Vaccines for Pregnant Women—Are They Safe?

The concept of vaccination is brilliant. Minute amounts of infectious particles (antigens) in the vaccines stimulate the immune system to make antibodies to the infectious substances and can thereby potentially prevent specific illnesses.

However, vaccines that are used commercially contain other substances besides the infectious agents, such as preservatives, immune stimulants, and culture mediums. These additives have the potential to cause harm.

Women who are pregnant, or thinking about getting pregnant in the future, will be faced with important decisions regarding vaccinations that could significantly impact the health of their unborn babies. Pregnant women have to make these important decisions without receiving full disclosure of the risks versus the benefits of vaccination.

All too often our healthcare providers simply say that vaccines are safe and that the risks are minimal, echoing what they have been told by the CDC and the pharmaceutical companies, without being fully informed themselves about the risks. In fact, many doctors have not even read the package inserts and have no knowledge about all of the added ingredients (adjuvants) contained in the vaccines, nor their potential effects on the developing brain and immune system of the fetus.

History of vaccine schedule in pregnancy

In 2006, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommended that all pregnant women be given a flu shot during any trimester. In 2011, the CDC recommended that the Tdap vaccine be added to the list of vaccines given during pregnancy. The Tdap shot is for the prevention of pertussis (whooping cough), tetanus, and diphtheria.

What is Influenza?

Influenza, often referred to as the “flu,” is an infectious respiratory disease caused by type A or type B influenza viruses that are present in the mucus membranes and secretions of the nose, throat and lungs.

Most symptoms of the “flu” are not caused by the influenza virus, but by a variety of other viruses and bacteria. Only lab confirmation can detect whether flu-like symptoms—including serious complications like pneumonia—are indeed caused by influenza viruses.

The CDC has estimated that only about 20 % of all flu-like illnesses that occur every year during the “flu season” are truly type A or type B influenza. That means that only 20% of all “flu-like” illnesses could be preventable by influenza vaccination.

Furthermore, to be effective, the influenza antigens in the vaccine have to perfectly match the particular viral strains that are circulating at the time of vaccination. Viruses mutate constantly, making an exact match in the vaccines difficult to achieve, and thus making the flu vaccines even less effective.

What ingredients are in the flu vaccine?

The commonly used quadrivalent flu shot contains the following ingredients:

  • Flu strains A and B
  • Thimerosal (mercury-based))
  • Aluminum salts
  • Formaldehyde
  • Gelatin
  • Chicken egg protein
  • Antibiotics

Thimerosal is a mercury-based preservative that is used to prevent bacteria and fungi from growing in the multi-dose vaccine vials. Thimerosal contains approximately 50% ethylmercury.

Mercury is one of the most poisonous elements on the earth, a known neurotoxin that affects the brain and nervous system. Mercury comes in three forms: elemental mercury found in thermometers, dental amalgams, coal-fired power plants, and fluorescent light bulbs; inorganic mercury compounds found in some industrial processes; and organic mercury compounds such as methyl mercury found in fish; and ethyl mercury found in vaccines.

About 30 years ago, many countries in Europe started removing Thimerosal from vaccines due to mercury’s undisputed status as a neurotoxin.

In 2004, Thimerosal was removed from many of the vaccines in the US after much lobbying by an organization representing parents of children who developed vaccine-related brain damage.

Mercury is still present in the flu vaccine as well as a few other vaccines. If you decide to get the flu vaccine, you have the option of requesting a single-dose vial of mercury-free flu vaccine. According to the package insert, the single-dose vials still contain “trace amounts of mercury.”

To understand what “trace amounts” of mercury means, below is a table that can put the numbers in perspective:

  • 2 ppb mercury is the EPA-mandated limit in drinking water;
  • 200 ppb mercury in liquid waste renders it a toxic hazard;
  • 2,000 ppb mercury in flu vaccines labeled “trace” amount;
  • 50,000 ppb mercury in multi-dose flu vaccines given to infants, pregnant women and everyone else.

So even a thimerosal-free vaccine that contains a “trace” amount of mercury contains 2,000 parts per billion, an order of magnitude more than the amount considered toxic in liquid waste.

Both methyl and ethyl mercury are distributed throughout the body and cross the blood-brain barrier as well as the placental barrier where the mercury has the potential to cause damage to the brain, nervous and immune systems of the fetus.

Two scientists from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have recently done studies that overthrow the longstanding claims made by their own agency—the CDC—that the controversial vaccine ingredient, thimerosal, is relatively harmless and is flushed quickly from the body.

The findings were published in Reviews of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology.

Despite the fact that the EPA and FDA warn pregnant women to limit their fish consumption in order to avoid mercury exposure, the CDC continues to advise pregnant women to get mercury-containing flu shots. The CDC has explained this contradiction by claiming that the form of mercury found in thimerosal (ethylmercury) is much less toxic and more quickly cleared from the body than the form found in fish (methylmercury).

The new study utterly demolishes those claims.

The research scientists reviewed many prior research studies that looked at both methylmercury and ethylmercury, concluding that both forms of mercury share many common properties and are both potent neurotoxins of comparable severity to humans.

With particular regard to thimerosal, the researchers found evidence that the preservative is highly toxic even at very low doses, even doing more damage than methylmercury in some studies.

The researchers also found that, contrary to the CDC’s claims, the ethylmercury produced by the metabolism of thimerosal does not leave the body quickly. Instead, it is broken down further into highly neurotoxic metabolites.

The researchers found studies showing a wide variety of effects caused by both ethylmercury and methylmercury, including: damage to DNA, impaired DNA synthesis, oxidative damage, formation of free radicals, decrease of glutathione activity necessary for detoxification activity, damage to the dividing cells, inhibition of fatty acid incorporation into cell membranes, overproduction of nitrous oxide, and disruption of neurotransmitters.

Boyd Haley, chairman emeritus of the University of Kentucky Chemistry Department and one of the world’s foremost authorities on mercury toxicity, called the study a “nuclear bomb.” He said, “It’s a momentous rejection of a widely held medical orthodoxy dictating policy changes even more significant than the medical establishment’s reversals on thalidomide, calomel tooth powder, x-rays during pregnancy, or lead exposure to children. In each of these cases, thousands of children were injured or killed before an entrenched medical establishment was finally willing to abandon treatments that were unquestionably causing great harm.”

Dr. Paul Thomas, a well-known pediatrician and author of the book, The Vaccine-Friendly Plan: Dr. Paul’s Safe and Effective Approach to Immunity and Health From Pregnancy Through Your Child’s Teen Years, made the following remark: “This scientific paper is one of the most important pieces of research to come out of the CDC in a decade. It confirms what so many already suspected: that public health officials have been making a terrible mistake in recommending that we expose babies and pregnant women to this neurotoxin. I regret to say that I gave these shots to children. The CDC led us all to believe that it was perfectly safe.”

The environmental activist and attorney, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. wrote in his book, Thimerosal—Let the Science Speak, “There is a broad consensus among research scientists that Thimerosal is a dangerous neurotoxin that should be immediately removed from medicines.”

Aluminum is a common component in most vaccines. It is used as an adjuvant. An adjuvant is a substance added to vaccines to enhance the production of antibodies in vaccinated individuals. The aluminum salts in some U.S. licensed vaccines are aluminum hydroxide, aluminum phosphate, alum (potassium aluminum sulfate), or mixed aluminum salts.

In 1996, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a position paper on Aluminum Toxicity in Infants and Children that stated in the first paragraph, “Aluminum is now being implicated as interfering with a variety of cellular and metabolic processes in the nervous system and in other tissues.

As noted in a 2011 study by Lucija Tomljenovic and Christopher Shaw, :

“Aluminum is an experimentally demonstrated neurotoxin and the most commonly used vaccine adjuvant. Research clearly shows that aluminum adjuvants have the potential to induce serious immunological disorders in humans. In particular, aluminum in adjuvant form carries a risk for autoimmunity, long-term brain inflammation and associated neurological complications and may thus have profound and widespread adverse health consequences.”

Formaldehyde is used in vaccines to inactivate the virus. Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen when inhaled. Formaldehyde given by injection has the potential to cause neurotoxicity in the unborn baby.

Below is the link to articles from the files of the National Institute of Health that include all the studies that have been done on formaldehyde exposure in animals—including pregnant animals—by multiple routes of exposure, including injection with multiple different dosages.

“In the current review, we systematically evaluated evidence of an association between formaldehyde exposure and adverse reproductive and developmental effects, in human populations and in vivo animal studies, in the peer-reviewed literature. The mostly retrospective human studies provided evidence of an association of maternal exposure with adverse reproductive and developmental effects.”

Gelatin is derived from pig-based collagen and used as a stabilizer.

Chicken egg protein provides a culture medium for the viruses to grow. Some of the chicken egg protein can remain in the vaccine after processing and can cause an immune response in people with egg allergies.

Antibiotics in the flu shot keep bacteria from getting into the non-sterile eggs. Neomycin is the antibiotic mostly commonly used.

What ingredients are in the Tdap vaccine?

The Tdap vaccine made by GlaxoSmithKline contains the antigens for tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough) and diphtheria. The additives include:

  • Bovine casein
  • Formaldehyde
  • Glutaraldehyde
  • Aluminum hydroxide
  • Polysorbate 80 

Bovine casein is a culture medium of cow milk protein used to grow the infectious organisms. Dairy-allergic people might have an allergic reaction after getting the vaccine. The non pasture-raised cows contain glyphosate residues from the fodder that they eat.

Glutaraldehyde is an organic compound commonly used to disinfect medical and dental equipment. In vaccines it is used as a preservative.

Polysorbate 80 is a common food additive used in vaccines as an emulsifier to equally distribute the ingredients. Polysorbate 80 facilitates the delivery of ingredients in the vaccine to the brain by allowing penetration of the blood brain barrier. This characteristic of Polysorbate 80 makes the neurotoxic ingredients even more potentially dangerous by allowing them access to the brain.

 Are these vaccines safe in pregnancy? 

The time-honored rule of avoiding any potential toxic exposure that might interfere with the normal development of the fetus has been suspended and replaced with an assumption that vaccination during pregnancy is safe. But what is the scientific evidence documenting that this assumption is a well-informed one?

There have been NO credible, long-term studies done on vaccine safety. 

Many of the studies on vaccine safety are not credible because the drug companies designed and funded the studies, a situation that creates a conflict of interest. In these industry-funded studies, the “control group” that is supposed to get injected with a placebo like sugar or saline water, instead gets injected with the exact same ingredients in the vaccine being tested­–but without the infectious substances.

This deceptive tactic means that the control group is being subjected to similar risks from the vaccine additives as the study group. Therefore, the industry-funded researchers can make the misleading claim that there are no major differences in outcome between the study group and the control group, and therefore the vaccines are not creating increased health problems.

When studies have been done that do not give the results that the CEOs in the CDC want to see, then those results are often kept from hidden from the public. Journals that publish results that are unfavorable to the vaccine industry are pressured into retracting those the articles. Just recently, a whistleblower from the ranks of the CDC, Dr. William Thompson, came forward after 13 years of living with a guilty conscience. He reported that he and his fellow researches had been told to shred the results of a study that showed a definite link between vaccines and autism.

Statistics on infant mortality in US 

A new report from the Center for Disease Control reveals that, compared to 27 of the wealthiest nations in the world, the United States has the highest infant mortality rate. A baby born in the U.S. is nearly three times as likely to die during its first year of life as one born in Finland or Japan. That same American baby is about twice as likely to die in her first year as a Spanish or Korean one.

Despite healthcare spending levels that are significantly higher than any other country in the world, a baby born in the U.S. is less likely to see his first birthday than one born in Hungary, Poland or Slovakia.

Risks versus Benefit analysis

MedAlerts is a unique database search engine that allows people to search and review reports of vaccine-related complications made to the federal Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS).

Some of the serious complications reported from the influenza vaccine include brain inflammation, convulsions, Bell’s palsy, limb paralysis, neuropathy, shock, wheezing/asthma and other breathing problems.

From this database, we learn that the influenza vaccines can also cause Guillain Barre Syndrome (GBS), a disabling neurological disorder that involves temporary or permanent paralysis that can lead to death.

As of June 30, 2016, there have been more than 128,194 reports of reactions made to the federal Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS), including 1,270 related deaths, 10,780 hospitalizations, and 2,377 related 3disabilities.

By October 3, 2016, there had been 2,954 more claims filed in the federal Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) following influenza vaccination, including 109 deaths and 2,845 serious injuries.

Many injuries go unreported. The above numbers probably represent only a fraction of how many injuries are actually occurring. People are all too often told by their doctors that the reactions they or their children are experiencing have nothing to do with their vaccinations.

Another potential risk of getting the flu vaccine is the increased vulnerability to getting other flu-like illnesses. ABC news aired a discussion about a 2009 Canadian study that showed twice the risk of getting Swine flu that year among the vaccinated population compared to those who were not vaccinated.

While the initial findings were largely discounted, new research confirms the link between the flu vaccination and an increased risk of more serious bouts of pandemic illness

There are major differences between naturally-acquired immunity and vaccine-induced immunity. With vaccination, you are creating an antibody, but as recent research has confirmed, unvaccinated children naturally build up more antibodies against a wider variety of flu virus strains than vaccinated children.

Legal Status

Drug companies were granted immunity against vaccine injuries and deaths after the U.S. Congress and Supreme Court determined that licensed vaccines were unavoidably unsafe. 

“No vaccine manufacturer shall be liable…for damages arising from a vaccine-related injury or death.” – President Ronald Reagan, as he signed The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act (NCVIA) of 1986, absolving drug companies from all medico-legal liability when vaccines kill or disable children.

Congress gave the pharmaceutical companies a “free pass,” against those seeking to sue for death or injury resulting from a vaccination. Without legal liability, pharmaceutical companies are free to release vaccines that are poorly tested and have produced dubious results.


For decades, pregnant women have been advised to avoid toxic exposures, including alcohol, tobacco, radiation, most medications, and most fish due to contamination with mercury. In more recent times, pregnant women are facing increasing pressure to expose their unborn babies to toxic substances that are found in vaccines, including mercury used as a preservative and aluminum used to stimulate the immune system.

Women’s fierce and primitive drive toward protecting a pregnancy has been overridden by fear and by the claim that they need to get the flu vaccine and the Tdap to avoid dire consequences.The specter of the influenza pandemic of 1918 is often invoked in the fear-mongering tactics.

Public health authorities are heavily influenced by pharmaceutical companies whose CEOs are on the staff at the CDC and the FDA and help set policies that are often in their companies’ best interests and not in the public’s best interest.

Doctors’ recommendations are influenced by these formerly trustworthy organizations. We now know that the CDC and the FDA have a history of engaging in criminal behavior regarding the health of the public through falsification of the data in research studies that test the products that they promote.

The people who express concerns about the current vaccine schedule are often silenced by the public and the media. They are told that they are conspiracy theorists, “anti-vaxxers,” and anti-science. Yet true science remains open to enquiry and debate. When open discussions about the risks of vaccination are suppressed, then we have to wonder why there is such a strong need to silence those who raise legitimate question.

If your doctor pressures you to get vaccinated while you are pregnant, ask the doctor to show you the science that proves that the vaccines are safe. If you conclude the vaccine’s benefits do not outweigh the risks for you and your baby, and if your doctor criticizes you for making an informed choice, then I would suggest that you find another doctor who will treat you with respect and honor your health care choices.

The potential consequences of relinquishing your ability to think for yourself, your intuition, and your common sense to your well-meaning doctor could be enormous—especially when the health of your baby is at stake.

It’s time to step back and take a hard look at what is happening to the health of our children who were born over the past two decades. Our schools are filled with children who have severe allergies, behavior disorders, mood disorders, learning disorders, autism, chronic fatigue syndrome, chronic illnesses, and autoimmune diseases.

How many more children need to be harmed before we invoke the precautionary principle? What happened to the Hippocratic Oath that healthcare providers are sworn to follow—Above All Do No Harm?

I find it unbearable to think about the unborn babies who will come into the world already damaged by the mercury and aluminum in their developing brains—some more than others. I would like to see an immediate halt to the current prenatal recommendations. But since I don’t have the power to change public policy, I will do my best to spread the word to women who are pregnant—or who are thinking about getting pregnant—so that that they will become fully informed about the risks of vaccination to their unborn child.


When I got pregnant with my son in 1988, pregnant women did not get vaccinated—thankfully. In the 1980s and early 1990s when I practiced conventional medicine, I followed the party line, did what I was told, and vaccinated the children in the clinic where I worked according to the vaccine schedule. Once I began studying environmental medicine, I understood the serious risks inherent in the vaccines. From that moment on, when my patients enquired about a vaccine, I fully informed them of the risks versus the benefits. I regretted my former ignorance.


Vaccines for Pregnant Women—Are They Safe? — 7 Comments

  1. What an incredible article this is, Erica. Thank you for sharing your insights into the dangers of the “additives” to vaccines that have been covered up by the drug companies and the CDC.

    • Thank you, Jerry. If investigative journalists were able to share their findings and have the media present unbiased news, I think the public would be horrified at learning about the dangers of vaccination—the way it is given in the US. Love you, Erica

  2. Incredible article, Erica, with very important information for people to know about.

  3. Erica, this crucial in-depth informative discourse on the business of vaccines’ safety especially regarding babies and the conflicts of profit driven health care in this country is amazingly forthright; thank you for your dedicated service for ethical and informed health care for all.

    • Thank you, John. It’s very painful for me to see how so many babies are put at risk of brain damage from the way vaccines are formulated and administered.

  4. Thank you, dear Erica! Forwarding this immediately to our daughters!

    • I’m relieved to know that your daughters will get this information before they get pregnant. I’ll be sending the post to my son and his fiancé as well, and to some of my patients with children who are thinking about getting pregnant. I hope the readers will spread the word. I can’t bear to see anymore vaccine-injured babies. Much love and bon voyage for your trip to Morocco. Erica