The Kind Life is a community around Alicia Silverstone and The Kind Diet where friends, doctors, experts in green living, and members share vegan tips.


Are Vaccines Safe for Babies and Pregnant Women?

I know many of you have asked in the forum about whether vaccines are okay for our children, and there’s a lot of conflicting information out there about what age children should be when they receive specific vaccines, as well as whether kids should receive vaccines at all. Researchers have been debating a correlation between vaccines and autism for some time, and this study provides new evidence that vaccines given to pregnant women could be correlated with autism.

Dr. Jay Gordon, a UCLA pediatrician and author of numerous books, has a very  thorough presentation you can get for $8.99. I wish it were free (although it’s not expensive and it’s an excellent use of your money) because I want the world to watch it, but what I can tell you is, it’s an excellent resource to turn to, because it explains each vaccine typically recommended for children and discusses all of the questions you may have.

Dr. Jay Gordon’s Take on Vaccines

Here’s a statement from Dr. Jay Gordon on vaccines. This info is meant to answer your questions in detail. He goes through each vaccine and really explains all about each one. I’m excited he’s sharing his expertise with all of us kind lifers, and I encourage you to check out Dr. Jay Gordon’s webinar on vaccines if you want more info:

“First, vaccines are a really personal issue and one of my biggest problems is that 99% of pediatricians don’t feel that parents should even participate in the decision about how or when, let alone if a baby should get all, some or none of the shots at any given office visit. The whole process is inherently flawed because we give immunizations pretending to know a lot more about the immune system than we really know.  

We also have combined six different vaccines with more than 20 separate antigens to be given at the two-, four-, and six-month check ups. The science behind these combinations is lacking and the challenge ‘You can’t prove it’s dangerous to give these shots at the same time,’ completely reverses the real obligation of the manufacturers and vaccine researchers to prove that the vaccines and combinations are safe.”

Jay N. Gordon, MD, FAAP
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, UCLA Medical School
Former Senior Fellow in Pediatric Nutrition, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Institute

What questions do you have about vaccines?
Let’s discuss in the comments below.


Photo: Yanivba via  Flickr


  • Marlies Lee

    I believe each parent needs to learn more about vaccines and their risks. The disease it should prevent, the risk of the disease itself and so on. Don’t just trust your Doctor, you are the parent and know your child best, like with the Hep. B vaccine: A child can ONLY
    get the disease from IV drug abuse, sexual activity with an infected
    partner, a blood transfusion using contaminated blood, OR from the
    mother. By the time the kids are teenagers and could be at risk, the vaccine needs a booster shot, so why put the baby at risk for adverse reactions?
    I also highly recommend to learn how to treat ailments at home naturally. You can’t just watch and wait if your child is sick to see if it goes away or if you need to call the Doctor. Be proactive! I started using homeopathy and now use essential oils for reducing fever, ease ear aches, stop sore throat, aches and pains, for sleep and so much more. I’m so glad I invested some time to learn about essential oils and so can you. You are the best Dr. Mom or Dr. Dad for your family! Let me know if you have questions.

    • Juliana Lacerda Sobral

      HI Beautiful,
      Can you please tell me your favorite essential oils for reducing fever? Thank you so much!

      • Marlies Lee

        Hello Juliana,
        Use high quality peppermint oil on the bottom of the feet and downward strokes on the spine every 30 min.until the fever goes down. Dilute for children and even more for babies. (about 2 drops Peppermint oil with 5 drops of coconut oil) Try it on you first, peppermint oil is very cooling. You find me on Pinterest with more tips on how to use essential oils.

    • Stephen Trono

      Hi Marlies,

      I agree, though do you have a quick-list of vaccines to avoid or those that are necessary to have? Where do we start? We are gonna have our baby in nov-dec this year.

      • Marlies Lee

        Congratulations! And also for researching to what’s best for you and your growing family. This is my favorite website with lots of info:

  • Abby

    I am a compassionate vegan and I love Alicia’s book and page, but as a human biochemistry academic, I must disagree with this sentiment. Dr. Gordon is the outlier on this issue and it is almost a sure fact that vaccines are safe. With things like this there is usually a financial motive, and since he charges (would he if he really just wanted to help?) it supports that. It is also humanitarian to vaccinate children because we do not want them to be carries of a disease that could kill others that are vulnerable (babies and people without access to healthcare). I recommend looking at some peer-reviewed articles and you can put it together for yourself. I am sure Dr. Gordon is very persuasive, but try to look past this lone man’s claim, and see what is out there. Thanks for your caring input Alicia, it is clear that your heart is in the right place as usual. <3

    • Elena Huerta

      Abby, the doctors are also with financial motive. And are actually being backed BY the vaccine/pharmaceutical industries. Dr. Gordon is a person with vital information, and this does not negate his need to make a living to do things like say… eat, be safe, and take care of his own family (if he has one) or self. Especially since he has most likely seen some upheaval from the medical community for his ideas.

      The price for the podcast is very decent – less or equal to the amount of a book on the same information. A podcast is much more accessible to a lot of people as well who don’t like to take the time to sit and actually read the information. Just because there is money involved does not disgrace the validity of the information he has to offer.

      And if you are going to go that way, as I pointed out with the doctors themselves, the entire medical industry should be written off your list as a valid source because there is money involved. Is that logical in the least? Or can you accept that everyone needs to be able to live with what they choose to do with their lives?

    • bilingualmom

      Vaccines are not safe for everybody. That is why there is such a thing as the Vaccine Adverse Event Registry (VAERs) and the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP), although these systems are woefully inadequate and broken. I do see the other side of it; I understand the fears surrounding diseases like the measles, and I certainly would not want to be responsible for spreading infection of a disease like measles to others.

      However, we can only be asked to make the best decision for our own family and children, based on our own genetics and health history. It is not fair, and most definitely not humanitarian, to ask families who have already had a child who has had a reaction to continue vaccinating that same child or his/her siblings or quit your job to homeschool (whether you are qualified to give your child a good education or not, or whether your family will face financial crisis as a result of this, or whether you are a single parent who absolutely cannot physically be both at work and homeschool, etc.). Yet here in California anyway, that is exactly what is being asked of us now that Senate Bill 277 has passed, since medical exemptions are very difficult to get. They specifically added language allowing family history of reactions, but they don’t tell you that they consider almost nothing a real reaction, your child practically has to die to get a medical exemption, and even then it is usually only for the specific vaccines given, not any others.

      And is it humanitarian to ask families to take on the risk of adverse reaction (because there IS risk, however small it may be) for a vaccine that is only 50-64% effective (see the 2013 Kaiser study of the effectiveness of the pertussis vaccine)? Please think about these things, and try to take a look out there yourself at the other side of the vaccine debate. Because there is another side, however much the pharmaceutical industry would like to silence the other information out there and pretend that vaccine injuries don’t exist.

  • EK Bradley

    We chose to not vaccinate after careful research of BOTH sides. We also followed child lead weaning and our daughter is never sick. She literally is healthier than any child we know or have met. Her diet is mostly vegan and we try to avoid sugar. Dr. Gordon is one of many doctors who question vaccine efficacy but again mainstream media and concern trolls like to fear monger parents into following mainstream medicine’s view of how often a child should be vaccinated. Look at the infant mortality rate and general health in the US to see how well mainstream medicine is doing there. While I love ERs for trauma I have experience nothing but poor service and quality, as well as ‘..not sure how you will react to this drug but take it anyway..’ as the doctor or resident logged onto web MD to check if it was ‘OK’ to give me. My friends, parents and singles alike, concur that the majority of their experiences with hospitals, doctors, and pharmaceuticals has been negative.
    The best doctor I ever had was when I was pregnant and flat out told me that he didn’t want to give me the medicine he could prescribe for his prognosis as the side effects were too many; this rogue yet mainstream doctor had a ‘wall of shame’ with thousands of drug lobbyist pens that he had been sent or give when they tried to court him into pushing their latest drug on his patients.

    Parents, do not listen to fear mongering on any side. Research BOTH and ignore anyone who tells you not to do so.

  • Renee B

    With respect to Abby’s comments, my father has a PhD in biochemistry and it is precisely for that reason that my siblings and I were not vaccinated. The true bench science studies that would analyze effects of different vaccines manufactured by different companies with different chemical adjuvants and administered in combination with other vaccines in the same doctor’s visit, don’t exist. The only vaccine studied in relation to autism is the MMR. And autism and social communication disorders are only a small part of the adverse reactions which have people concerned about vaccinations. The reality is, we give more vaccinations than any other country in the world, 29 before the age of 12 and 42 if you include the CDC recommended schedule for flu shots. And we are trusting in the studies done by the manufacturers themselves, which is a conflict of interest. We really don’t know what happens to the body neurologically when we give these vaccines together or in close succession. We don’t know. And until the CDC and pharmaceutical companies get honest and say they want to know, they should stop saying that they do know and parents should be able to inform themselves and make the choices they see fit for their children. Doesn’t it bother anyone that the government should have the right to dictate what we inject into our bodies? So many of us will blatantly say we don’t trust politicians, we don’t trust the government but for some reason when it comes to our health, we are willing to put our full faith in government. Don’t most parents want to have a choice?

  • Lana/Lolita

    Hi Alicia! I just want to say that I’m 14 years old and I have never been vaccinated even when I was a baby for anything, neither has my sister, mum, cousins, dad…. Etc. And we are all really healthy. If you want a really good source of info for the arguments against vaccinations, read ‘Vaccines’ by Trevor Gunn. Even the world leader in immunisation said it presented some good theories.

  • Cathy

    Vaccines are NOT a “personal issue.” They are a public health issue, and the decision to not vaccinate affects everyone, not just your precious child.

    • bilingualmom

      Vaccines are, in fact, a personal issue as well as a public health issue, because everybody’s genetics and family health history are different, and individuals react in different ways to vaccines. When a person’s health can be negatively affected by vaccination, the decision to vaccinate or not should definitely be a personal one. It is not okay to insist that other people’s health become collateral damage in the name of the “greater good”.

  • Shane Thepeopleschemist Elliso

    Dr. Jay Gordon is hardly an outlier! Im a father of 3 and have a masters degree in chemistry and there’s no way in hell I’d ever vaccinate a single one of them. I’ve been studying the issue for 15 years. Further, herd immunity is a myth, just like vaccine safety and efficacy. If it did work, natural immunity would grant herd immunity better than vaccines would! But alas, that fails too. Immunity comes from the immune system. And the best way to encourage it is to say no to vaccines.

  • Erica

    Being in the healthcare field, this is a very sensitive subject for me. Vaccines ARE safe and as Abby said below, are very, very important for the protection of other people, especially people with serious diseases and disorders that prevent them from recieving vaccines due to an already compromised immune system. As healthy human beings, we have to do our part to help those who are not in our same position. I do everything I can to make myself, my family, and this planet a healthier and safer place with the choices I make, and vaccination is absolutely apart of that.

  • Marlies Lee

    Sorry for the late responds. Go to Amazon for a Homeopathy book. I have this simple one:

    Homoeopathic Emergency Therapeutics 120 Acute Disorders,

    Mahendra Singh

  • Marlies Lee

    Not all vaccines are safe for everybody. My kids are not vaccinated. I have family that had side effects from vaccines so I made sure to learn more about it. This is my favorite website with lots of info:

  • ophelia
  • Britnee Monson
  • Melissa

    Since many vaccines contain animal derived products wouldn’t you as a vegan choose not to vaccinate?

  • Derp Turtle

    What is the quality of those studies though?