Dr. Cara Phillipo N.D.

The Great Debate over Vaccinations

August 31, 2018 By ,

This current issue of vaccination is one that really hits home for me right now.  I am a Naturopathic Physician and I see both sides of the coin when it comes to the debate on vaccinating our children.  I have 2 children.  My oldest child Milo suffered a vaccine reaction in response to his 2nd Dpt vaccine.  He was left with neurological tics that we still deal with and he is 8 years old.  Milo has a very unique nervous system and has autoimmune tendencies. I would choose not to put another vaccine in his body.  My youngest son Levi has a strong nervous system and although I waited until he was 4 years old and his nervous system was more developed. He is on an alternative vaccination schedule based upon my research but will be fully vaccinated in time.

Why Vaccinations are Protective

I do believe that vaccines can save lives. Many deadly diseases have almost disappeared in our country thanks to vaccinations. I would never want my children to cause an outbreak of a communicable disease or to contract one. However, for some children, vaccinations can change their lives for the worse – forever. It is recommended that our children get 28 vaccinations by the age of 4 to ward off 14 diseases.


Despite many doctors and the CDC stating that there is no link between autism, behavioral issues and immune disorders after vaccinations my clinical experience tells a very different story. I have heard countless cases of parents telling me the heart breaking story of what happened to their children just hours after being vaccinated.  I imagine that many of you know of a family that has been inflicted with this issue.  This is a small percentage but still this is REAL!


I also have my own story …

After my oldest son was vaccinated with his 2nd DTaP vaccination his life was dramatically changed. I felt like I was doing the right thing in protecting him and others against the bacteria known as,bordatella pertussis. At the time, pertussis or “whooping cough”  was going around our community.  Milo was 2 years old and he had the vaccination as part of his routine wellness exam. A few hours later, I began noticing Milo having spasms in his diaphragm that created an audible sound.  It was not a voluntary thing and kind of freaked me out.  The next day, Milo had the normal post-vaccination fever and was rather tired; all of which seemed very normal. The neurological tic or diphragmatic spasm was still there.  I kept thinking it might just take time to go away!

That night is when the horror got worse. Milo woke up from a deep sleep with a night terror like I had never seen before. He screamed un-consolably for 2-4 hours. He writhed in his body and he would not make eye contact with us at all during these episodes.  We could barely hold him due to his movements, yet he did not want to be put down. He did not know what he wanted to do – upstairs, downstairs, inside, outside. It was scary to say the least.  This went on every night for some months and it seemed like an eternity.  Eventually, after a great deal of homeopathic remedies, immune system support and detoxification protocols these episodes tapered down to twice per week and eventually subsided.  The neurological tics did not subside and in fact they multiplied into other sounds and involuntary movements of his face.  Behaviorally and neurologically, our little boy became very challenged within 24 hours of the vaccination. It was really hard to see. He stopped playing nicely with other children and instead, he would resort to pushing and grabbing.  All of this could be seen as normal 2 year old behavior, but it became quite amplified.

Post vaccination, Milo’s immune system took a turn in a new direction that mimicked many tendencies of auto-immunity.   I feel that his immune system was left in a state of TH2 dominance and still is in certain ways.  Three years, we had a scare with Kawaskai syndrome, which is a rare syndrome that leads the body to attack its own blood vasculature and can lead to cardiac aneurysms and death.  Luckily, we got through this with no life threatening issues, but it was months of intense unknowing.  Milo also has a generalized “auto immune” like reaction to simple things like mosquito bites.

Today, Milo is 8 years old and still struggles with his behavior like some 8 year old boys.   I would say he is on the spectrum of what is considered “typical” behavior for a boy his age.  Phew!!! His immune system is still “out of whack” sporatically, and we find ourselves basing many of our family decisions based upon his needs. We provide him with a diet of clean, lean proteins, organic vegetables, &  fruits for the most part … and of course he is a kid and gets his share of  “kid food.” here and there.  We give him lots of great nutritional supplementation added to smoothies.  For the most part, Milo is a “normal” kid and for that I feel super grateful.  Would I ever vaccinate him again? Most likely NO!! I fear the risk of making anything worse in his somewhat unpredictable body.  Do I vaccinate my youngest son?  Yes, I do feel his immune system is strong and he does not have reactions to any of the vaccinations he has received. I live on both on both sides of the great vaccine debate.

Making Vaccines Safer or Providing Genetic Testing to Children Prior to Vaccinating

I would love to see vaccinations that were free from all of the toxic material used as adjuvents (specifically aluminum; see images below).

I would also love to see a genetic test available for children prior to vaccination as science has verified that there are certain genetic snps that lead to autism and can be made worse from vaccinations.

I also recommend that parents ask for a titer to be done before the second or subsequent vaccination(s) are given. Recently, a very reputable pediatrician told me that only 10% actually need a second dose of the MMR vaccine as most people will have titers that are high enough when tested. He tests all of his patients MMR titers before giving the second dose of MMR vaccine.



This is a great question. Of course, most kids do not show signs of adverse reaction to vaccines … and then there is the select few that will. It is hard to know which child will be the one who has the horror of the adverse reaction.  Unfortunately,  many of the adverse vaccine reactions lead to behavioral and immune issues that last a life time.  These issues not only affect  the individual, but, the entire family in a way that is beyond imaginable.  I have witnessed these families and honestly, it looks like one of my worst night mares.

Can we develop safer vaccinations?

Perhaps, it is the adjuvants such as aluminum that they add to vaccinations which is a known neurotoxin – again to SOME nervous systems.

Aluminum is a ubiquitous metal, which means it is found almost everywhere on the planet.  Interestingly, it is the 3rd most common element!.

It competes for binding and absorption with calcium, magnesium and iron.  I hear some doctors claiming that we should not worry about the aluminum content in vaccines, as we are exposed to alumium on a daily basis.  However, most of our aluminum exposure comes from the topical or oral route, and the vast majority of oral & topical aluminum exposure is NOT absorbed (0.3%) and 95% of that which is absorbed is eliminated through the kidneys.  Alum that is injected into the body gets concentrated in a  far greater percentage than other routes of exposure.  The half life of aluminum in the human brain is 7 years.  Aluminum is added to vaccinations to help with the immune response of our bodies post vaccination.


How much aluminum is in vaccines? ** this information was taken  from the manufacturer’s package inserts in March of 2013 and possibly things have changed between now and then.  

The FDA recommends limiting aluminum exposure to 5 mcg per kilogram per day.  For an average 2 month old infant who may be starting his/her immunization schedule weighing in at 11  lbs or 5 kg that equates to 25 mcg  per day.


  • HepB (Hepatitis B) = 250 mcg (Engerix or Recombivax)
  • Rotavirus = 0 mcg (oral vaccine)
  • DTaP (diptheria, tetanus and acellular pertussis) = ranges from 170 mcg (Tripedia), 330 mcg (Daptacel), 625 mcg (Infarix)
  • HiB (Haemophilus influenzae B.  This is NOT the flu vaccine.) = 225 mcg (PedvaxHIB), or 0 mcg (ActHIB)
  • PCV (Pneumococcal) = 125 mcg (Prevnar-13)
  • IPV (inactivated polio) = 0 mcg
  • MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) = 0 mcg
  • Varicella (Chickenpox) = 0 mcg
  • Hep A (Hepatitis A) = 250 mcg (HAVRIX and VAQTA)

And combination vaccines:

  • COMVAX (Hib + HepB) = 225 mcg
  • Pediatrix (DTaP + HepB + IPV) = 850 mcg
  • Pentacel (DTaP + IPV + Hib) = 330 mcg (note: the package insert says it has 1500 mcg of aluminum phosphate, which is equivalent to 330 mcg of elemental aluminum)

Here is a toxin analysis of a child with autism. Notice the very high level of aluminum. Aluminum that is orally ingested is negligible compared to that which is injected into the body and can cause brain damaging effects.  Of course, we have alum in our environment but it is far more dangerous when it is injected into the bodies of some people.

toxin analysis of a child with post vaccination issues


There are brands of immunizations these days that have a lower amount of aluminum and I suggest that you ask about these when considering immunizing your child.


Here is what the CDC shows is in our vaccinations:

Ingredients in the MMR vaccine


 Can we identify and screen genetic markers for children that may have serious vaccine side effects?


We can now map the human genome and we are aware of genetic mutations that may cause some children (and adults) to have adverse reactions to vaccines.


There is also the whole issue of methylation, which comes down to mutations in the genetics of some individuals.  According to Dr. Amy Yasko, in Chapter 2 of her book Autism – Pathways to Recovery, “When viruses (such as those contained in the MMR vaccine) are inserted into your genome, it’s not healthy for those viruses to be “turned on” and become active. However, without adequate methylation, that’s exactly what can happen. Unless you have adequate methyl groups that attach themselves to the viruses to silence them, they can become active.

What occurs if these genes are activated? Instead of evoking an immune response that grants resistance to measles, mumps, and rubella, as they are supposed to, these vaccines can produce an entirely different, unwanted effect. The recipient of the vaccine can become subject to chronic infection from these activated viruses that now, like a Trojan Horse, have taken up residence in the body.”


Perhaps, it is those children who have specific genetics that lead to an autoimmune response post vaccination.  Scientists are now investigating genetic snps that can lead to autism as well as others that may be impacted by vaccinations.  (Just for the record, I also believe that autism is a multi-factorial problem with genetic, infectious and environmental factors that lead to neurological inflammation.)  The bottom line is that not all immune systems will respond identically to the same vaccinationhttp://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/25445995/


Understanding the functional consequences of these genetic mutations on immune response after vaccination could assist in directing new measles and potentially other viral vaccine design, and help us in better understanding measles immunogenetics. This article here outlines the association of CD46, SLAM and CD209 cellular receptor gene SNPs with variations in measles vaccine-induced immune responses.



No one wants measles or a communicable disease and no one wants an adverse vaccine reaction!

 Trust in the Vaccine Makers and the CDC

I like to trust that the government is looking out for our best interest and again, I firmly believe that vaccinations have done an amazing job at eradicating fatal communicable diseases from our society.  I am in awe at how extraordinary modern medicine truly is.  However, this is also a big business and sometimes profit can get in the way of health care ( I am not saying that it is here … just posing the question).


Could there be biased opinions in the CDC?

Again, I am not a conspiracy theorist by any stretch of the imagination.  I prefer to stay positive.  I actually love this country and fully appreciate all of the amazing privelages that we are able to take advantage of here in the USA.  I do not mind paying taxes and helping those in need.  I just like to see all of the facts.


WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER SO LETS MAKE THE DECISION THAT IS BEST FOR OUR SPECIFIC CHILDREN AND OUR COMMUNITY. Let’s work towards the manufacturing of vaccines that are safe for our immune systems and provide genetic testing for those children who could potentially be at risk for vaccine reactions.



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