Article published Jan 22, 2004
Required vaccines are causing autism in children

The Sun reported that "unknowns abound" at the recent autism conference. It was really more like "we don't want to know" abounds.

One mom asked the panel of distinguished guests why her born "normal" child regressed into autism at 15 months. No answer came from the distinguished panel members. Just an uncomfortable silence.

One of the mother's doctors had suggested the birth of her second child could have triggered autism in the first child. If that were the case, no one should have a second child.

One only needs to think for just a minute at what normally occurs at 15 months in order to get your answer. Vaccines. Eleven to be exact. Twelve if you want a flu shot.

Vaccines are not a vitamin injection designed to boost immunity. It has been suggested that mercury or Thimerosal be removed from vaccines, and some vaccine makers have done so, replacing it with another toxic substance called 2-PE. Look that up and see if you are more comfortable injecting that into your precious children.

Ask your pediatrician for the package inserts to vaccines and read what is in them. Take a look at the symptoms of mercury poisoning and compare them to autism. Doing so will free you from at least one "unknown."

The only real "unknown" thing about autism is how many more children will be lost before someone other than the pharmaceutical industry does a study on vaccines and their dangers.

Wendy Callahan
Hawthorne, Fl


Subject: Shot or Not?


Shot or Not?

Issue Date: February 16, 2004
Vol. 15 •Issue 5 • Page 56

Shot or Not?
Increasing numbers of parents are questioning the safety of childhood vaccines

By Jill Glomstad

Wendy Callahan firmly believes that vaccinations are dangerous.

When her daughter, Leah, was two months old, Callahan took her to receive the recommended vaccinations. As she carried her child out of the facility, her daughter stopped breathing. Seven days after her son, Chase, received MMR, DTaP, HiB and pneumococcal vaccinations at 15 months, he started seizing. He continued to suffer six to eight seizures a day for three months. It wasn't until she administered a remedy she had received from a homeopathic physician that he finally stopped.

"I feel so guilty that I let it happen," said Callahan, whose children are now five and six. "I took a two-hour class on how to put a car seat in my car, but I didn't stop to think for five minutes about what I was injecting him with when he got vaccinated."

Mercury Rising

Callahan is not alone. Many others, often parents of a child with a disability they believe was caused by vaccinations, have spoken out against the practice. A major target in all their claims: a vaccine additive called thimerosal, a preservative compound composed of roughly 50-percent mercury.

"I asked [a doctor from the Centers for Disease Control] how many micrograms [of mercury] are safe," recalled Callahan. "He said 5 micrograms [per day] in someone 110 pounds [was the most conservative guideline]. In all of my kid's vaccines, it was a total of over 200 micrograms."

According to Callahan's website, www.vaccinetruth.org, a child receives 237 micrograms of mercury over the course of 20 shots between birth and two years of age. In contrast, a can of tuna fish contains 17 micrograms of mercury.

Thimerosal has been used as an additive in vaccines since they were first developed. "Thimerosal is a mercury-containing preservative which prevents vaccines from becoming contaminated with other bacteria," explained Gary Freed, MD, MPH, director of pediatrics at the University of Michigan Medical Center. The preservative allows vaccine manufacturers to save money, up to a dollar per dose, because it alleviates the need to manufacture the vaccine in a sterile environment. It also gives the vaccines a longer shelf life.

Mercury, however, is a highly toxic substance. When thimerosal is metabolized it breaks down into ethyl mercury, a compound similar to methyl mercury. Methyl mercury is the compound found in fish that caused industrial poisonings in Japan that resulted in developmental deficits in children born to mothers exposed to the chemical. As a result, the FDA issued recommendations that pregnant women limit their fish consumption.

These established neurotoxic effects of a similar chemical have led many parents of children with developmental disabilities to believe that thimerosal has caused those conditions in their children. They point to sharp increases in the rates of autism spectrum disorders as the number of vaccines on the Childhood Immunization Schedule has increased.

Twenty years ago children received up to five shots by two years of age; today they receive up to 20. Meanwhile, according to the CDC, autism rates according to 1985 data were approximately 4 to 6 in 10,000. Recent data estimates the rate at 20 to 50 per 10,000. However, the CDC cautions, the increase may be linked to both changing definitions of autism and wider recognition and diagnosis of the condition.

The Research Debate

Dr. Freed contended that "there is no evidence that the small amount of mercury contained in [individual] vaccines has ever had any effect on any child," said Dr. Freed. "It is a theoretical relationship with no proof."

Any evidence that exists, he contends, merely establishes a correlation: that some children who receive vaccinations wind up developing autism. This is inevitable. If nearly every child is vaccinated, of course some are going to develop autism. But there is no evidence to show a cause-effect relationship.

Callahan and other anti-vaccine or anti-thimerosal advocates disagree. They  say that government and health leaders are ignoring the evidence. Callahan's Web site lists several studies that indicate a link between the adult hepatitis B vaccine and adverse reactions such as neuropathy and myelitis. Think Twice (www.thinktwice.com), an organization offering "uncensored" information about vaccines, also lists a large number of studies linking different vaccines with adverse outcomes.

Dr. Freed argues that there is "tons of research" showing that vaccines are not harmful and are effective in preventing a host of illnesses. Most recently, an article in the December 2003 issue of Pediatrics found that none of the additives, adjuvants, preservatives or residuals found in vaccines present a danger to vaccine recipients.

Of the researchers who have published pro-vaccine studies, Callahan says, "everyone is in bed with everyone." Paul Offit, for example, one of the researchers on the study in Pediatrics, is a co-holder of the patent for a new rotavirus vaccine being developed by Merck. The study acknowledges this and asserts that Offit receives no support and has no financial interest in the company.

Additionally, many anti-vaccine or anti-thimerosal activists accuse researchers of cooking the books. In a November Pediatrics study concluding that thimerosal-containing vaccine are safe, activists say the researchers manipulated the cohort by removing a number of children age 4 and older. Children are much more likely to be diagnosed with autism after age four.

According to the Contra Costa Times, the Institute of Medicine will hear testimony this month on the issue of thimerosal, the MMR (measles mumps rubella) vaccine and a possible link to autism. The hearing, to be held at the request of the CDC, comes after the IOM released two vaccine reports in 2001: one asserting there was no connection between autism and the MMR vaccine, and another which called for additional studies to investigate the thimerosal-autism connection. Anti-thimerosal advocates say that the CDC is refusing to push the hearing back to wait for additional research on the topic due out later this year.

The CDC's inquiry, however, is largely a retroactive one; since recommendations by the Public Health Service and the American Academy of Pediatrics in 1999, vaccine manufacturers have begun voluntarily removing or significantly reducing the amount of thimerosal in vaccines. According to the CDC, the vaccines now produced to protect preschool children against 11 infectious diseases contain no thimerosal.

The Right to Know

"We know from other countries who have taken mercury out of vaccines before we did, that there have been no decreases in the incidence of autism in those countries," said Dr. Freed. "We want to understand the cause of autism, but blaming it on something that is not accurate does more harm than good.

"Families who may have a child with autism or some other developmental disability want a reason for what caused their child to have their condition," he continued. "It is a natural part of human nature. The problem is when we start to ascribe causes that may be associated but [don't] have any causal link."

That said, Dr. Freed is a strong advocate of giving parents as much information as possible. He recently conducted a study on the experiences of physicians who encounter parents with vaccine safety concerns (American Journal of Preventive Medicine, January 2004). He and his colleagues found that physicians are seeing an increasing number of vaccine refusals.

"Parents have a right to know as much information as possible about anything to do with their children," said Dr. Freed in regards to his findings. "Physicians and any health care workers need to be as well informed as possible about vaccinations and the safety of immunizing children. We have to help them understand the true risks, not the hyperbole that often gets passed off as accurate. We need to talk about the risks of not vaccinating a child."

Without vaccinations, you run the risk of acquiring any of the diseases you are vaccinated against. The prognoses for those diseases include liver failure, deafness, heart and nerve damage, paralysis, muscle spasms and seizures, cataracts, mental retardation and death. While many activists simply argue against the use of thimerosal in vaccines, some, like Callahan, categorically reject the use of all vaccines.

"You couldn't pay me enough to inject my child with anything ever again," she told ADVANCE. The viruses and chemicals in vaccines "set your children up for disease forever. It is a poisoning of our children. I'd take measles
over seizures any day."

And while Callahan may be used to being called "crazy," it is thanks in part to activists like her that government and professional organizations recommended the removal of thimerosal from vaccines.

Researchers hope more investigation should conclusively show whether there is any causal link between the compound and autism. But for now, parents taking their children for vaccinations may want to play it safe and ask their health care professional to make sure there is no thimerosal in the vaccines their children are receiving. While manufacturers are now making thimerosal-free vaccines, there may still be some doses on the shelf that contain it.

For more information, visit the National Immunization Program on the web at

Jill Glomstad is on staff at ADVANCE. She can be reached at



Vaccination Information

By Vivian Richardson/ Health Reporter

GAINESVILLE - When the doctor says it's time for vaccinations, most people would not think twice about rolling up their sleeves or having their children sit still for the shot. But some parents just say no to vaccines.

Six-year-old Leah and 5-year-old Chase are happy and healthy. But their mom, Wendy Callahan of Hawthorne, said both of her children had negative reactions to their vaccinations. Her son had the worst reaction: frequent seizures.

"They never will admit that this happened from a vaccine. When I've had this kid for 15 months and he's not seized. All of the sudden I take him for his vaccines and he seizes eight times a day. It's not rocket science," Callahan said.

The vast majority of the medical community says vaccines have saved the lives of countless children and nearly wiped out several deadly diseases such as polio and smallpox.

"It's very common that parents have concerns about immunizations for their own children. Not only common but very important and very appropriate," said Robert Lawrence, an associate professor of Pediatrics at the University of Florida.

After Callahan's experience, she started researching. She found a list of the ingredients in some vaccines on the CDC Web site.

"Monkey kidney tissue? That was injected into my child?" she said. "You don't inject kids with some of the most toxic substances on the plant and think that's somehow going to be helpful."

"With that information that they get on the internet, [parents] should then take that to their physician or the health care provider and have an honest discussion about their concerns and questions," said Lawrence.

CDC Vaccine Information:




Critics raise questions on flu shots

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 11/16/04

To hear Wendy Callahan tell it, flu vaccine is more like fillet of fenny snake and tooth of wolf than ambrosia from the public health gods.

"It has aluminum and formaldehyde and mercury and antifreeze," said Callahan, of Hawthorne, Fla., co-director of Vaccine Liberation, a group of ardent vaccine foes. "Why would anyone want to put that into their bodies?"

Callahan's view may be extreme — most flu vaccine does have mercury and formaldehyde but not antifreeze — but she is not the only one who questions flu vaccine. Many people, including some doctors, want to know what's the fuss over something that most people lived without for decades.

"I haven't had a shot since grade school," said Tim Gross, director of clinics for Life University, the school of chiropractic. "The most important thing is to live a healthy lifestyle." While millions of Americans have spent weeks decrying the shortage of flu vaccine, Callahan and others believe this year's public health fiasco puts much-needed brakes on a wasteful and even dangerous trend: quick-fix shots to compensate for Americans' poor health habits.

Here's a breakdown of their criticisms:

The number of deaths from flu — 36,000 — is exaggerated. Most flu deaths are among the elderly, many of whom already were ill. "It's an artificial number," said Sandy Springs chiropractor Michael Tumminello. "Folks who die from flu are usually elderly, those in nursing homes. And when you compare that to how many would have died anyway, the number's not real."

Of the 36,000 who die from influenza, 90 percent are older than 65. Within that group, those who are 85 and older are a "substantial" percentage of that total, according to the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Death certificates nationwide that list influenza as cause of death actually number in the hundreds — 257 in 2001 and 753 in 2002, the most recent years for which numbers are available, according to the CDC.

The agency counters, however, that flu deaths are vastly underreported. Officials also argue that flu typically does not kill but that it weakens the lungs for pneumonia to set in, then kill. Looking only at influenza as the final cause of death therefore misleads. Because of the underreporting, the CDC uses sophisticated statistical models to reach the number of estimated deaths, using data from the National Center for Health Statistics.

Why have public health officials expanded influenza vaccine recommendations this year to include very young children? Can it be healthy to put even small amounts of toxins like mercury into the human body, particularly the bodies of babies? Although no scientific evidence exists of a link between childhood vaccines and certain disorders, critics cite increased incidence of autism, learning disorders and asthma among vaccinated children.

"If you look at all the food allergies and the increased rates of asthma, we have to wonder," said Barbara Loe Fisher, co-founder and president of the National Vaccine Information Center in Vienna, Va. "Perhaps preventing all infection in childhood is not a biologically wise thing to do. This is not a trivial question."

Dr. William Schaffner, chair of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, scoffs at worries about mercury in the flu vaccine and notes that a mercury-free form is available in a typical year. "Mercury occurs in the natural environment, and people are exposed all the time," Schaffner said. "The issue is not whether or not something is present but what the dose is. These studies have been revisited time and again, and the scientific community is convinced they are safe."

The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System reports claims of about 11.4 adverse events per 100,000 vaccinations of all types. Most of those reactions are fever and sensitivity at the site of injection. But serious adverse reactions, including death, have occurred from vaccines other than for flu. Of the total adverse reactions, about 14.2 percent have resulted in brain damage, permanent disability or death, according to figures from the VAERS.

Public health officials are quick to counter that adverse responses to flu shots are rare and seldom serious. And despite the myth that the vaccine can even cause the flu, doctors quickly note that the flu shot does not cause the flu, even though the nasal mist can. The flu shot is made of inactivated virus, while the mist uses live, but weakened, virus.

The number of vaccines now recommended for American children has mushroomed in the past 25 years. In 1982, seven doses to ward off seven diseases — measles, mumps, rubella, polio, diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus — were recommended for children younger than 2.

This year, with the addition of flu vaccine, the CDC recommends 22 doses for 12 diseases for children 6 months to 23 months, said CDC spokesman Curtis Allen. For babies younger than 6 months, the CDC recommends 20 doses for 11 illnesses. "For the most part, these diseases have been reduced by 99 percent," Allen said. Because of that, Schaffner said that adding vaccines to a children's schedule makes sense.

"We just built a brand-new children's hospital here at Vanderbilt, and we have incredibly modern and sophisticated, state-of-the-art treatment facilities. What we did not build here in the children's hospital was a polio ward. And we did not build a polio ward because we have a vaccine that wiped out polio."

On the flu vaccine in particular, Schaffner said doctors have learned more about the danger of flu in the very young.

"If you speak with any pediatrician, they will tell you, to the point of tears, that perfectly healthy children can be at death's door and in intensive care within 48 hours." Why do we need flu shots now if millions of us survived childhood without them? If people eat right and exercise, can't they avoid the flu?

Even if you are healthy, you can still transmit influenza, say public health officials and doctors, and vaccination is the best course of action. And getting a flu shot augments a person's good health practices, much like wearing a seat belt, they stress.

Busy, mobile lifestyles of today's families increase transmission rates. Eating right and exercise are important, doctors said, but one person's healthy lifestyle cannot stem a public health crisis.

A flu shot could not only save lives but also save on days lost from work and financial and physical costs from an estimated 200,000 yearly hospitalizations. Some public health officials estimate that days lost from work could cost $20 billion this year alone.

Some doctors said they think the concern about flu vaccine shortage this year is more about fear than reality, especially among adults. For that, blame Sept. 11, they said.

"There's just general concern about infectious diseases," said Dr. Boyd Lyles, medical director of HeartHealth and Wellness Center in Dallas. "People want to be protected, and this is one area where people feel like they had protection. Then it's taken away, and it's scary. But do most people need the flu vaccine? Probably not."


Vaccine-refusers aren’t ‘freeloading’

In an Aug. 16 editorial, Bob Caylor wrote of parents who don’t get their children vaccinated: “Let’s be straight about what these parents are doing: They are freeloading on what epidemiologists call “herd immunity.” When most of a population of people (or cows or pigs, for that matter) is immunized against a disease, even those who aren’t immunized are protected, because disease organisms can’t get a foothold in enough hosts to create an epidemic. Conscientious parents would be entitled to resent subjecting their children to the slight risks of vaccination in order to protect freeloaders’ children.”

Freeloading? You have got to be kidding. That is like saying, “I’ve got diabetes, so let’s give everyone insulin.” Why didn’t you mention in your editorial that the U.S. has never achieved herd immunity and is extremely far away from doing so. I live in Florida where the vaccine rate is 78 percent; no dread diseases here taking hold and killing kids. Colorado is 64 percent. The CDC says you need 95 percent compliance to stop disease. Why on earth would you think injecting diseases into children would be helpful?

If you are trying to avoid disease, you don’t inject it, giving it access to your organs. A recently vaccinated child sheds virus for at least 21 days after injected. Check the package insert to the vaccines and find out the truth. There isn’t a doctor on the planet who knows how the immune system works. Instead of putting down parents that don’t vax, why don’t you take a minute and find out why? You might just learn something.

Wendy Callahan Hawthorne, Fla.

“There has been an accident.” No five words strike more terror in the heart. The frantic ride to the accident scene, seeing your loved one lying helpless on the ground, watching the paramedics work- there are few things more distressing. Your only hope lies in the ER staff and their abilities. Most of us depend on them to make the best decisions possible and employ every skill. But what happens when they fall short? What happens when a protocol is in place that causes more harm than good? What happens if the coherent patient refuses a procedure that is part of the protocol and is forced to submit to it against his will? If ‘no’ means ‘no’ on a date, why doesn’t ‘no’ mean ‘no’ in a hospital?

It seems innocent enough - a tetanus shot after a bad road rash from a motor scooter accident. But is it? What are the chances tetanus bacillus is lying in wait, ready to pounce on the unsuspecting accident victim? According to the CDC, not likely. As of May 12, 2007 there have been three cases of tetanus. In all of 2006 there were 37 cases. Standard care is to give the vaccine to any patient with a puncture wound or an abrasion. But does the vaccine prevent a potentially fatal case of tetanus from the current wound? No. It can take up to two weeks for tetanus antibodies to form in an unvaccinated person. So why is this shot being forced on trauma patients? Especially when the vaccination status is known?

For the sake of argument, let’s say you are exposed to tetanus. Aren’t ER personnel trained in proper wound hygiene? Should a vaccine be used as a "crutch" for poor wound hygiene? It is an established fact that the decline in the number of tetanus cases is due to advances in the treatment of wounds.

According to the CDC’s pink book, the efficacy of injecting the tetanus toxoid as a means of preventing tetanus has never been studied in a vaccine trial.


With the fervor of cult devotees, the medical community defends its number one sacred cow, vaccination and relies on ‘faith’ instead of science that it even works. Let’s take a look at a few of the vaccines ingredients.

Ingredients: Aluminum, Formaldehyde, residual glutaraldehyde, which is used as a chemical preservative that's toxic, causing severe eye, nose, throat and lung irritation, along with headaches, drowsiness and dizziness.

Also included is 2-phenoxyethanol. According to the MSDS sheet its harmful if swallowed, inhaled or absorbed through the skin. May cause reproductive defects and is a severe eye and skin irritant. http://physchem.ox.ac.uk/MSDS/PH/2-phenoxyethanol.html. Also included in the vaccine is a diphtheria toxiod. Although skin diphtheria infections occur, the most common form of the infection occurs in the tonsils and pharynx.

And just for good measure, a neurotoxin called thimerosal helps keep the vaccine clean. That’s the controversial chemical that has been strongly linked to autism and Alzheimer’s. Last but not least inserted into that mix is a tetanus toxoid. Now inject that in an immune system no one on the planet has a comprehensive grasp of and you have just added insult to injury. This concoction, reminiscent of witches brew cannot possibly be beneficial to a healthy, much less injured, body

A quick search of VAERS (Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System) yields this result: Found 242 events with age from '0' to ‘80’. Vaccine: 'Tetanus. Vaccination date: From '2007-01' to '2007-05'. This means 242 people had a bad enough reaction to actually take time out of their day to fill out a report. If 3 people so far have contracted tetanus and 242 have had a reaction to the shot, what does that say about the risk/benefit ratio?

We need a deprogramming team in the medical community. Let’s insist the medical community put their confidence in sound, tested, scientifically based medical practices with good, basic wound hygiene instead of the faith based cult like religious dogma that permeates the ER. In other words let us put superstitions to rest and barbeque that sacred cow, vaccination.



Wendy Callahan
Hawthorne, Fl