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Frequently Asked Questions


Many of the email letters and telephone calls that we receive discuss common concerns. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions and our responses.

1. Our pediatrician won't treat our non-vaccinated child. Do you have a list of open-minded doctors?

2. I was told that vaccines are mandatory. Is this true?

3. Doctors claim that my non-vaccinated child will spread disease to vaccinated children. How is this possible?

4. Is my non-vaccinated child at risk from recently vaccinated children?

5. If I don't vaccinate, what are my options?

6. My child received some vaccines, then we stopped. Is this safe?

7. Our child was damaged by vaccines but the doctor denies it.

8. How do I remove vaccines from our child's body?

9. How do I reverse vaccine damage?

10. I'm traveling overseas. Are vaccines required?

11. My husband and I do not vaccinate. We want to expose our children to the natural diseases [chickenpox, measles, mumps, or rubella] so that they can gain a lifelong immunity. Can you help?

12. How are vaccines made? Where can I find a list of ingredients?

13. Where can I find local support groups, lawyers, and other resources?

14. I'm outraged at the damage being inflicted on our children by mandatory vaccines. I want to help. What can I do to contribute? How can I become more involved?

2nd Edition,
2015 Copyright

by Neil Z. Miller

This incredible reference book is the world's most complete guide to immunization risks and protection. It includes pertinent information on every major vaccine: polio, tetanus, MMR, hepatitis A, B, HPV (cervical cancer), Hib, Flu, chickenpox, shingles, rotavirus, pneumococcal, meningococcal, RSV, DTaP, anthrax, smallpox, TB, and more. All of the information, including detailed vaccine safety and efficacy data, is written in an easy-to-understand format, yet includes more than 1,000 scientific citations. More than 100 charts, graphs and illustrations supplement the text. This encyclopedic health manual is an important addition to every family's home library and will be referred to again and again.

* More than 100 Charts,
Graphs and Illustrations

* Includes separate chapters
on Autism, Rhogam,
Vitamin K shots,
the TB Test, and more...

352 Pages
Code: VSM $19.95

For a complete selection of publications on vaccines, alternative health, and natural childcare, please visit the...

Thinktwice/New Atlantean Bookstore

Contact Information:

Thinktwice Global
Vaccine Institute

PO Box 9638
Santa Fe, NM 87504

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Our Responses

1. When I told my doctor that I am not going to have my children vaccinated, he (she) became very angry and told me that he will not treat them, and that I am no longer welcome in his office. Do you have a list of doctors in my area who will respect my decision to not vaccinate and still treat my children? [Sample Letters]

A. Your situation is not uncommon. Many pediatricians refuse to treat children when their parents object to the shots. This is just one tactic doctors employ in an effort to intimidate moms and dads into vaccinating against their will. You should be thankful that this dysfunctional relationship with your health practitioner has been terminated.

I'm sorry, but we do not maintain a directory of "sympathetic" pediatricians, and are unaware of any such list. You might try searching for a naturopathic, homeopathic, or chiropractic doctor in your yellow pages. By the way, why do you need a baby doctor? According to Dr. Robert Mendelsohn, MD, very few childhood conditions truly warrant medical attention. This world-renowned pediatrician was ostracized from the medical community for writing a bestselling book teaching parents how to look after their children's health. How to Raise a Healthy Child...In Spite of Your Doctor will provide you with the confidence necessary to assess many childhood conditions on your own. We also recommend Smart Medicine for a Healthier Child, co-authored by holistic and medical doctors. This encyclopedic manual covers just about every possible childhood event, and gives YOU the option on how to handle each situation.

Remember, in most states children are not required to receive vaccines until they enter school, and you have the legal right to exempt them from the shots. Acquire a copy of your state vaccine laws. These are available from your local library. State laws (and the two books just recommended) are also available from New Atlantean Press: 505-983-1856.

Do not allow yourself to be intimidated and coerced by doctors. Read, study, become informed, and remain firm regarding your decisions.

2. Are vaccines mandatory?

Vaccines are NOT mandatory. Visit our section on Immunization Laws for clarification regarding your legal rights and options.

3. Doctors claim that my non-vaccinated child will spread disease. As a result, some parents of vaccinated children won't let their kids come near or play with my children. What can I do?

Q. My daughter never had a vaccination. I have recently been informed by my brother's wife that she feels my daughter is a danger to her 2-month-old son, and does not want her around for the first 18 months of his life. Her pediatrician told her that my daughter was a "disease carrier" and could give it to anyone around her.

A. Some doctors will say anything to get parents to vaccinate, even if it doesn't make sense or is an outright lie. They spread this incredible baloney to make parents like you feel guilty, and to create tension between parents of vaccinated and non-vaccinated children. It is a ploy to coerce you into vaccinating your child.

First of all, how could your non-vaccinated child be a danger to the vaccinated child? If the vaccines are effective, then the baby should be protected. Actually, it's the vaccinated children who spread disease. Many of the disease outbreaks that we are warned about today, are caused by, and occur in, recently vaccinated children.

Q. In the December/January edition of BabyTalk magazine from the publishers of Parenting, there is a question by a parent worried about her vaccinated child being in contact with her neighbor's unvaccinated child (p. 17). The response is ridiculous, accompanied by a large picture with the caption, "One baby without shots puts all the rest at risk." Would you be willing to respond to the magazine with a refutation? Or possibly a parent whose child was severely damaged or killed by a vaccine could respond. My first thought was to write something myself, but it would be secondhand information by me. I am concerned for all the innocent parents who read this and become worried. They should have at least been advised to do some research on their own!

A. We think Parenting and Baby Talk magazines are a disgrace to parents everywhere. They appear to be puppets of the medical establishment, with one-sided pro-vaccine medical advisors on their board.

A non-vaccinated child cannot put vaccinated children at risk if the vaccines are effective. In fact, it is the vaccinated children who expose other children to increased risk. This has been confirmed again and again in outbreaks where a majority of the affected children were recently vaccinated.

4. My child was not vaccinated. How do I protect him from other children who were recently vaccinated?

Q. I just had some visitors to my house and after about an hour of their kids playing with mine, they informed me that the 17 month old just got his shots this afternoon. I was panic-stricken! I have heard of people contracting diseases from others who are immunized. Is this true? What are the risks of exposure to my children? Any other stories like this? Then again -- if there is a high risk associated with not immunizing and contracting something by being around others who have, do you just stay home and live in a bubble, never going anywhere for fear of 'catching' something? Please respond and let me know if there is anything to be done now. Thanks.

Q. I have not vaccinated my son. I am planning on providing daycare services this fall. My question is: If one of the daycare children was vaccinated the day before or within a range of a few days, is my son at risk in any way? Do vaccinated children "carry" the disease they are being vaccinated against? I guess my concern would be the live viruses like the oral polio vaccine. Any information you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

A. Recently vaccinated children do carry the disease germ and are able to spread it to other children. Many so-called epidemics are initiated and spread in this manner, even though the unvaccinated are blamed. On the other hand, a passive immunity to the disease may also be gained in this manner. In fact, some "authorities" argue that parents who do not vaccinate their children reap the benefits without taking the risks -- a curious argument since they also argue that such parents are irresponsible by unnecessarily exposing their children to greater risk by choosing not to vaccinate.

Some daycare centers do not permit non-vaccinated children to enroll. Wouldn't it be ironic to see the authorities' reactions if they discovered a daycare center that does not permit vaccinated children to join!

Q. I am the mother of nine children, and none of them have ever been immunized. My husband is a chiropractor and his mother had not believed in immunization for the last few of her 8 children. I come from a traditional medical oriented family but that has had little effect on my attitude concerning immunization. I have had moments of stress concerning whooping cough and the fear of tetanus infection. But the one real problem that caught me totally off guard was when my girls began to babysit. I am concerned about them babysitting children who have just received the DPT shot. I have probably over-reacted by not letting them babysit any such child for 3 weeks following the shot but I have never seen any information about how long that child might infect others. I have read that the cases of polio stem from the shot, and of some people getting it by being in contact with a recently immunized child. I don't know if this is a valid concern or an over-reaction on my part. People don't think to tell a babysitter that their child has just had shots because it is such a normal thing in our society. I look forward to an informative response.

A. Whooping cough is generally not a concern in older children; it may pass as a simple cold. Children under a year old are the main ones likely to experience complications.

Every year -- until the oral polio vaccine was replaced with the inactivated "dead" vaccine -- about 10 people in the USA contracted polio by coming into contact with a recently vaccinated child. These cases generally occurred in people with compromised immune systems. For example, a grandmother with a weakened immune system may contract it by changing the baby's diaper. Simply stated, it is unlikely that your daughter is in danger.

Q. I have a question that I have not been able to find the answer to. With our baby girl not having been given any shots, we were told we would need to keep her away from any age children that have recently been vaccinated. How true is that? And if so, for how long? Until she is what age? How do we know what children have been recently given any shots? If this makes any sense at all, could you please provide us with some direction?

A. You can't possible know who has been recently vaccinated, so I don't know how you could "protect" a child from such exposure short of isolating him or her from society. Some researchers make the claim that non-vaccinated children gain protection from disease by being exposed to vaccinated children. (They also claim that non-vaccinated children are at risk of contracting these diseases.) If you are concerned, and know that a friend or playmate was recently vaccinated, you might consider keeping the kids outdoors to play for a few days. Otherwise I wouldn't worry too much.

Q. Where can I find more specific information about the dangers of an unvaccinated child around vaccinated ones? This has always been a source of tension around other family members and their children as well. Two other family members consulted with their pediatricians and were each told something different. So now our family has three different doctors' opinions. One says it would be good for our daughter to be around a recently vaccinated child, the second says it doesn't matter at all, and the third says she is in danger because of her unvaccinated status. Could you help me please? Thank you for your time.

A. You heard three different stories regarding whether your child is at risk when exposed to a recently vaccinated child. Some doctors say yes. Others say your child will gain "contact immunity" from being exposed to vaccinated children. And still others don't know what to say. If you are particularly concerned, ventilate the house (open some windows), or let the children play outdoors. But I wouldn't worry about it too much.

5. I don't want my child to receive vaccines but I don't want him to catch a disease either. What are my options?

Q. Hello. I have four children. They have all had the "mandatory" vaccines and never once has anyone mentioned the risks. My youngest is 7 1/2 months old and is scheduled to have another round of vaccinations in two weeks. I am scared to let them vaccinate her, but I am also scared not to let them for fear that she may contract the diseases they are meant to prevent. What are my healthy alternatives? Thanks for your help.

Q. I have a 1-year-old daughter who is healthy and happy but I am very concerned about her receiving her 1-year vaccinations. I am curious if you have any information about an alternative to future vaccines. If you could email me back with info or possible literature on this subject I would greatly appreciate it.

Q. Thank you for the information on your web pages and reference material. However I would like more information on natural therapies and alternatives to medical immunization. In particular, homeopathy as a method to boost the immune system and as a treatment for childhood illnesses. I would appreciate it if you could point me in the right direction to find the relevant information.

Q. I have decided against vaccinating my son the "traditional" way and was wondering if there is another way to help build up my son's immune system with homeopathic remedies? If so, where can I buy them and how do I use them for a 2 1/2 month old?

Q. What are some homeopathic alternatives to vaccines? What do you recommend to boost the immune system of children under one year, and above?

A. Parents must educate themselves prior to making a decision regarding vaccines so that they may sleep comfortably at night. If you are unsure, I recommend further investigation into this subject. Some of your options are to vaccinate, to consider homeopathic alternatives, or to do nothing and contend with disease if and when it occurs. (Many intelligent people do not think every childhood ailment is a grave cause of concern. They wonder why a child's immune system needs special treatment. Breastfeeding and natural foods work for many families. And besides, there are no guarantees that your children will not contract diseases after they are vaccinated.)

Homeopathic remedies are available at many health stores. You may also consult your yellow pages to locate a local naturopathic, homeopathic, or chiropractic doctor. The Thinktwice/New Atlantean Bookstore offers several excellent books on vaccines and childcare options. For example, we import from England, Homeopathy in Epidemic Diseases. We also recommend How to Raise a Healthy Child...In Spite of Your Doctor by Dr. Robert Mendelsohn, and Smart Medicine for a Healthier Child, co-authored by two holistic health practitioners and a medical doctor. These books will empower you with options. Best wishes on your parenting choices.

6. My child received some of his vaccines. My husband and I recently decided that we don't want him to receive any more. Is there a danger in not completing the entire series of shots?

Q. I want very much to no longer vaccinate my 14-month-old baby. I have a concern, though. He's already started down that path. Might it be more detrimental to stop mid-stream?

Q. If we don't give our child the shots, will he have a higher risk because of the impartial immunization? I mean compared to both unimmunized and completely immunized children.

Q. If our son had two shots but doesn't have the third will he have enough live virus to cause a disease but not enough antibody to fight it? Or by not following the recommended schedule, if he is forced to get a third shot later, for example before he goes to school, will the side effect become larger?

Q. My daughter is 4 months old and is due for her next immunizations. I don't want to continue, but I am concerned that since I gave her first set of shots, that she may be at higher risk to get a disease now? What do you think?

Q. Is it safe, once started on the vaccines, to just quit without any adverse reactions? I am afraid if I quit giving my children the vaccines that they may get hurt from it. Is this a false fear? The doctor wouldn't answer that question except that I am putting my children at risk for the disease.

Q. My daughter is 5 and is scheduled to have her checkup at which time she is to receive the following vaccinations: Oral Polio, MMR and DPT. She has received all her previous vaccinations up to this time. However, the more I have been hearing, I have decided to do some research on these vaccinations, as I have had an unsettled feeling about proceeding with having her vaccinated. Seeing that she has had her previous vaccinations, I do not know if there could be any detriment to her for not finishing the series up. Could you please provide me with information regarding that?

A. Both vaccination and non-vaccination provide certain risks. That is why every parent has an obligation to research this subject until they are well informed and comfortable with their decision.

Vaccines are not antibiotics. They are pharmaceutical drugs. If, through your research, you determine that vaccines are toxic and detrimental, we fail to see how continuing them can produce benefit or discontinuing them can be harmful.

7. Shortly after my child received his shots, he started having seizures, [became autistic, died from SIDS, was diagnosed with a virus, or contracted some other life-threatening disease]. My husband and I are sure it was related to the vaccines. His doctor denies it. What do you think?

A. Many children (and adults) receive vaccines and shortly thereafter have a serious reaction, often requiring emergency hospitalization. Such reactions include seizures, autism, immunological damage, neurological damage, sudden infant death syndrome, and/or a number of other rare and elaborately named "new" diseases. Often, the doctor, nurse, or hospital personnel will try to convince you that the reaction is "normal" and nothing to worry about. Other times they will claim your child contracted a simple virus, or is screaming uncontrollably (nonstop for hours!) because she didn't like the needle prick. These are all lies. Doctors almost NEVER admit a correlation between vaccines and serious reactions. Let me repeat: Do NOT expect your doctor to admit that the vaccines your child recently received caused a serious adverse reaction. In fact, he will most likely try to give your high-risk child MORE of the same vaccines in the very near future. If you succumb to his intimidation and coercion, you risk the life of your child.

You must trust your instincts. If your child received vaccines and you believe that he had a reaction, he probably did. Sometimes the reaction is immediate, sometimes it occurs overnight or within a few days or weeks, and sometimes the damage occurs over longer periods of time.

We receive many personal letters from parents with compelling stories. Many are certain that vaccines caused a serious reaction in their child, but their doctor denied it so they agreed to another series of shots. Often, the 2nd or 3rd set of shots caused permanent and irreversible damage, or proved fatal. Therefore, YOU are responsible for determining whether to continue the shots.

For more information about vaccine reactions and doctor denials, visit some of the links above. You may wish to research vaccine studies or read about some of the problems with multiple vaccines. Information regarding specific vaccines is also posted on this website.

Finally, be sure to contact the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) to add your name to the government's secret vaccine database. Their telephone number is 1-800-822-7967. They will send you a packet of information regarding your child's reaction, plus some basic information on the government's compensation program. Our website also lists several vaccine support organizations, some vaccine lawyers knowledgeable regarding your legal rights, and a few individuals who claim success reversing vaccine damage. Good luck.

8. My child received vaccines before I was aware of the dangers. How do I counteract their negative influence and/or flush them out of his system?

Q. Dear Thinktwice, I love your website. Is there any way that the immunization shots can be flushed out of the system? Please email me if there is a way this can be done.

Q. I have read that homeopathy can offset some of the destructive effects of vaccinations. My husband and I hope to adopt a 5-month-old child in the near future. Unfortunately, the child has already had one series of vaccines. Our hope is that we can gain custody before he receives the next series.

Q. I would be interested in any references you might give me on homeopathic physicians who would help me to counter the effects of the first series of shots.

Q. What can parents do once they've already immunized their children? Our children did not experience any "noticeable" harmful effects, at least in the short term. Do you know of any remedies that can be administered to undo the harm we have already done in ignorance? What options do we have?

Q. I am the mom of a 2 1/2 month old. My husband is in his second quarter at chiropractic school. We decided that we would not have our son vaccinated. However, when I got to the clinic the doctors started making me feel guilty and I realized how ill prepared I was. I gave in to the shots because they started talking about spinal meningitis, etc. Well my son cried for 3 days straight. He would not nurse and he got a rash and still vomits. Is there anything that can flush his body of these toxins?

A. I have heard Dr. Viera Scheibner, author of "Vaccination: 100 Years..." recommend doses of vitamin C, just high enough to cause a mild case of diarrhea. However, some health specialists claim that viral vaccines probably remain in the system for life. We suggest feeding your children with healthy, wholesome, organic foods. Some naturopaths and homeopaths (check your local telephone book) may have other protocols. Our website also provides Alternatives and Solutions -- a list of organizations and practitioners that claim some success flushing vaccines from the system and/or reversing vaccine damage.

9. My child was damaged from vaccines. How do I reverse the damage so that he will be normal and healthy again?

Q. Hello, I am the mother of an 8-month child. Not aware of any of the problems, I allowed my son to receive his DTP-HIB shots at 3 months. He had a slight cold, but the doctor said that was no problem. After two weeks he started having seizures and is still having them. He is suspected of having the uncontrollable type. He is on all the medications thinkable with little result. I have mentioned my worry of a reaction to his injections, but the neurologists don't want to hear about it.

With interest and horror I have been reading your site. In Holland we don't have such information. Something I am missing on this site is what can be done once the vaccination has been given? Can my son be tested to see if his epilepsy was triggered by vaccines, and if so, is there anything known to reverse the vaccination? Thanks for reading this and I hope you can give me some information.

A. As you've discovered, children should not receive shots when they are sick, in spite of the doctor's recommendations. Of course, there is no guarantee that your child wouldn't react in the same manner even if he did not have a slight cold. Vaccines can cause serious reactions whether the child is healthy or ill. For example, several different vaccines (i.e., DTaP, HPV, Prevnar, etc.), and/or several vaccines administered simultaneously, can cause babies to experience seizures. Read some of our more recent letters to better understand the possibilities.

Some people believe that homeopathy can alleviate some of the symptoms. However, neurological damage is hard to correct. This is why we try to inform parents about the risks of vaccinating before the damage is done. You may wish to contact a local naturopath or homeopath. We post a small list of organizations and practitioners who may be able to help you reverse vaccine damage. Good luck in your search for a cure.

10. My family will be traveling to a foreign country where vaccines are required. We don't want to get the shots. What can we do?

A. Vaccines are rarely required to travel to another country. Some letters and responses are posted below. (If you are a citizen of a country other than the USA, and want to come to the United States, vaccines are NOT required. For more information, please visit our section on Immunization Laws, #6: U.S. Entry. )

Q. My family, including my two children ages 9 and 10, will be traveling with me to India at the end of next week. We will be there for three weeks. I will be traveling onto Nepal and North Vietnam by myself to visit friends. We will be mostly in towns, tourist places and a couple of wildlife parks. The CDC and doctors recommend hepatitis A, hepatitis B, tetanus, typhoid, polio, malaria (Larium or mefloquine), and possibly Japanese encephalitis. I saw the information on your web page about the hepatitis B vaccine. We are not aware of any unusual outbreaks of these diseases in any of the places we plan to go. We are tempted to not take any of these vaccines/preventives. We would appreciate your perspectives on any of them.

A. Your concerns are common ones. The CDC and doctors recommend a cocktail of vaccines, yet we have received several notices from travelers who became so sick after receiving the shots that they never made it overseas. (You may also want to read about the problems some families have had with multiple vaccines -- several shots administered simultaneously.)

As you may well be aware, vaccines are rarely required to enter foreign countries. Either you accept the vaccine premise and take your chances with a battery of recommended drugs, or you reject the vaccine premise and trust your body to defend you in the rare possibility of being exposed to one of these diseases. Best wishes with your decision, and on your trip.

Q. Do you have information pertaining to travel vaccines? I will be traveling to Sudan. Is it worth getting Hep A and yellow fever vaccines or better off taking your chances? I'm worried because my daughter was damaged by her 4-year-old booster shots, so I know how bad they are. Do you have any information on Hep A and yellow fever vaccines? I already looked them up on the CDC website, but I don't feel they tell the truth regarding vaccines.

A. The Vaccine Safety Manual has the most extensive, up-to-date information available on several "travel" vaccines. This 560 page reference guide contains separate chapters on hepatitis A, tuberculosis, yellow fever, typhoid fever, cholera, Japanese encephalitis, and more.

Q. A lot of adult vaccines are really problematic too. I was recommended by a travel clinic to have the Japanese encephalitis vaccine for a luxury trip to India and Nepal. We're retired and this is the trip we've dreamed about. I went in on September 24 and had shot 1 of 3. They do a before and after blood pressure check. Before was 130/80. After was 140/80. Ten days later, I returned for shot 2. Before was 150/80. The nurse said she didn't want to administer it so I went home. The doctor said to go ahead and complete the series. I didn't. A week later my blood pressure was up to 160/80. Then yesterday it was 170/80, and they gave me a prescription for medication.

I sent an email to our top travel medicine doctor who said there was no reason to have this shot. Please continue to keep people aware. I'm the sort who tends to believe the medical profession. Many are credible, but a few want to peddle unnecessary vaccines. I was given Hepatitis B the same day as well.

A. Thanks for sharing your story. We know of several cases where "travel shots" were administered and the recipients of the shots became so ill that they were unable to go on their vacations. Best wishes.

Q. I am heading overseas, and I am wondering about this whole issue of vaccines. I know from all that I have researched that I would never vaccinate my children if I were staying here in the U.S. But I am wondering if this is something I need to do for my children's safety, as I know that we will not have good medical attention where we are going. We are headed to Papua New Guinea, and the hospitals there are so bad that I would rather die than go to one! My son is two, and he has had all the shots because I had no idea about all the negative impacts they can have on children. My daughter is 6 months, and I am really wondering what to do with her. Help! I need some advice. Everywhere I look I see negative reports on shots, but that is here in the U.S. where kids are not bombarded every day with the germs that can cause some of these childhood diseases. I am open to whatever information you could provide.

A. Some people are convinced that vaccines are beneficial. Others think they are detrimental. You need to study this issue until you are at peace with your decisions. For overseas vaccines, we recommend the following book: Vaccine Safety Manual for Concerned Families and Health Practitioners.

Q. I'd like to say that I was deeply moved by the stories of these poor parents that experienced such loss. As a flight attendant, I am up for vaccinations of tetanus, hepatitis A, yellow fever, and typhoid. I am not going to get them even though they are strongly recommended. Do you have any information on these vaccinations just listed?

A. We have heard several stories of families excitedly preparing for a trip overseas, then told that they should receive several vaccines for foreign travel so that they do not become sick. They received the vaccines and became so sick that they had to cancel their trips; many are still coping with their autoimmune and/or neurological ailments.

You can visit a local library and read the Physician's Desk Reference (PDR) for adverse reactions and contraindications.

Q. First of all, I would like to compliment you on your website. Very informative, just excellent. Here's our issue. We live in Canada and have two biological children who are not vaccinated. We are now in the process of adopting a child from Haiti. Therefore, we can travel to Haiti to pick our baby up. This requires shots. I have not looked into which shots exactly, but what is your take on vaccines "required" for traveling to exotic places? Also, after the baby is placed with us, we will have to make another decision, what to do regarding vaccinating the little one. It will be a child who is less than one year old. At this point we do not know if vaccines will be administered in Haiti before the child is placed with us. Do you have any experience with issues like these?

A. Vaccines are rarely required to travel to other countries. They are, except in rare cases, only recommendations. We recommend caution. Adopted children are often vaccinated, re-vaccinated, and re-vaccinated again. Adopted and foster children are probably the most vaccinated children in the world. Request accurate records so that doctors and adoption authorities in the States do not insist on even more duplicate vaccines.

Q. Regarding foreign travel? How will my unvaccinated children be affected as far as entry into foreign countries, and will they be susceptible to certain diseases due to lack of immunization?

Q. How can I avoid having to take vaccines for international travel? I want to travel to Ghana, and I'm required to take a yellow fever vaccine.

A. Vaccines are rarely required to enter foreign countries or to return to the United States. The State Department will warn you if they think your child will be susceptible to certain diseases. Then you can investigate and make your own decision.

Q. I'm going to be traveling out of the country soon, and I've been advised to get malaria & some other shot. Of course I don't want to get them, and don't plan to, but can you recommend something to take that would give me a bit of protection? The stories they tell me about malaria are very unpleasant.

A. Please visit our section on vaccine alternatives.

Q. Are any of these vaccines for travel "mandatory"?

A. Vaccines are not mandatory to enter other countries (except under rare circumstances), or to re-enter the United States.

Note: Foreign citizens entering the USA are not required to receive vaccines. Authorities may try to intimidate you, and you may fear that without consenting to the vaccines your application for entry will be rejected. However, you have the legal right to reject "mandatory" vaccines. You and your children can claim an exemption.

11. My husband and I do not vaccinate. We want to expose our child to the real disease [chickenpox, measles, mumps, or rubella] so that she can gain a lifelong immunity. Can you help?

Q. Dear Thinktwice, I am a displaced New Mexican in search of real chickenpox for my 7-year-old son. He has not yet had the disease, and people here, as in NM, seem to vaccinate their children a lot in order to avoid having to take time off work. Do you know of any way for parents like me to share the disease? I would be willing to travel (even all the way to NM if necessary) and babysit for the privilege of exposing my child to the real disease and providing him with lifelong immunity. Any help or advice would be most welcome. Thank you.

A. Many childhood illnesses are tame and confer lifelong immunity. Vaccines cause adverse reactions and confer temporary immunity at best. They also alter the natural epidemiology of the disease. For example, before the measles vaccine was developed and mandated, measles was a common childhood illness. Less than 1 percent of all cases occurred in infants, teenagers and adults -- age groups more susceptible to severe complications. After the measles vaccine was mandated, the disease began striking infants. (Today, 30 percent of all cases occur in infants.) The disease spread to older children, teenagers and adults as well -- many previously vaccinated -- after their temporary immunity wore off.

Childhood chickenpox is usually a tame illness and confers lifelong immunity. However, I suspect the chickenpox vaccine will offer temporary immunity and will serve to alter the natural epidemiology of the disease; we will soon see more cases in age groups susceptible to severe complications. In fact, statistics from the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) are already supporting this contention. Children recently vaccinated against chickenpox are contracting both chickenpox and shingles. Often, it is hard to determine whether immunity from the vaccine failed or the vaccine actually caused the disease!

Thus, I think your idea is a good one. You are not the first mother to request this. However, we are not aware of where you can go to expose your child to chickenpox (or any other disease). Good luck.

Q. I was reading over the questions on your site. About the nursing student required to have a rubella shot: Is it hard to find someone with active rubella, get exposed to it, and by doing so, have the antibodies present, therefore not requiring a shot? I ran into this when I was looking into an internship. If no person can be located to "donate" the disease, then how else can it be transmitted to a willing recipient? Are there labs that keep live virus that would be accessible? Is there any kind of hotline for people looking for specific diseases to contract either for themselves or their children? Or is this now considered to be child abuse? That's scary!

A. I remember when I was a kid and neighborbood peers caught chickenpox or measles, doctors encouraged parents to purposely expose their children to the disease. They recommended this because they knew these ailments were relatively innocuous, the disease would confer lifetime immunity, and they were more dangerous if contracted later in life. That was before vaccines were available. Today, now that vaccines are promoted and marketed with high-tech business savvy, doctors warn us about the dangers of these childhood diseases. Parents are taught to fear natural immunity.

We have been asked on several occasions where to go to purposely contract some of these diseases. Sorry, we don't have a "hotline."

12. What is in the vaccines? How are they made? Where can I find a list of ingredients?

A. The vaccine vials that your doctor uses to administer the shots contain a list of the manufacturer's warnings on who should not receive the vaccine. Adverse reactions associated with the vaccine, and a list of ingredients, are also included. Tell your doctor that you want to read these before you consent to the procedure. (Brace yourself for an extreme emotional reaction from your doctor. Many become angry and refuse this simple request.)

A special report on vaccine ingredients is now available. You may order Chemical Stew: Your Guide to Vaccine Ingredients from this website. The Physician's Desk Reference (PDR), which can be found in the reference section of your local library, also contains specific information about the manufacturing process associated with each vaccine.

13. Who can I contact for additional resources? Where can I get more information about the vaccine laws in my country?

A. This website provides additional vaccine resources. These include support groups throughout the world, vaccine studies, vaccine books, information about state laws, lawyers, and more. Explore some of the links at the top of this webpage.

14. I am outraged at the number of innocent children victimized by the vaccine industry. What can I do to help make a difference?

A. Thanks for wanting to help correct the massive vaccine problem. We have lots of ideas on how you can become involved.

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