Are Vaccines Linked to SIDS?

Are Vaccines Linked to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)?

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is a difficult subject to discuss for obvious reasons. The death of a small child is horribly tragic, a loss for which there is very little consolation. It is also a necessary subject for the same reason, especially when a correlation exists between common infant vaccinations (such as the vaccine for pertussis) and sudden infant death syndrome.

Are Vaccines Linked to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)?

A study that was published in 2011 in a scientific journal by Neil Z. Miller and Gary S. Goldman concluded that in nations where there was an increase in vaccinations, there was also an increase in the occurrence of SIDS. The graph below shows that as the vaccine rate increases, infant mortality also rises. (Source)


The authors point out in their concluding remarks that before the widespread practice of infant vaccination in the U.S. during the 1960s, SIDS was virtually unheard of, but by the 1980s was the number one leading cause of infant mortality (from 28 days after birth up to one year). They write:

Prior to contemporary vaccination programs, ‘Crib death’ was so infrequent that it was not mentioned in infant mortality statistics. In the United States, national immunization campaigns were initiated in the 1960s when several new vaccines were introduced and actively recommended. For the first time in history, most US infants were required to receive several doses of DPT, polio, measles, mumps, and rubella vaccines. Shortly thereafter, in 1969, medical certifiers presented a new medical term—sudden infant death syndrome. In 1973, the National Center for Health Statistics added a new cause-of-death category—for SIDS—to the ICD. SIDS is defined as the sudden and unexpected death of an infant which remains unexplained after a thorough investigation. Although there are no specific symptoms associated with SIDS, an autopsy often reveals congestion and edema of the lungs and inflammatory changes in the respiratory system.

In order to address the unacceptable high rates of infant mortality due to SIDS, the American Academy of Pediatrics started a campaign called “Back to Sleep” in order to instruct parents to make sure that their infants slept on their backs, promoting the belief still in force today that a major cause of SIDS can be attributed to placing an infant on her stomach (in the prone position), rather than supine (on her back). As a result, the number of cases reported as SIDS decreased dramatically by 8.6%.

Changing Terminology and Reclassifying Incidents

The drop in SIDS rates would seem to indicate that, given other possible factors, at least in terms of unexplained fatalities due to SIDS, sleep position rather than vaccination plays a major role.

The problem, however, is more complex than that and has to do with the way infant deaths were classified in the period from 1990-2001. The number of reported Sudden Unexpected Infant Deaths (SUID) due to “suffocation”, for example, increased by almost 12% during the same period. As Miller and Goldman point out, during the period of decline in reported deaths due to SIDS in the 1990s, there was not only an increase in unclassified deaths or those attributed to “unknown causes” as well as those attributed to suffocation or Shaken Baby Syndrome, but there was also no significant change in the mortality rate for infants ranging from age 28 days through 1 year.

The term SIDS itself, which did not appear until after vaccination programs were in full swing in the United States, has its own questionable history.

In the preface to Neil Z. Miller's book, [easyazon-link asin=”188121737X” locale=”us”]Vaccine Safety Manual[/easyazon-link], Russell Blaylock, M.D. writes:

“A more blatant example of this reclassification ploy is the label of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). As Neil Miller's book demonstrates, 70 percent of SIDS cases have been shown to follow pertussis vaccination within three weeks. A number of the new vaccines are also associated with sudden infant death. In order to avoid admitting that the sudden stoppage of breathing by a baby within hours to weeks of these vaccines was due to the vaccines, the vaccine defender merely created a new disease and gave it the incredible name of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), which is like naming it the ‘Baby Mysteriously Die of Anything but a Vaccine Injury Syndrome' (BMDAVIS).”

What Causes Sudden Infant Death Syndrome?

Based on what we know about SIDS, which is a general term that seems to be used by some in order to evade the possibility that vaccines are at least one cause of infant mortality, there are likely many causes. Some of them may even work together, such as the toxic gases that are produced in reused mattresses, or in mattresses that have been treated with flame retardants. Research shows that infants who have been vaccinated increase in body temperature, which can elevate and increase the production of toxicity, which in turn effects the infant's ability to breathe normally. Fevers that result from vaccines can also deplete the presence of Vitamin C, as well as damage the child's immune system and nervous system. (Source)

Dr. Robert S. Mendelsohn, M.D., suspects that “the nearly 10,000 SIDS deaths that occur in the United States each year are related to one or more of the vaccines that are routinely given children. The pertussis vaccine is the most likely villain, but it could also be one or more of the others.” (Source)

In the United States, the courts have confirmed such suspicions to the tune of at least $60 Million dollars during the period in which incidents of SIDS were reportedly decreasing (1990-1998).

“The computer records from the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, obtained by Gannett News Service using the Freedom of Information Act as part of a four-month study of federal immunization policy, reveal: Of 253 infant death cases awarded more than $61 million by the U.S. Court of Federal Claims in the 1990s under the compensation program, 224, or 86 percent, were attributed to vaccination with DTP, the diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (whooping cough) shot. In these cases, mortality was originally attributed to SIDS in 90, or 40 percent, of them. Of 771 total claims filed by parents from 1990 through mid-1998, 660, or 86 percent, contained assertions that DTP was the cause of death. And 43 percent were classified by medical authorities at time of death as SIDS cases.” (Source)

What Can You Do?

Parents who are concerned about vaccinations should of course be diligent in doing their own research and coming to conclusions that make sense to them. More studies should also be conducted specifically seeking to find out what kinds of correlations may exist between vaccines and infant mortality. There are likely a mixture of causes that lead to unexpected infant mortality, including vaccines. Denying the possibility of risk, or the evidence which suggests that vaccines can cause SIDS, at the very least perpetuates problems and controversy, and can only lead to more tragedy.

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Ann Marie Michaels

I have 25 years of experience in digital and online media & marketing. I started my career in Silicon Valley and Los Angeles, working at some of the world’s top ad agencies. In 2007, after my first child was born, I started this little food blog which I grew to over 250K monthly unique website visitors and over 350K social media followers. For nearly 15 years, I've helped my audience of mostly moms and women 25-65 cook for their families and live a healthier lifestyle.

 The year after I started the blog, I founded a blog network in the health & wellness space called Village Green Network. I started the company on my coffee table and bootstrapped the business to over $1.3 million in annual revenue within 5 years. During that time, I helped a number of our bloggers become six figure earners. After being censored on almost every social media platform for telling the After being censored on almost every social media platform from Facebook and Instagram to Pinterest and Twitter, and being deplatformed on Google, I am now deployed as a digital soldier, writing almost exclusively about politics on my blog Because who can think about food when we are fighting the second revolutionary war and third world war? Don't worry, there will be more recipes one day. After the war is over.

29 thoughts on “Are Vaccines Linked to SIDS?

  1. My husband and I have cobbled together a compromise of sorts: we are vaccinating hib, dtap, and pneumococcus for now (decided based on the seriousness of the disease for infants and the fact that there are confirmed cases of each in our county in NC)–although after seeing this we may revisit dtap–and will re-evaluate each of the others as they become age relevant. Chicken pox, for example, if she reaches adolescence without having gotten the disease, or perhaps hep b or hpv at the onset of sexual activity. Thanks for tackling this difficult subject. I think we could all benefit from further research and discussion. We have been fired from two pediatricians so far and we ARE vaccinating, albeit selectively.

    1. Can I just say, I so appreciate a person with a balanced perspective, and way of communicating. I’m a non-vaxer, so I am used to people who even partially want to vaccinate, bludgeoning us to death. I really appreciate the way you approach and communicate your viewpoint. Kudos to you, friend!

      1. Thank you. The choice to vaccinate (or not) is such a difficult–and emotional–one. I know I’ll be second-guessing myself through the birth of my future grandchildren-ha! I guess that’s the nature of parenting.

    2. I would recommend lots of research on hpv vaccine first. That is one seriously reactive vaccine, with the number of Indian (as in India, not American Indians) girls who died or were seriously injured during the early vaccine trials making for a current Indian Supreme Court case. If you look at the CDC VAERS (vaccine adverse events reporting system) section of the CDC’s site, and compare the number of reported adverse events for each vaccine according to age, you will be blown away by all the events from hpv vaccines. Even one of the developers of the vaccine now speaks out against it, warning that it has not been adequately tested for safety and effectiveness.

        1. Yes, please rethink HPV. A very close friend almost died after her first dose. The drug was fast tracked for FDA approval and it was NOT adequately studied prior to getting the ok. A few simple searches and research should give you a good amount of info. Good luck!

  2. None of my 7 kids has had one vaccine. And every year I grow more confident in my decision, as they are the healthiest children I have ever known. We did have whooping cough several months ago (I shared my story here: and we got through it, even the baby, with no ill effects. In fact, my husband’s seasonal allergies, which normally hamstring him for nearly 2 months in spring, vanished this year.

    1. Nothing like the experience of a seasoned mother of many children. I’m sorry you all had whooping cough. I am sure your kids were in excellent hands.

  3. Wow Carrie, your children’s lack of vaccines cured your husband’s seasonal allergies? Or was it the whooping cough? Wasn’t exactly clear… :rolleyes:

    A perfect example of the notion that correlation does not imply causation. As is this article.

    1. Where is the research that shows anything more than a correlation between vaccination and immunity? This is a decidedly UNscientific aspect of medicine on both sides of the argument. Why be critical of people making choices for their own children?

      1. Scott. I do not criticize anyone for vaccinating. Never have. I respect any informed decision. It was YOU who proceeded to be snarky and critical.

        There is evidence that people who get whooping cough have less allergy and asthma afterwards.

        1. Sorry. Should read Sean was snarky and critical. Unscientific perhaps. All I know is that my kids are not riddled with ADD, chronic cough/asthma, allergies, obesity, ear infections and other illnesses that plague their peers. I’ll take it 😉

    2. It wouldn’t be the lack of vaccines, it would be having the illness. People who have an infectious disease such as whooping cough often find that their immune systems are stronger afterwards, and have fewer problems with allergies, etc. This is one of the suspected downsides to children rarely having the “typical” childhood diseases – their immune systems are not getting the early workout they seem to need to function robustly and normally later in life (including doing important things like fighting off cancer).

    3. You can look the other way when it comes to your own health. But kudos to Carrie for being alert and in-tune to the health of her family. When you alter the body’s defense system, you can expect it to manifest changes in other ways.

      All research starts somewhere. Just because science and medicine doesn’t understand something doesn’t nullify the correlations that exist. If it was cut and dry what causes cancer, it would be easy to treat and cure. There are many correlations that exist but do not cause cancer in every case. Not every smoker gets lung cancer. Research studies look at correlations and try to determine if it is statistically significant. Rarely will researchers declare a definitive causation – the media and mainstream medical community does that.

      The Weston A Price Foundation gave thumbs up to the book “An Epidemic of Absence: A New Way of Understanding Allergies and Autoimmune Diseases” by Moises-Velasquesz-Manoff. The book reviewer also recognizes that many of the examples in the book are based on correlation, not causality but states the correlations are very compelling.

      Your world may be flat Sean, but with time, proven it is indeed round.

  4. I vaccinated my first three children, and they were all chronically ill, mostly with ear infections and strep. One if our children had mild sensory disorder, and the youngest was diagnosed with autism. They are all grown now. We have a fourth child who is 15 months, and I have not vaccinated her at all. She is marvelously healthy, and the older she gets, the more convinced I am that no one will ever come near her with a needle.

  5. Here comes another scare campaign! The theory that it causes autism has been debunked. This article offers absolutely no evidence of a correlation between vaccines and SIDS. It is speculative and based on opinion. Here’s a better question to ask….can measles, mumps, rubella and whooping cough cause serious complications or even death?? YES!! And thanks to Carrie for the evidence that by NOT vaccinating you can contract the disease. The benefits outweigh the risks.

    1. Jane. My husband and I got it and we were vaccinated. The first child to get it in our family contracted it from a vaccinated kid. Nevertheless we managed fine using the Vitamin C protocol Dr Suzanne Humphreys recommends.

  6. Measles, mumps and rubella combined did not cause as much death and injuries as the vaccine itself. I did my homework and compared the numbers from the Mortality and Morbidity act versus VAERS database. Jane, you are the uninformed donkey here. As far as “The theory that it causes autism has been debunked”, you are also behind on the news. The theory is valid as ever.

  7. BMJ admits that fraud claim against Dr. Andrew Wakefield has no basis in fact

  8. Thanks for the article. I didn’t vax any of my kids and am so grateful I didn’t.

    This article brings up another issue for me and I wish more “natural” moms would talk about it. And that is the back to sleep program. It doesn’t seem natural when the results are flat heads and kids having to wear helmets. (Not all, certainly, but far more than we had before the program started.)

  9. Great and much needed post. Thank you, Anne Marie. Having worked with many vaccine-injured children, I think it is critical that parents make informed and measured decisions. Vaccine Epidemic by Louise Kuo Habakus is another good resource. The human immune system isn’t fully developed until age 7. Early introduction of foreign proteins into the bloodstream confuses the developing immune system and can begin a state of autoimmunity. Our immune system is designed to intelligently attach foreign antigens. Many physicians are now understanding the rise in childhood autoimmune disorders in light of the extremely high number of early vaccinations. I, along with the doctors I work under, are seeing far too many reactions immediately following MMR, hep B and Gardasil (HPV) vaccines. It is heartbreaking. Parents must make calculated decisions and consider options. If you are convinced you want to vaccinate then look into graduated schedules and immune support prior and after. Thanks, Anne Marie for raising the issue!

  10. Obviously there are strong feelings on both sides of this debate, I think we need to have a reasonable compromise between public health/ childhood disease rates and the adverse effects of vaccinations (including long term problems such as asthma and allergies). I wish more people would look at whether the current vaccination schedule is hurting our kids. Fortunately in the US we still have some choice on whether to vaccinate our infants. I’m glad that I made an informed choice to delay my daughter’s vaccinations until after age 2.

    I gave away my copy of The Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby and Child Care, but I seem to remember reading in it that Japan saw a dramatic decrease in SIDS deaths when they changed the minimum vaccination age to two years. During that time, they had the lowest infant mortality rate in the world. I found some information online that says they now suggest 9 vaccinations for infants under 2. They now rank third in the world for lowest infant mortality. I’m curious of the vaccination schedules for the other top ranking countries as they compare to the US (number 34). Of course, there are other factors, including nutrition, health care and war. Still, I hope people are not too quick to dismiss the role of vaccinations.

  11. All, There are many medical scientists publishing on the distinct dangers of vaccines’ excipients (i.e. ingredients other than the actual antigen particles). Everybody should actually read published papers, for instance the pdf document by Tomljenovic and Shaw here:

    Most people too lazy to read actual science that is NOT funded by the American NIH/CDC/Pharmaceutical Industry. Tomljenovic and Shaw (with many papers in addition to above) make the most critical point that Vaccine Trials allegedly showing non-toxicity of vaccines compared to placebos fail to mention the placebos all contain the toxic excipients such as Aluminum Compounds and dozens of others as seen in the above paper. I have personally studied many of these excipients and I consider it medical malpractice to inject them into helpless babies – and, yes, even unwitting adults who also accept them, with many have serious adverse reactions.

    Does this readership know that most infant vaccine doses are the SAME VOLUME as that injected into adults, even though infants are 1/20 the weight of an adult.

  12. It’s not true that SIDS was unheard of in the 60’s. My mom’s brother, born in 1962, died of SIDS. The authorities knew what SIDS was, and they were concerned about it enough that they grilled the crap out of my grandma to determine if she may have caused it at all.

  13. My daughter is 13 months old now, and after she was born, based on the research I had done while still pregnant, I started her on all standard vaccinations. After we moved this past May and I was researching new pediatricians, I came across my old vaccination book, and flipped through it. Then I flipped through my daughter’s.

    In the first seven months of her life, she had already received every single vaccination that I have received in my entire life. And that made me stop and think.

    I’m healthy now, with a few issues I’m trying to work out by tweaking diet, but all of my shots were spread out over nearly three decades. Even acknowledging that the vaccines could be different in dose or strain now compared to when I had them, that is just WAY TOO MANY for a little baby!

    I started doing more research, really digging into it. I followed up on the research Sally Fallon quotes in Nourishing Traditions, and I followed those leads to more. And I came to the conclusion that I had been misinformed previously, that there is no reason I find compelling enough to continue vaccinating my daughter. There are risks to vaccinating, and there are risks to not vaccinating, and this is not news. But what WAS news to me was that the illnesses that vaccines are meant to prevent are not nearly so bad as I had been led to believe. Most recent example: chicken pox! What in the world is so horrible about having chicken pox? Kid has itchy spots for a few days to a couple weeks, and so long as they’re eating nutritiously and being cared for they’re going to be just fine. And parents want to stop that? That was a rite of passage for me!

    I’m sorry, I don’t mean to rant, but I feel very strongly about the general push towards vaccinating and the extreme lack of discussion between parents, doctors, and research. And I will agree that it is up to every parent to make their own informed decision. But it needs to be truly informed, not the little slip of paper that a nurse hands you in the exam room and asks you to sign, without ever even talking about what’s on it. Not the 30 minutes’ worth of Google searching for pros and cons. Not the listening to parents or friends about what they did.

    My daughter is healthy, robust, happy, and she’s never been sick. She has already had 28 vaccinations, but she will not have any more so long as she is under my care. Any future children I have will not be vaccinated at all. I choose this because I believe our lifestyle in total is what keeps her healthy, and I feel that same health is what prevented any negative effects from those vaccines. To be honest, I believe that I could continue the standard American vaccination schedule and she would be just fine, but I believe she’ll be just fine without them, too. And why in the world would I want to spend money and inject chemicals and other things into her body if I believe she’s going to be perfectly fine without them?

  14. I thought my son was fine. He got sick many times. He actually got sick right after shots, on his belly, and it was a bacterial infection in which I gave him antibiotics for at 4 months old. I know people will react differently to illnesses. I’ve seen this when the family contracted on virus/bacteria and we all displayed different symptoms, and some got sinus infections, or bronchial infection, etc. And it seemed to go from one place to the other until it finally ran its course, and we finally woke up one day just fine. So I didn’t put 2 and 2 together for a long time. I always hated the shots and felt it was horrible what they were doing to my son, but I also didn’t feel like I had a choice. He finally got Henoch-Schonlein purpura at 5, in which very little is known about. Talk about scary when your child is frail and can’t eat, can’t pass stool, won’t do anything, complains about pain, and the doctors say they can’t do anything about it and don’t know what causes it and he’s like this for a month. Anyway, the proof was in the pudding when my now mostly vaxed 11 year old got strep throat (again) and my 1 1/2 year old who was touching everything and putting his hands in his mouth, were both tested and only my 11 year old had it. And the lack of my unvaxed to have any of the issues my vaxed had, i.e. fevers of 104F, ear infections, and just about every cold/flu around. I don’t ever need another vaccine going into my family. Also, with the increase of vaccines, I see so many more children with ASD issues, peanut allergies, asthma, glasses, and health issues than I ever saw on the playground when my older child was young. Its like every other child. Same with friends. This schedule is criminal!!!

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