Home   Avoiding Toxins   Are Vaccines Safe? – Episode 43

Are Vaccines Safe? – Episode 43

#43 – Are Vaccines Safe? ** September 24, 2014 @ 7pm EST
Guest // Barbara Loe Fisher ** Host // Larry Palevsky, MD

Listen to Fearless Parent Radio online on PRN.fm or on your phone by dialing (619) 550-0869. Once the show has aired, listen on our Archived Shows page, iTunes, or Podbean.

vaccinationVaccination. It’s one of the most challenging subjects that parents encounter. Doctors vaccinate pregnant women and babies receive 33 doses of 14 vaccines by 15 months of age, starting on the day of birth.

More parents are saying “no, thanks.” This is described as an educated, upper middle class phenomenon but the truth is that vaccine ambivalence cuts a wide swath. In addition to philosophical and religious objections, people are seriously concerned about the new childhood normal of sick, fat, and at risk kids.

When parents try to talk about vaccine safety, they are quickly shot down (pun intended). In the media and in our neighborhood, risks are downplayed, parental fears are sidestepped, and name calling ensues. Parasite. Freeloader. Typhoid Mary. Non-vaccinating parents are told “the book is closed” (on the autism-vaccine link) and they are accused of medical neglect and spreading disease.

These assertions are repeated by industry spokespeople and public health cops, but they are not supported by the evidence base. Mainstream media parrot the party line and fail to acknowledge serious, legitimate concerns. Parents want the straight story from true experts. Board-certified pediatrician, Larry Palevsky, interviews the nation’s leading vaccine safety advocate, Barbara Loe Fisher, and asks the burning questions:

  • Are vaccines safe and effective?
  • Can vaccines cause autism and chronic illness?
  • Are all pediatricians required to vaccinate?
  • What can parents do if they suspect a vaccine injury?
  • How do parents opt out of vaccines?
  • What does the close public-private partnership in vaccine promotion and development mean for vaccine safety?
  • If vaccines are safe, why does government compensate individuals for harm and death caused by vaccines?
  • Why are more parents questioning authority?
  • What are good sources of information?
  • Can you explain the meaning of the recent CDC whistleblower statement?

Whether you’re a parent or contemplating vaccines for yourself, doing your own research starts with an open mind. Listen in.

barbara-loe-fisherBarbara Loe Fisher is president of the National Vaccine Information Center, a non-profit charity she co-founded with parents of DPT vaccine injured children in 1982. Co-author of the seminal 1985 book, DPT: A Shot in the Dark, she has led a three-decade public information campaign to secure informed consent protections in U.S. vaccine policies and laws.


Palevsky0218Lawrence B. Palevsky, MD is a board certified pediatrician who utilizes a holistic approach in his work with children and families. He graduated from NYU School of Medicine, completed his pediatric residency at Mt. Sinai, and fellowship training at Bellevue Hospital. Larry runs his own holistic pediatric practice in Northport, NY and Manhattan. He is a diplomate of the American Board of Integrative Medicine and is the former President of the American Holistic Medical Association.



  • Lea, The Maverick Mama

    So, I would love to play devil’s advocate for a moment as we’re always trying to be open-minded in this debate. Even though we take care to give our son a real food immune-boosting diet and breastfed as best we could, we do vaccinate on a delayed, extremely conservative schedule because our son is in daycare. My mother’s cousin died of rubella as a child, so these diseases are very real to us. This is despite my misgivings on the chemical additives and immune reactions I know they can cause, but in our case the benefit still outweighs the idea of him catching these scary diseases.

    For a fellow Fearless Parent who is increasingly on the fence on this topic, I would love to hear what thoughts you have on typical pro-vax arguments during the show. Specifically regarding the 2010 Pertussis clusters in California, non-vaccinated children exposing younger children, and loss of herd immunity. I like to hear all sides of these arguments. Such a huge fan of your work. Thank you!

    • Lawrence B. Palevsky, MD

      Lea, thank you for your comment. The pertussis clusters in CA were found to occur in predominantly partially/fully vaccinated children. We also don’t know whether there were other environmental factors (pesticide exposure, increased pollution, mercury plumes that descend from China factory runoff) that contributed in any way to the health of the people who developed pertussis at that time, rendering them weaker and more susceptible, or whether the pertussis bacteria that infected them were the same as the bacteria against which we vaccinate. Pertussis bacteria have been known to mutate, in response to the mass vaccination program. One also has to consider that micro-organisms are vulnerable to the changes in environmental factors, as mentioned above, and their replication cycles can be influenced by these non-biological changes, having nothing to do with vaccination status.

      Vaccines are believed to stop children who are vaccinated from carrying the germ, rendering them unable to pass the germ on to other people. As if, the only way germs can be present in the body of other people is when it is passed from an infected/non-vaccinated child, to another. Neither of these statements is scientifically valid, making the last 2 points of your question impossible to legitimately answer. Non-vaccinated children are not responsible, and are not the vectors of transmission to others, in the same way that vaccines don’t stop the vaccinated children from carrying, and/or passing along, bacteria or viruses. Therefore, the whole concept of herd immunity is based on faulty concepts and faulty reasoning.

  • eram

    Time and time zone, please?

  • sarah

    i have TONS of questions about this topic but one burning question is: what exactly is meant when the term “herd immunity” is used, and is there such a thing truly? why or why not? is herd immunity a good argument for encouraging vaccinations? if so, which ones for which diseases? another question: please distinguish between a “live” vaccine and otherwise. which vaccines are “live”? thanks. Hope I asked these questions understandably/correctly….

    • Lawrence B. Palevsky, MD

      Sarah, thank you for your comment. The concept of herd immunity is thrown around as if it is completely based in scientific validity. It is not, and therefore, is not a good argument for encouraging vaccinations, even though it is passed along as if it is gospel. Unfortunately, it is too long an answer to give in this type of forum. But, suffice it to say, herd immunity is based on the belief, and not the proof, that vaccines stop the vaccinated children from carrying the micro-organisms against which they’ve been vaccinated, making it impossible for the germ to now be passed from them to others. Therefore, if enough children are vaccinated, there will be fewer micro-organisms to be passed along to others, rendering the unvaccinated herd immune. These beliefs are simply not true. The presence of micro-organisms is not altered by vaccination. The life cycles and the mutability of the micro-organisms, however, are affected by vaccinations.

  • sarah

    on the note of government compensating for vaccine damages/death to people, are there other situations out there that government compensates for in this manner or simialrly? or otherwise? why is compensation somewhat readily available from the govt for vaccine related damages and death? makes me wonder how dangerous vaccines really are?

  • Lisa

    Well for me, the flu vaccine was not safe. I had a life-threatening reaction. I would have recovered from the flu in at most 2 weeks, it took 4 years to recover 95% from the shot.

  • Maija

    Hi – my 7 y/o son was vaccinated until he was 18 months (did not have MMR or Chickenpox vaccines). It was at that point that we did research and realized that many of his issues (severe digestive issues – colic/reflux/diarrhea; no speech; twitches/tics, etc.) were likely tied in with all the vaccines (had 5-6 at a time at 2, 4 and 6 months). Lots of auto-immune disease in my family (grandmother with RA; father with psoriasis for starters). He is doing much better (originally thought to be autistic but went GF/CF at age 2 – we also did GAPS diet for 3 years) and he is doing much better (very smart & social). Still alot of anxiety, mild OCD and is very ritualistic at times.

    We are doing homeopathy for the Hep B and DPT vaccines that the homeopath believes caused damage to my son. Does anyone have any experience with this?

  • kelly

    thank you, Dr. P is my hero & thank you BLF for your perseverance…
    it’s all so insane that I wouldn’t recommend having kids today.
    so is government ignorant or is this a depopulation method?

  • VICK

    Dr Palevsky,
    We truly appreciate your good work and advice. I am a pharmacist by profession and have had to completely unlearn what was taught in school and with CE’s etc.

    We decided to not vaccinate at all – but I’d like to know the risks involved for our child in the future. eg. if our child doesn’t develop chickenpox or measles at a young age (like we did), does he stand a greater chance of adverse effects later on in life as a teen or adult?
    Do you personally recommend partial or delayed vaccines or advocate not vaccinating at all?
    What are the potential issues for our child in terms of college attendance, living in dorms etc?
    What about overseas travel – polio and TB areas ? Do we vaccinate for travel or not do it?
    I am sorry to ask so many questions in a public forum but not I am not sure how else to get in touch with you?

    • Lawrence Palevsky

      Dear Vick, these are all great questions. And, the answers to them are extensive, and cannot adequately be answered in a forum such as this. I do provide educational phone consultations if you are interested. Please feel free to call my office at 631-262-8505 to set something up.

  • knowledge is power

    Thank you for doing this show. It may be the most important health issue of our time.

  • Peter Thibodeau

    Very good discussion.

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