Where's the Science Showing Vaccines Are Safe for Really Sick People?

Story at-a-glance -

  • In this revealing video, Dr. Suzanne Humphries explains the turning point in her career when she realized “routine” vaccines may be harming her patients
  • No longer able to turn a blind eye, she put her reputation and career on the line to expose the truth – that vaccines may not be as safe as you’re being told
  • The one-size-fits-all vaccine policy is especially problematic, as your age, microbial makeup, health status, and epigenetics all influence your body’s reaction to any given vaccine

By Dr. Mercola

Dr. Suzanne Humphries, author of Dissolving Illusions: Disease, Vaccines, and the Forgotten History, is a nephrologist who has committed the latter part of her medical career to exposing the truth of vaccinations.

I have read the book from cover to cover and would strongly recommend that you pick up a copy if you have even the remotest interest in this topic, especially if you believe in the safety and necessity of vaccines. The comprehensive documentation may cause you to reevaluate your position or in the very least ask more questions about their safety.

As a nephrologist, Dr. Humphries was accustomed to giving vaccinations to her patients with kidney disease, including those on dialysis. She didn't question the status quo… until one patient in 2009 said, "I was fine until I had that flu shot…"

Are Vaccines a Threat to Kidney Health?

Dr. Humphries calls this example her "sentinel case." A 56-year-old man had normal kidney function until receiving an H1N1 vaccine. He felt severely ill two days later and within two weeks, his kidneys failed. He required dialysis for three weeks but when he stopped dialysis his kidney function had only returned to about 70 percent of their original function.

After this first "eye-opening" event, Dr. Humphries began to ask her patients, "When was your last vaccine?" She compiled a series of cases of kidney problems occurring shortly after vaccination:

  • A 69-year-old man with normal kidneys received an H1N1 vaccine in mid-December 2009 and in early January 2010 experienced sudden kidney and liver failure
  • A 32-year-old man with normal kidneys received an H1N1 and seasonal flu shots on December 15, 2009. On February 3, he was admitted to the hospital with severe kidney damage
  • A 76-year-old woman with normal kidneys received a flu shot on October 14, 2005. She developed acute illness the same day and was admitted to the hospital two days later with kidney damage. She required five dialysis treatments, but her kidney function never went completely back to normal.
  • A 56-year-old man with normal kidneys received both H1N1 and seasonal flu shots in December and four days later he became ill. In January his kidneys shut down and he started dialysis but his kidneys only returned to about 80 percent of their former function.

In addition to these outpatient examples, Dr. Humphries noted similar instances of hospital patients experiencing worsening kidney function and kidney failure after being vaccinated.

Initially Dr. Humphries thought these may have been anomalies or unfortunate coincidences, but as the number of cases continued to rise, even in those who were previously healthy with no known medical problems, the association became too great to ignore.

Where's the Science Showing Vaccines Are Safe for Really Sick People?

Dr. Humphries wanted to err on the side of caution… if any drug could be considered as causative of kidney failure, you certainly would not want to take a chance with it, especially if you were taking it for a "preventive" reason (i.e. not for a life-threatening condition or illness).

After seeing so many of her hospitalized patients respond poorly or develop kidney failure after vaccination, she placed a "do not vaccinate" note in the hospital charts of her ill patients, and asked the administration to delay vaccination until discharge day.

As it was, hospital policy called for vaccinations of sick individuals upon arrival at the hospital, even before a diagnosis had been given or a doctor had approved of the shots. When the administration learned of Dr. Humphries' concerns, they dismissed them and stated the vaccinations would continue.

So Dr. Humphries began to investigate. Was there any science behind the hospital's vaccination policy? Had vaccines been proven to be safe when administered to those who were severely ill? She uncovered a link between the aluminum adjuvant and mercury in many vaccines and health damage.

Aluminum hydroxide is the oldest and most commonly used vaccine adjuvant and is considered "safe," in spite of scientific evidence to the contrary. An adjuvant's role is to hyper-stimulate the immune system to mount a strong antibody response to the lab altered virus or bacteria introduced into the body by a vaccine.

It was once thought that the body eliminated aluminum hydroxide within a few days of an aluminum-containing vaccine being injected into it, but scientists now know this isn't necessarily true.

For genetic or biological reasons that we don't yet understand, some people appear predisposed to poor aluminum detoxification, so it accumulates in their tissues and leads to myalgias, fatigue, cognitive deficiencies, and other health problems.

Aluminum is also known to be toxic to kidney patients on dialysis, which is why the water used for this processed is carefully screened to be sure it's aluminum free (as well as free of other toxins). As Dr. Humphries stated:

"Nowhere could I find studies that looked at vaccines in acutely ill patients commonly seen by nephrologists. Even my pro-vaccine colleagues agreed that there was no scientific basis to give these injections so quickly upon admission."

The hospital administration, however, refused to relent and never addressed her specific concerns.

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Flu Vaccines Potentially Linked to Disease That Causes Kidney Failure in 2013

In 2013, a study was released showing two patients who developed antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody-associated vasculitis (AAV) after receiving a flu vaccine.1 AAV can cause kidney failure requiring dialysis, and one of the study's authors told Dr. Humphries that she is now taking vaccine histories on all her kidney patients.

The study's lead author also verified what Dr. Humphries had been seeing in her own patients. That the flu vaccine may lead to an increase in autoimmune disease activity and therefore the routine use of such vaccines should only be performed after careful assessment of the benefit-to-risk ratio.

This is what Dr. Humphries had done, but the hospital overrode her decision. Even in patients with underlying vasculitis and autoimmune disease, no mention of increased risks from vaccination is made. Instead, they are assured the benefit outweighs the supposedly small risk.

Additional research has also been published supporting Dr. Humphries' suspicion that kidney diseases can be caused and worsened by vaccine ingredients. For instance, a 2011 study in The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) found that found bovine serum albumin, a common vaccine ingredient, may be linked to a difficult-to-treat form of kidney disease called idiopathic membranous nephropathy (IMN).2

Vaccinating Babies: Is It Safe?

Vaccinating critically ill hospital patients brings up one set of dangers while vaccinating babies brings up another. When aluminum, for instance, is injected into the body, it's known to disrupt enzymes, cross the blood-brain barrier, bind to DNA and act as a gene disrupter, and act as a cell signaling and membrane toxin.

As Dr. Humphries said, "We're very careful as nephrologists when treating babies because the kidney functions of babies isn't the same as adults – it's vastly reduced. But when it comes to vaccines, this reduced kidney function in infants is always left out of the discussion."

In 2013, a JAMA Pediatrics study evaluated aluminum levels in two-month-old infants following the administration of three vaccines at once, which is given per usual according to the infant vaccine schedule. This exposes the child to 1,200 micrograms of aluminum. Urine and blood were collected, but no significant changes in levels of aluminum were seen after vaccination.3

The researchers described the finding as "reassuring," but as Dr. Humphries noted, where did the aluminum go? If it wasn't excreted and blood levels didn't rise, it means it was retained in tissues. In 2013, a separate study concluded:

"…continuously escalating doses of this poorly biodegradable adjuvant [aluminum] in the population may become insidiously unsafe, especially in the case of overimmunization or immature/altered blood brain barrier…"4

Despite this, infants are routinely vaccinated without regard for their immature kidney function. According to Dr. Humphries: "Aluminum is also injected into many babies on the day of birth in the hepatitis B vaccine. That's 250 micrograms of aluminum at a time when kidney function is even lower than it is at 2 months."

One-Size-Fits-All Vaccine Programs Are Dangerous

Dr. Humphries left a successful practice making $300,000 a year to be a poorly paid researcher. For her it was worth it, because her integrity wouldn't allow her to turn a blind eye to what she knew to be wrong. The fact is, vaccines are tolerated by some people and devastating to others.

"If you want to make these [vaccine] arguments, we have to have information and we have to have knowledge. We have to understand the history, the medical literature, the biology, the chemistry, the physiology, and the immunology. That is not easy. You cannot dabble in the topic of vaccination. If you do, you're likely going to be toppled by the pro-vaccine lobby because they're doing their homework.

I felt it was more important to do my homework and make these arguments that I wanted to make… Right now I'm really immersed in the topic of infant immunity because there is so much information that has just come out in the past few years that, in my opinion, turns the vaccine paradigm for infants completely on its head.

Instead of arguing about any particular vaccine, if you understand the way the infant immune system is designed, you can automatically see that if you were going to toss any kind of a vaccine in there, you might give them some short-term immunity, but you're also going to change their immune systems so that it can't function the way it was designed to function... The arguments against vaccines when you really understand the infant immune system I think are irrefutable."

And it's not only infants that need to be considered in a one-size-fits-all vaccine paradigm; it's people with chronic diseases, the elderly, those with mitochondrial disorders and, really, every individual.

Even Your Gut Microbes Impact How Your Body Responds to a Vaccine

It's now known, for instance, that the microbiome influences our health and that an individual's gut microbes may help determine their immune response to vaccines. For instance, infants that responded to the rotavirus vaccine had a higher diversity of microbes in their gut, as well as more microbes from the Proteobacteria group, than infants who did not mount the expected immune response.5 The new epigenetic science has revealed that the genes we inherit from our parents and ancestors are NOT the exclusive determination of our destiny and may be turned on or off depending upon the choices we make and what we experience in our own lives, which is another variable in vaccine safety.

There has been little scientific research into how vaccines affect your genes and it's likely different for every person because no two people are identical in terms of inherited genes, environmental exposures or epigenetic influences that contribute to biodiversity.

Part of the problem is that once you start to tinker with the infant immune system, you are basically depositing what Dr. Humphries refers to as "little cluster bombs" that will eventually "explode into a big problem." As an example, she cites a study by Nikolaj Orntoft, in which African girls were injected with a tetanus vaccine to see which genes might be upregulated or downregulated (basically "turned on" or "turned off").

What they found is that there's really no way to predict which genes will be affected. So not only will each individual have a unique response to any given vaccine based on their age, current health status, and microbial makeup, but we're also epigenetically predisposed to respond differently in terms of the vaccine side effects we might develop.

"We can have cancer genes upregulated, or autoimmune diseases upregulated. This has been shown in modern literature that used these highly sophisticated gene techniques to actually watch what happens after the vaccine is injected. I think this is really powerful information to show that, when vaccines started, they knew nothing about the immune system. Then scientists knew something about the immune system, but now we know about the genetics of the immune system and the epigenetics of the immune system, and that's got to be taken into account..."

Even Your Doctor Is Probably Brainwashed…

Trying to get unbiased, truthful information about vaccines is not easy, and the cards are very much stacked against you receiving the truth. As noted by Dr. Humphries:

"We have a highly profitable, lucrative religion that involves the government, industry, and academia. That religion is vaccination. People believe in vaccines. They'll tell you, they believe in vaccines. But you ask them what they know about vaccines and it will be almost nothing. In fact the people who argue the loudest usually know the least when it comes to trying to convince you to take the vaccine. That's been my experience.

Medical schools are bereft of information on the history of vaccination, on the contents of them, and the potential problems. We have the go-to doctors, like Dr. Paul Offit, teaching doctors how to talk to vaccine-refusing parents. We have doctors like Dr. Robert Jacobson putting out PowerPoint presentations to give to doctors, literally telling them to persuade the parents rather than to inform them...

Doctors are really being systematically brainwashed. Not only that, but if doctors do start to see problems... wake up to it; do their own research, and buck the system, they risk being treated the way I was. I was well respected through the entire state of Maine. People were referring their patients to me. My colleagues would come to me with their medical problems... But once I started to argue against the practice of vaccination, I was automatically tossed into the category of a quack..."

Pro-vaccine developer and pediatrician Dr. Paul Offit even called on broadcast and print reporters to, as Forbes reported, "avoid the 'he-said, she-said reporting' that perpetuates false controversies in science and medicine." Offit was asked if reporters were essentially responsible for murder if they gave both sides of the debate.

His response was that we should have a, 'Journalism jail,' for such individuals. In other words any point of view other than what I believe should be thwarted. Media should not investigate if what I say is so, they should ignore scientific view points from individuals with as many credentials to their name as mine, if they disagree."6

If you ask your doctor about vaccine safety, you will most likely get a canned answer, one assuring you vaccines are safe. What doctors cannot guarantee is that vaccines are safe for you or your child. At the very least, doctors should be explaining to parents that a child can have a titer blood test that measures the level of antibodies in the blood. If the antibody levels are high enough, it is supposed to indicate that there is "immunity" to that particular disease and no further vaccinations or boosters should be necessary.

Vaccine Exemptions Are Disappearing…

In May 2015, Vermont's Governor Peter Shumlin signed legislation to remove the philosophical exemption from Vermont's vaccination law. Vermont now joins 30 other states that allow only a medical and a religious belief exemption. Two states, West Virginia and Mississippi only have a medical exemption.

In California, a bill (SB 277) has been introduced that would remove all non-medical vaccine exemptions (religious and conscientious belief) leaving only a very restrictive medical exemption approved by federal health officials.

California SB 277 has been passed by the state Senate and is being fast tracked through the Assembly. If the Assembly does pass the bill and Governor Brown signs it, California will become like West Virginia and Mississippi and only offer a medical vaccine exemption.

It is clear that vaccine exemptions are under attack by pharmaceutical, medical trade, and government lobbyists determined to pass legislation that enforce "no exceptions" mandatory vaccination laws using a flawed, and sometimes fatal, one-size-fits-all schedule. Dr. Humphries explains that doctors giving vaccines and the public need to question inaccurate information and old myths about vaccine safety:

"Those who are beginning to see the light, and are questioning the safety and effectiveness of vaccines, may have to also question their own long-held beliefs about vaccination and infectious diseases. This is not easy to do because the public has been bombarded with so much fear-based propaganda and incorrect information about vaccination for so many years. Doctors may have to do the same and examine their own work and many years, if not decades, of administering measles and other vaccines to children and adults.

If they come to the conclusion that vaccines often fail to work or are harmful, they will have to be prepared to deal with strong resistance from government officials and very real threats to their medical licenses from those expecting doctors to promote mandatory use of all federally recommended vaccines. The golden handcuffs often are too attractive for doctors to rise to that kind of challenge because they are afraid they could lose everything.

But the alternative – protection of the status quo – has profoundly serious consequences for the health of future generations. It is time for all of us to acknowledge what is and is not known about vaccination and health and, at a minimum, support the legal right for everyone to be able to exercise voluntary, informed consent to use of vaccines, including measles vaccine."

Protect Your Right to Informed Consent and Defend Vaccine Exemptions

With all the uncertainty surrounding the safety and effectiveness of vaccines, it's critical to protect your right to make independent health choices and exercise voluntary informed consent to vaccination. It is urgent that everyone in America stand up and fight to protect and expand vaccine informed consent protections in state public health and employment laws. The best way to do this is to get personally involved with your state legislators and educating the leaders in your community.

NVIC Advocacy Poster


National vaccine policy recommendations are made at the federal level but vaccine laws are made at the state level. It is at the state level where your action to protect your vaccine choice rights can have the greatest impact. It is critical for EVERYONE to get involved now in standing up for the legal right to make voluntary vaccine choices in America because those choices are being threatened by lobbyists representing drug companies, medical trade associations, and public health officials, who are trying to persuade legislators to strip all vaccine exemptions from public health laws.

Signing up for NVIC's free Advocacy Portal at www.NVICAdvocacy.org gives you immediate, easy access to your own state legislators on your Smart Phone or computer so you can make your voice heard. You will be kept up-to-date on the latest state bills threatening your vaccine choice rights and get practical, useful information to help you become an effective vaccine choice advocate in your own community. Also, when national vaccine issues come up, you will have the up-to-date information and call to action items you need at your fingertips.

So please, as your first step, sign up for the NVIC Advocacy Portal.

Share Your Story with the Media and People You Know

If you or a family member has suffered a serious vaccine reaction, injury, or death, please talk about it. If we don't share information and experiences with one another, everybody feels alone and afraid to speak up. Write a letter to the editor if you have a different perspective on a vaccine story that appears in your local newspaper. Make a call in to a radio talk show that is only presenting one side of the vaccine story.

I must be frank with you; you have to be brave because you might be strongly criticized for daring to talk about the "other side" of the vaccine story. Be prepared for it and have the courage to not back down. Only by sharing our perspective and what we know to be true about vaccination will the public conversation about vaccination open up so people are not afraid to talk about it.

We cannot allow the drug companies and medical trade associations funded by drug companies or public health officials promoting forced use of a growing list of vaccines to dominate the conversation about vaccination. The vaccine injured cannot be swept under the carpet and treated like nothing more than "statistically acceptable collateral damage" of national one-size-fits-all mandatory vaccination policies that put way too many people at risk for injury and death. We shouldn't be treating people like guinea pigs instead of human beings.

Internet Resources Where You Can Learn More

I encourage you to visit the website of the non-profit charity, the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC), at www.NVIC.org:

  • NVIC Memorial for Vaccine Victims: View descriptions and photos of children and adults, who have suffered vaccine reactions, injuries, and deaths. If you or your child experiences an adverse vaccine event, please consider posting and sharing your story here.
  • If You Vaccinate, Ask 8 Questions: Learn how to recognize vaccine reaction symptoms and prevent vaccine injuries.
  • Vaccine Freedom Wall: View or post descriptions of harassment and sanctions by doctors, employers, and school and health officials for making independent vaccine choices.
  • Vaccine Failure Wall: View or post descriptions about vaccines that have failed to work and protect the vaccinated from disease.

Connect with Your Doctor or Find a New One That Will Listen and Care

If your pediatrician or doctor refuses to provide medical care to you or your child unless you agree to get vaccines you don't want, I strongly encourage you to have the courage to find another doctor. Harassment, intimidation, and refusal of medical care is becoming the modus operandi of the medical establishment in an effort to stop the change in attitude of many parents about vaccinations after they become truly educated about health and vaccination.

However, there is hope.

At least 15 percent of young doctors recently polled admit that they're starting to adopt a more individualized approach to vaccinations in direct response to the vaccine safety concerns of parents. It is good news that there is a growing number of smart young doctors, who prefer to work as partners with parents in making personalized vaccine decisions for children, including delaying vaccinations or giving children fewer vaccines on the same day or continuing to provide medical care for those families, who decline use of one or more vaccines.

So take the time to locate a doctor, who treats you with compassion and respect and is willing to work with you to do what is right for your child.