APRIL 22ND, 2015

I feel like I have already said a lot on my blog about the importance of vaccinating your children, but this story really drives home the importance. Who to say it better than Canadian mom of seven children, Tara Hill. Former anti-vaxxer, Hill believed that not vaccinating her children was best until all of her children came down with pertussis, better known as whooping cough.

21305347_sShe penned “Learning the Hard Way: My Journey from #AntiVaxx to Science” while in quarantine with her children and posted it on After a recent measles outbreak, Hill had begun to vaccinate her children. The oldest three were partially vaccinated but the youngest had not had any vaccines when they caught whooping cough.

“My youngest three children were coughing so hard they would gag or vomit. I’d never seen anything like this before,” she wrote. “Watching our youngest struggle with this choking cough, bringing up clear, stringy mucus – I had heard of this before somewhere.”

Hill said that they avoided vaccinating their children because they thought, for one thing, that vaccines were part of a large conspiracy. “We had vaccinated our first three children on an alternative schedule and our youngest four weren’t vaccinated at all,” she wrote.  “We stopped because we were scared and didn’t know who to trust.  Was the medical community just paid off puppets of a Big Pharma-Government-Media conspiracy?  Were these vaccines even necessary in this day and age? Were we unwittingly doing greater harm than help to our beloved children? So much smoke must mean a fire so we defaulted to the ‘do nothing and hope nothing bad happens’ position.”

Hill added, “For years relatives tried to persuade us to reconsider through emails and links, but this only irritated us and made us defensive.”

Hill says that after six years of being frozen in fear from vaccines that she is now frozen by the disease. “My oldest two are getting better, the youngest four are getting worse and fast,” she wrote.

“Vaccination is a serious decision about our personal and public health that can’t be made out of fear, capitulation or following any crowd,” she explained. “No one was more surprised than us to find solid answers that actually laid our fears to rest.  I am confident that anyone with questions can find answers.  I would only advise them to check your biases, sources and calendar: Time waits for no parent.”

Living with misinformation and fear about vaccines is NOT making a decision. Parents need to understand that vaccinations are only given to children after extensive research has been done to make sure that the benefits out-weigh the risks. All parents want to do what is best for their children to keep them safe. You buy the perfect car seat for your newborn, the best protective gear for your teenage soccer player, sunglasses for your toddler to protect her eyes, and the list goes on. Well, vaccinations should be part of the list, too. Tara Hill wrote her story in hopes that others would learn from her experience and vaccinate their children. Click here to read her entire post. Email me at with your thoughts.

This blog is intended for educational purposes only. It is not intended as medical or psychiatric advice for individual conditions or treatment and does not substitute for a medical or psychiatric examination. A psychiatrist must make a determination about any treatment or prescription. Dr. Paul does not assume any responsibility or risk for the use of any information contained within this blog.