don't currently have such strict laws? I'm willing to do whatever it takes. Editors Note: Jaydyn here is our State law pages. You can see from the map that 17 states have Philosophical exemption as well as religious... http://www.nvic.org/Vaccine-Laws/state-vaccine-requirements.aspx Register today with NVICAdvocacy.org! Your health. Your family. Your choice.
Commenter Name
Jaydyn B
Posted: 1/13/2016 8:25:14 PM
Also, thank you for the information.
Commenter Name
David Weiner
Posted: 1/19/2016 10:45:40 AM
Listening to this recap of events, I can only shake my head at the insanity of it all. One minor quibble, though. While, strictly speaking, it is true that vaccine reactions don't discriminate by race or class, it seems that darker-skinned children may be more susceptible to certain types of harm, perhaps as a result of lower vitamin D levels.
Commenter Name
Posted: 1/21/2016 1:20:15 AM
It is hard for me to comprehend that 42 yrs. after my son's DPT adverse event that the state of CA is mandating full vaccination in order to attend school. We are going backwards not forwards. That this decision has nothing to do with public health or good science seems irrelevant. There is so much propaganda that new parents are afraid to even question vaccines and consider common sense. I have a friend with a 15 mo. old grandson displaying developmental delays though he was born healthy. I know three new parents and though I try to counsel them their doctors are coercing and badgering them to vaccinate completely and according to the schedule. I can only pray they survive intact physically and mentally to attend school. We must resist this any way we can.. do what we can in our spheres of influence. Thank-you Barbara for your tireless efforts.
Commenter Name
Posted: 1/28/2016 8:03:43 AM
Thank you, thank you, thank you for ALL that you do and have done to inform parents. I know it must be a very hard road, but your efforts and the efforts of NVIC will someday, I believe, be held up as heroic by a society that has learned from its mistakes. Please think of this when the pressure builds - and we'll keep writing letters to our representatives and informing our friends!
Commenter Name
Posted: 2/22/2016 9:39:12 PM
Why is the link to reference #11 to http://www.hrsa.gov/vaccinecompensation/vicpmonthlyreport01012016.pdf is no longer available? I'd like to read it. Editors Note: Arianna we have no control over the HRSA website but here is the FEB 2016 report we found: http://www.hrsa.gov/vaccinecompensation/vicpmonthlyreport02032016.pdf
Commenter Name
Kathleen Elise
Posted: 3/3/2016 7:05:59 PM
Hello, For a college research paper I am studying the harmful effects of vaccines and one of the paper requirements is an interview with someone well versed on the topic. While very passionate about this subject and desiring to learn more, would it be at all possible to get an email interview with Mrs. Fisher? I have quiet a few questions and would greatly appreciate any help/answers you have to offer. Thank you, Kathleen Editors Note: Kathleen, please send your request to [email protected]
Commenter Name
Jenny M.
Posted: 3/30/2016 10:17:09 AM
People have to stop listening to the so called 'health authorities'. People of lower educational levels (black and white) have a propensity to believe authorities more than those who have been through the school-mill or have worked with those same 'health authorities'. I was fortunate to have a life experience of not trusting doctors as a child, then having worked in academia I and my significant other have seen the way they REALLY work. They are just as human and degenerate as any other profession...even more so. It's like those commercials they used to run that would have some soap opera 'star' selling some medicine on TV who would say "I'm not a doctor, but I play one on TV". The HIDDEN message is saying, "Buy these drugs because I'm an easily recognized media personality that all you saps watch on your soap operas...and actually would listen to me, even though I don't know anything!"
Commenter Name
Sidney Broussard
Posted: 7/7/2016 9:59:32 AM
My wife is diagnosed with Neuromyelitis Optica shortly after taking her last dose of the Hepatitis B Vaccine. The Doctors say that no one know what causes this but, I found proof with the help of this site and I don't understand why our Doctors are not standing up and telling the truth to the public. My wife was a healthy 48 years old woman and now she is paralyzed!!! She has been hospitalized since Mothers day! What a mothers day present!!!
Commenter Name
Posted: 7/27/2016 1:43:23 PM
The only epidemics to be seen are adverse reactions to vaccines.
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