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Enhanced Interrogaiton: DR. SHERRI J. TENPENNY

Vaccine Awareness Activist



Dr. Sherri Tenpenny, founder of the OsteoMed II clinic in Middleburg Heights, is one of the leading voices warning people about health risks associated with vaccinations — including the H1N1 flu shot. You can learn more about her views at or

Why aren't more doctors as vocal as you about the potential hazards of vaccinations?

This wasn't a position that I just suddenly had one day. I was board-certified in emergency medicine and osteopathic manual medicine, and through 1996, I was the director of an emergency department in Findlay. I moved to Cleveland in '96 to start an integrated medicine program. It wasn't until September 2000 when I went to the National Vaccine Information Center meeting in Washington, D.C., out of curiosity more than anything. I sat through that three-day meeting and listened to all these doctors and Ph.Ds and researchers and parents talking about problems with vaccines, and I thought, "How did I miss that?" I graduated med school in 1985, started practice in 1985, and to 2000, how was it that the only thing that I was taught about vaccines was that they were safe, effective, they protected you and they were harmless? And on the rare occasion where someone had an adverse reaction, it was just a "rare, one-in-a-million thing," and it must have been some underlying thing that was wrong with that patient that they were susceptible to the effects of the vaccine.

I thought the only things that were in the vaccine were a little bit of dead virus and a little bit of sterile water, so how can it hurt anybody? When I went home from that meeting, I sat down and said, "I need to look into this." I spent pretty much 9,000 hours of my personal time over the last nine years researching all of this information and finding out that what they taught us in medical school is not the full story, that there are a lot of reports of adverse reactions and problems that have to do with vaccines in the medical literature and reported by the Center for Disease Control. Nobody was talking about it. I thought maybe I should bring this to somebody's attention, and they'd start to pay attention. From there I got to where I am today.

Doctors haven't spent the time that I have [researching]. They're simply going on a 200-year belief that vaccines were important for the eradication of disease, and if we didn't have vaccines, there would be so many more people getting sick and dying. They rely on the information from the CDC, from the Institute of Medicine, and they listen to what the American Academy of Pediatrics says, and they don't go any further and have not done their own personal research.

There are many dozens of doctors, MDs and DOs [doctors of osteopathic medicine], who are now speaking out about the problems with vaccines. I used to be the voice in the wilderness. I'm not anymore. There are thousands of parents and dozens of doctors standing up and saying the same thing.

Yet there are media reports out there trying to cast this as a fringe movement — irresponsible, reckless, pseudo-science. Is it reckless to be warning people about possible adverse effects?

Those are all good words [laughing]. I think it's absolutely reckless that conventional medicine continues to ignore the fact that thousands of people are injured by vaccines. If somebody got a shot of penicillin and within a very short period of time they began to have seizure disorders or started to have anaphylaxis [a severe allergic reaction] or started to wheeze and have asthma, the doctors would say, "I bet it was that penicillin. We probably shouldn't do that anymore." But when a patient gets a vaccine and they have a serious reaction, it's blown off. When kids — or even adults — get vaccines and they cry and they have high-pitched screaming and they stop breathing and start having seizures, the doctors and the nurses say, "No big deal, that's just a normal side effect." Well, that's not a normal side effect.

I know personally of a case that happened where they did vaccinations — here in Cleveland at a school — and the teacher watched as these kids came back in after getting their vaccinations and one little boy ... fell to the floor, and she turned around and saw that he was seizing. By the time the nurse [was called to the room], the child had stopped seizing. And the nurse said, "Oh, these kids, they get so upset about getting shots, it was nothing. We'll call his parents, but it's nothing."

If we had given that child an injection of anything else except a vaccine, they would have considered it to be a serious reaction, called 911 and made a really big deal of it. I'm not sure if this was the H1N1 shot or the regular flu shot, but it really doesn't matter. The child had a reaction, and it was minimized by the medical profession because it was a flu shot, and of course, flu shots don't hurt anybody.

What is the evidence in the medical literature that vaccinations can be harmful? Describe an adverse effect internally.

The mechanism in a lot of cases has to do with acute inflammation. It has to do with thrombosis, where the blood can clot and form little mini-blood clots. It also has to do with something called a cytokine reaction, a type of inflammation in the immune system that causes a domino effect. It can cause a lot of down-line inflammation that can be persistent for a long period of time. I use this visual when I talk about it: It's like if you had a pile of leaves in your backyard and you put a cherry bomb under the leaves and the leaves went everywhere — you don't know where those leaves are going to land. You don't know what kind of problems will be caused down the road. Once you've set off that bomb, there's no unsetting it. Once you've turned on an inflammatory reaction in the body, there is no "off" button.

Depending on the individual — their genetics, their background, their health, the kind of vaccine, if they've been on antibiotics — [there are] a lot of different variables. That's why some people have bad reactions and other people don't seem to have any reaction at all. That's why conventional medicine says, "Well, I gave this shot to 50 people and only one person had a bad reaction, so it's safe." Well, it may be safe on an epidemiological assessment; that doesn't necessarily mean it's safe for that individual.

How do the ingredients that go into flu vaccination pose a risk?

Some of the ingredients in the standard flu shot are formaldehyde or 2-phenoxyethonal. That's how viruses are killed or weakened before they're injected in the flu shot. Both of those ingredients are known carcinogens. There has been the argument that there isn't enough in these doses to pose a problem, but when you look at the amount of milligrams in the vaccine, and you're putting it in a small body, it is a big problem. It's not that you just get it one time; you get it repeatedly in multiple vaccines. You get it annually in a flu shot. The multi-dose flu shots that they've created — both the swine flu and regular season flu — still have mercury in them. The Center for Disease Control and the Institute of Medicine are the only two bodies in this country that are propagating information that injectable mercury causes no harm. There are thousands of published articles in the medical literature that have to do with injectable mercury. We're supposed to say that that little bit of mercury causes no harm and isn't a problem, but it does cause problems.

What illnesses can result from an adverse reaction?

In my book Saying No to Vaccines: A Resource Guide for All Ages, there are more than 350 medical references talking about the problems that can be caused by vaccines. These are the documented ones — things like asthma, allergies, ADD and ADHD, and insulin-dependent diabetes. There have been reports of cancer. There are all sorts of things these vaccines can cause. The trade-off is we want to give people these vaccines because we don't want these children or adults to get sick for a finite period of time. If you get sick and have the flu, you're sick for a week or two, and then you get better and life goes on. More than 99 percent of people who get the flu recover completely. What if you have a serious adverse reaction to a flu shot and now you have a lifetime of problems that you have to deal with? That's the trade-off.

Do you know of any reports of miscarriages attributed to a pregnant women getting H1n1 vaccine? The government is saying there's no established connection between vaccine shots and miscarriages.

There are dozens and dozens of reports from women who have had miscarriages in all different trimesters, in the first trimester and even the third trimester, when they've gotten the swine-flu vaccine. They were at 38 weeks, and the baby had been fine. Why is the vaccine not considered the problem? Merck could make [prescription painkiller] Vioxx, and Vioxx caused a lot of deaths. There was a causal association between deaths and Vioxx. There were lawsuits filed accordingly. Merck can make a vaccine. It can cause death. It's never the vaccine — it's always something else. We treat vaccines like they are a syringe full of Holy Water or like getting a shot of vitamins. "This is good for you and you must have it. It certainly can't harm you, so come in here and get your shot." It's a very deceptive way of injecting materials into us that are not so good for us. The FDA has known that the ingredients in the vaccines have the potential to cause cancer and they allow it to happen anyway.

We got a release from the Ohio Department of Health that recommended that parents should let children between 6 months and 9 years of age get two doses of H1N1 vaccination. What do you think about that announcement?

Parents need to understand that children don't need any vaccines. There are lots of other ways to stay healthy. Ohio parents specifically should understand that in the state of Ohio, there is something called a philosophical exemption. This states that legally, you're not required to get any vaccines for your children to go to public schools.

The two-shot thing is based on an assumption and a theory that you need one vaccine to sensitize your system to the antigen and the second shot to give it a boost. It's unnecessary.

Everyday we're bombarded with recommendations and news of mandates for health workers. Who are the forces behind this swell of information?

The World Health Organization is where it starts, and it trickles down through the Center for Disease Control and is mandated by those powers that be that run the government. There is a series of articles on showing [that] when the bird flu scare happened back in 2005, they were talking about the same things they are today. They actually said there were going to be more than a million deaths from bird flu, they passed all of these laws that went into effect in the states, and they got all of their global international law in place. There's a lot of global participation in our government in mandating us to get vaccines.

That's another point: There's an undying belief inside medicine that the only way you can keep from getting sick is by getting a shot. Well, that's simply not true. They even recommend things like washing your hands, getting plenty of sleep, drinking water. I think the two most important things that people can do to keep from getting sick this winter is get enough sleep — even teenagers should have up to 10 hours of sleep at night — and get a 25-hydroxy-vitamin D level (test) done. That level should be above 60 ng/mL [nanograms per millilitre]. The medical labs use an antiquated normal range from 10 to 100, but in order for your body to start storing vitamin D and to start using it and to be protected, you need to start 60 and 80 ng/mL. I've seen it in my practice — when we see people get their vitamin D levels up, they don't get sick. There are more than 5,000 articles in the medical literature about vitamin D and resistance to all types of viruses, whether they are made in the environment or made in a lab, vitamin D builds up your resistance from viruses.

And for the reader who still thinks getting the flu shot is way to go — what do you tell that person if you could stop them at the door?

It has been proven in the medical literature that for any age group — children, middle-age adults or senior citizen — getting a flu shot is no more effective than taking a sugar pill. At the same time, the risk of side effects from that flu shot is very real.

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