Vaccine Education – Its Ups and Downs

by Dr. Sherri Tenpenny, DO, AOBNMM, ABIHM


Vaccine education certainly has its ups and downs. After 17 years and more than 27,000 hours of doing research, giving radio interviews, writing books, producing fully documented DVDs, and presenting at packed seminars, I’m still not sure how to respond when I get emails like this:

“My child’s swab was positive for the flu. He was really sick for about a week, but he’s better now. I think I had the virus too. I had a fever and I coughed so much my chest still hurts. I was miserable. While I was so sick, I regretted not getting the vaccine. I’m still not feeling that great. My husband thinks we should get vaccinated next year since we got so sick. I really am unsure. What do you think?”

Really? A week or two of discomfort with complete recovery. And you’d rather risk a serious side effect and even a lifetime of disability from a flu shot?

My initial response to this email was, “Get your Vitamin D blood level checked. NOW…and again next fall. If your level is less than 30mg/mL, start loading up with about 5000IU of vitamin D*, and unless contraindicated, take extra vitamins K, vitamin C and omega 3 too. An adequate vitamin D level should be between 80 and 100ng/mL. Get your level up, especially going into next winter, and you’ll be fine.”

A few minutes later, after the solution came to mind, I clenched my teeth and furrowed my brows: Why does your husband think that a flu shot will keep you and your child from contracting the flu when in fact, vaccinated kids are more likely to get the flu?

I have to admit….

  • With ALL THE THOUSANDS OF POSTS and COMMENTS on Facebook at VaccineInfo and VaxxterInfo and,
  • With ALL THE ARTICLES we’ve shared that flu shots don’t work and
  • With ALL THE DOCUMENTATION we’ve shared the flu shots are dangerous and
  • With ALL THE BLOGS I’ve written about the problems with flu shots, especially with seniors and
  • With ALL THE RADIO SHOWS I have done to educate people about how vaccines cause harm and
  • With ALL THE INFORMATION and REFERENCES that are packed into my 2-hour DVD about influenza…

…I don’t know how to respond to that question other than to declare, “Oy vey!” coupled a smack-of-the-palm-to-the-forehead.

Are people ever going to get past the 200-year, multi-generational indoctrination of the Belief in the Religion called Vaccination? Are they ever going to stop thinking a flu shot is as good for them as a B12 shot and as harmless as drinking a glass of water?

Influenza and Influenza-like Illness Can Knock You Down

Vaccine Education – the ups and downs

I’m not insensitive to what it feels like to be sick with influenza.

I’m pretty sure I had swine flu when I was in Mexico in 2009, the year of the big Swine Flu Hysteria. I was in Monterrey to speak at an international conference. By the time I got back to Cleveland, I was really sick. For more than a week, I coughed until I thought my lungs were going to be expelled and land on the floor. I couldn’t go to work because I coughed so hard I literally could not control my urine (how’s that for transparency?!…probably TMI.)

As I started to recover, my husband began to hack…and he went through the same miserable few weeks I had just experienced. But as sick as we were, would either of us ever consider getting the shot next year, or anytime ever in the future?


Will I more consistent about taking my vitamins, particularly Vitamin D, and getting more sleep?


Vaccine Education | The Germ Theory is just that…a theory

We have all been taught that germs are bad and they are everywhere, lurking around every corner, waiting for the opportunity to invade defenseless humans. We go to great lengths to combat these potential invaders. We employ frequent hand-washing with copious amounts of soap and we grimace at the thought of eating a morsel of food picked up from the floor. Doctors and the media alike discuss the flu season as though “getting the flu” is absolutely inevitable without the flu shot.

One of the core educational differences between conventional medical doctors and those who embrace alternative, or integrative medicine is in the interpretation of the Germ Theory, credited to Louis Pasteur. A discussion of its validity generally devolves into hostility among medical practitioners and laypersons alike. Why? Because the germ theory is one of the foundational cornerstones of modern medicine. Pasteur’s mechanistic idea of disease—finding the right cure (drug) to eliminate each germ—lead to the pharmaceutical empire and its dominance over medicine. It is most unfortunate that Pasteur’s premise was accepted so completely, there has been no room for addition discussion or debate to this very day.

By most historical accounts, Pasteur is considered one of the luminary heroes of medicine. Some of his discoveries were undoubtedly noteworthy. For example, his discovery that microbes were the cause of infections throughout hospitals and his work with rabies were the beginnings modern-day virology. Pasteur has also been credited with the process known as “pasteurization,” where microbes are destroyed by heat without supposedly causing harm to food.

Vaccine Education | It’s Not About the Pathogen; It’s About the Condition of the Soil

Rewriting generally accepted history is a monumental task, especially when it comes to a critical assessment of someone with the historical stature of Pasteur. However, there is another view of the infectious process which challenges Pasteur’s 150-year-old premise: Health is about the condition of the body called the “terrain,” or the “soil,” and only when it is disrupted by contaminants and acidification will pathogens have an opportunity to propagate.

The germ theory and the opposing view about the body’s terrain are part of the historical fabric of medicine. Many notable individuals throughout the late 1800s and early 1900s were involved in the debate, but the most vocal and visible figures were Pasteur and his two contemporaries, Claude Bernard and Antoine de Béchamp. Both strong critics of Pasteur’s work, it was Bernard—a physiologist, who is considered the father of experimental medicine—who made the statement amidst a group of physicians and scientists, “The terrain is everything; the germ is nothing,” creating the great debate that has continued to this day.

What is little known about the germ theory, however, is that throughout his career, Pasteur had doubts about his own assumptions. Pasteur and Bernard frequently debated whether germs produced disease or whether the body’s resistance was more important. Pasteur placed more emphasis on the microbe, while Bernard focused more on the environment, the terrain, in which the microbe existed and the body’s ability to maintain equilibrium.

On his deathbed, Pasteur said, “Bernard avait raison. Le germe n’est rien, c’est le terrain qui est tout.”  (“Bernard was right. The germ is nothing, the soil is everything.”)

However, the germ theory had become so profitable, even in Pasteur’s day, that modern medicine dismissed his final confessions as nothing more than the ramblings of a dying man.

Always remember: The money is in the medicine—not the cure.

Education | News Flash: Kids (and adults) Occasionally Get Sick

We all get sick once in a while. I’ve had people tell me, “A good case of the flu is like cleaning out the pipes.” I’ve had others say the flu forced them to get some rest. I have to admit, the flu really did force me to rest, not only to recover from the infection but to restore overall vitality to my life.

Yes, getting sick is an inconvenience, and yes, it can sometimes be scary. And yes, on the very rare occasion, people can die when they get sick. And yes, I know it is summer in the northern hemisphere and people think less about the flu now, than they do at Christmas.

Vaccine education is a process and indeed, a process. Perhaps if we start educating about vitamin D and the flu now, people will be less likely to roll up their sleeves to be injected in the fall.

*if you have kidney disease or other health problems, discuss the correct dosage for you with your personal physician.



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Written by Dr. Sherri Tenpenny, DO. Copyright 2019. All Rights Reserved.