Vaccine safety has lead to emotional — and, on social media, not so civil — debate.

The question of whether childhood vaccines are safe and tested thoroughly, along with government laws mandating vaccinations to attend schools, have lead to protests, accusations, and lawsuits.


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All the while, both vaccine advocates and those questioning vaccine safety say science and data are on their side.

In that backdrop, a bus tour promoting a new documentary questioning vaccine safety will stop Tuesday afternoon in Clovis. One of the film’s producers wants to talk to families that have experienced vaccine injuries.

The Vaxxed Films

“Too many parents are reporting deaths, paralysis and brain injury. And we want to get to the bottom of it.”Vaxxed producer Polly Tommey

The first movie in the series, 2016’s “Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe” explored a CDC whistleblower’s questioning of vaccine safety. The movie was panned by the scientific community, banned from prestigious film festivals like Tribeca, and removed from Amazon’s streaming service.

Its sequel, “Vaxxed II: The People’s Truth,” consisted of hundreds of interviews with families who say their children were injured from vaccines such as MMR, dTap, and Gardasil, the HPV drug from manufacturer Merck. The film told stories of horrific injuries, including cognitive impairment, paralysis, and death.

The movie also showed parents reporting that their unvaccinated children enjoyed better health than their vaccinated children.

One of the movie’s producers, Polly Tommey, says it has been a huge challenge to find theaters to screen the film since its controversial debut last month. She said that only the AMC chain would show it, and neither Netflix nor Amazon will carry it. It ran once in Clovis last month.

“What we’re basically trying to do is, find out from the people on the ground of America what is going on with these vaccines. Because too many parents are reporting deaths, paralysis and brain injury. And we want to get to the bottom of it,” Tommey said.

Producer Talking to Families, Anecdotal Evidence

Tommey is the mother of a vaccine-injured child. She says nearly 20 years ago, her 13-month old son developed Autism from the MMR vaccine. He will require care for the rest of his life. She also says that vaccines provide no benefits.

“If you would have asked me 20 years ago, I would’ve said yes. But now after my son’s injury and speaking to parents from around the world, categorically no,” Tommey said.

She is on tour and plans to interview families today. They will come on the bus one-by-one to have their stories live-streamed on Facebook and Periscope and for possible use in a future film.

Tommey noticed that families whose first child suffered a vaccine injury didn’t vaccinate a second child.

Every family that has an unvaccinated child tells us (about) the undeniable health (improvement) over the vaccinated child. That interests us,” Tommey said.

The Vaxxed movies rely heavily on anecdotal evidence.

“I’m into believing parents because nobody knows that child better than the parent,” Tommey said.

Tommey would like to see what she calls proper scientific studies.

“That’s why we need to do vaccinated versus unvaccinated study. I don’t understand why they’re not doing that,” Tommey said. “For once and for all, let’s settle this. Let’s settle this ongoing debate that’s been going for years.”

Vaccine advocates say those studies have been done. Tommey said prior studies were tainted by conflicts of interest since they are hosted by pharmaceutical companies.

‘Anti-Vaxxer’ and Blame for Outbreaks

Tommey eschews the term “anti-vaxxer.”

“I think it’s a little unfair. Honestly, I wish I was an anti-vaxxer, because then my children wouldn’t be injured by these vaccines. We are all what we call ex-vaxxers,” Tommey said.

Every family she interviews signs her bus. It now has over 8,000 names.

The other side of the story has critics blaming “anti-vaxxers” for recent measles outbreaks in California, New York, and Samoa. Tommey says that is “utterly ridiculous.”

Vaccine Laws Sticking

Responding to measles outbreaks at Disneyland, state Sen. Richard Pan (D-Sacramento) led the effort to roll back personal belief exemptions for vaccines.

Vaccines are required to attend school, both public and private, in California.

When the number of exemptions increased despite SB 277 regulations, Pan introduced SB 276 this year, to regulate how doctors can grant exemptions. Both bills received vociferous protests from families skeptical of vaccine safety. Both bills passed.

Protestors dropped an effort to ask state voters to roll back SB 276 on Monday, citing problems collecting enough signatures on a petition.

Similarly, a New York judge this week ruled that a state law removing the religious exemption from receiving vaccines is constitutional.

Merck Responds

Update, 12/13/19: Merck sent this response after this story initially posted on Tuesday.

Merck responded to Vaxxed II’s accusations regarding the safety of Gardasil.

“These films are deeply concerning and can have immediate and long-term impact on individual and societal health,” the statement read in part.

Merck says it has properly tested its HPV vaccine.

“The safety results from the studies were considered acceptable by regulators, and were therefore considered to be valid and appropriate to support licensure in more than 130 countries,” the statement said.

Vaxxed Bus Tour

Who: The Vaxxed tour bus comes to Fresno/Clovis

When: Today, 4 p.m. -7 p.m.

Where: 1425 Shaw Avenue in Clovis (at the old Toys R Us location)

Why: Film producer Polly Tommey wants to hear stories of families, and their experience with vaccines and vaccine injuries

Vaxxed II Trailer

14 Responses

  1. Jerry

    Not sure why you would give this group of deadly folks this much notoriety – it isn’t news. And gives them a sheen of undeserved legitimacy – parents know their childrens disease origins best? In what universe? Thousands of tested and proven studies and these science haters persist because they are desperate to blame someone. Anecdotes. GVWire – you really dropped the ball on this one.

    Reply
    • Liz Kirby

      Until you have a child affected, you will not understand. Some doctors are bought just like most politicians. Have you even done any research or listened to a mother whose child has been injured by a vaccine? Probably not. Hence the eyes closed ignorance.

      Reply
    • Janina

      Please provide the “thousands of tested and proven studies”, Jerry.

      Believe parents – they have the liability for every shot their children receive. Whether they know it or not. 8000 signatures. 8000 babies. Harmed, as reported by parents, or the adults who were harmed.

      Parents whose reports of vaccine injury are summarily dismissed by their pediatricians. Every time. Parents whose voices go ignored. Parents who are vilified for knowing what they’ve seen and are talking about it. Children who are harmed, whose parents can’t find a doctor who knows how to care for the damage. And, then their are deady people just like you who speak out like they know what they’re talking about. You know nothing. Except for the pro-vaxxer pledge of allegiance. You’ve swallowed the poison on this one and spew it in the form of vengeful, horrific rhetoric. Shameful.

      Reply
    • Janina

      Please provide the “thousands of tested and proven studies”, Jerry.

      Believe parents – they have the liability for every shot their children receive. Whether they know it or not. 8000 signatures. 8000 babies. Harmed, as reported by parents, or those who were harmed.

      Parents whose reports of vaccine injury are summarily dismissed by their pediatricians. Every time. Parents whose voices go ignored. Parents who are vilified for knowing what they’ve seen and are talking about it. Children who are harmed, whose parents can’t find a doctor who knows how to care for the damage. And, then there are deady people just like you who speak out like they know what they’re talking about. You know nothing. Except for the pro-vaxxer pledge of allegiance. You’ve swallowed the poison on this one and spew it in the form of vengeful, horrific rhetoric. Shameful.

      Reply
    • Kat RS

      I wish we had been given more notice of the Vaxxed Bus’s arrival.
      There are many parents who want to tell their stories.
      Thanks to the media’s intentional use of marginalizing labels, this topic has become incredibly polarized. You can’t question vaccine safety without being shut down as an “anti-vaxxer.” That’s insanity!
      Now, many parents are uncomfortable speaking out about their own experiences with adverse events after vaccination.
      I would encourage everyone to listen to Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s arguments with regard to concerns of the regulatory agencies, the disabling of institutions designated to protect children (the HHS, CDC,etc). The mainstream media is heavily dependent on the pharmaceutical industry for advertising revenue (which translates into media bias). Congress is essentially “bought” (generally speaking). It is illegal to sue a vaccine company (compensation for injury is paid through a pool of an excise tax on each vaccine). The censorship is astounding on Google, Facebook, Pinterest, etc.
      There are SO MANY REASONS we should be discussing our concerns. Public discourse is important for awareness and growth.
      We aren’t getting it.
      We aren’t capable of giving true “informed consent.” (also generally speaking).

      Reply
      • Jerry

        “…experiences with adverse events after vaccination.”
        You all read from the same web sites. All this means is something happened at some point after a vaccination and with zero proof that the vaccination is the cause. I get it – it’s hard to have something unfortunate happen to a child and we expect answers in todays society – you need to blame something! But this easy answer is not the correct one – no correlation. Just stories from families, all very sad, but unfortunately without a shred of proof. Public discourse IS important – informed and science based discourse is even more important. I have a relative who believes vaccines hurt her child – Why? Because she “Knows” – she’s a mother. No other reason ever given. She just “knows”. No point to have “discourse” with a closed mind.
        There’s no point to discuss it because the anti-vaxx arguments are all the same – over and over.

  2. Tami

    Thank you, GVWire for your unbiased representation of both sides. The fact is, there are MANY children and adults in the Central Valley who have been injured or disabled from vaccines. These are not “science haters”. These are people who listened to corporate sponsored science, vaccinated their children, and experienced a terrible reaction. Medicine is and should never be one-size-fits-all. And science is NEVER settled. It is important that we give those who have been hurt a voice, and stop gas lighting other peoples experiences.

    Reply
    • Jerry

      How do you know they were injured by vaccines? Because they said so? There are people who say the word is flat – do I believe them also because they said so?

      Reply
      • Marie

        Jerry, are you aware that vaccines contain aluminum and mercury? Are you aware that those things cause brain damage? I’m sorry that you clearly are not educated of these important things. My child got her 1 month vaccines and withing an hr started having seizures. Do you know that they are now giving babies 4 times the amount of vaccines then were given 20 years ago? Are we not ok with inly the few vaccines we have gotten? Why are they giving so many more? Why are they giving brand new babies heb b vaccines? Never in my life have I gotten a hep b nor has anyone I know that is my age.. do we have hep b now? NO. When the truth comes out and it will, all of you people that are convinced vaccines dont cause damage will feel really stupid. I was pro vaccine until my daughter was injured and so were thousands of other parents. It is just sad how the government can lie and lie and everyone believes it.. they could tell us all to take a pill that would make us healthier that really caused cancer and so many people would believe it was true.. a dr hands you some miracle pill that they say is going to save you and you end up worse then you were before. You think that the government does no wrong? WAKE UP!

      • Shae

        https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2819810/
        Aluminum Hydroxide has been proven to cause issues when injected. These studies aren’t in the media because Vaccines are a $60 Billion industry. And the chronic diseases that they cause and cannot be treated have earned Big Pharma $500 BILLION. We see how much greed runs in all sectors in this country. It seems all things we ingest and inject are nasty. So scary to raise children in this toxic mess.

  3. Brian

    Might as well be called, “Idiocracy II” or Anti-Science: Autism scares me more than Death!”

    Reply
  4. Crystal

    My son developed autism due to vaccines ! If y’all ever come out to California I would love to spread more awareness about vaccines and the damage they cause !!

    Reply
  5. Joanne H

    I don’t understand it. Vaccines for children come in single dose vials and contain NO metals or preservatives? Why? So the CDC could prove that autism rates did not change when vaccine became single dose for kids . They proved it and vaccines are still single dose for kids..They are preservative free. You can even request getting the flu vaccine in a single dose vial as it comes in both multi dose vials and single dose vials. You do not get any preservatives with single dose vials and it is mandated in the USA that kids get single dose vials except for the flu vaccine…Science works. My brother was hauled out of our house by our pediatrician when I was 5 because he was in a coma from the measles. That is one vivid and scary memory I will never forget and I am in my 60s. He has never been the same.

    Reply

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