The Effect of Vaccination on Infant Mortality Rates

Elyce Powers

According to the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) “The infant mortality rate in the United States showed a consistently downward trend between 1935 and 2000, with the rate declining from 55.7 per 1,000 live births in 1935 to 6.9 in 2000, at an impressive pace of 3.1% per year.”

Meaning, as the number of vaccines on the CDC schedule increased, our Infant Mortality Rate Decreased. Of course, vaccines are not the only advancement to thank for this. I simply want to point out that if vaccines regularly killed babies, we would not expect to see a dramatically lowering infant mortality rate, as we increased the number of vaccines given.

Neonatal and Postneonatal Mortality 

Rates by Race, United States, 1935-2007
Source: HRSA (linked below)

Causes of Infant Mortality 1970 

Source: HRSA (linked below)

Causes of Infant Mortality 2007

Source: HRSA (linked below)
Noted Dramatic Declines
Respiratory Distress (from 13% to 3%)
Pneumonia and Influenza (from 8% to 1%)

***Remember, the IMR decreased from 1970 to 2007, so we know that overall the pie chart from 1970 represents far more deaths than the pie chart from 2007. 


The decline of Pneumonia, Influenza, and respiratory distress deaths

A 2014 study found that the Influenza Vaccine reduced flu related Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) admissions by 74% (Flu Season 2010-12). Pneumonia is a complication of influenza, in addition to many other vaccine preventable diseases. Children are now routinely vaccinated with the Prevnar 13 immunization, which protects against 13 different strains of Pneumonia causing pneumococcal bacteria. Additionally respiratory distress can be caused by a number of vaccine preventable diseases, such as Pertussis, Measles, and Diphtheria.
Unfortunately some parents still fear the Prevnar 13 vaccine, primarily due to the spread of misinformation.

Are SIDS and Vaccines Related?
No, in fact a 2007 meta-analysis found that immunizations are associated with a halving of the risk of SIDS.

Good Reads: 

Infant Mortality Rates and Vaccines from Vaxopedia

READ THIS: USA Infant Mortality Rate is low, Part 1 & Part 2, from the Vaccines Work Blog

Vaccines and infant mortality rates: A false relationship promoted by the anti-vaccine movement from Science Based Medicine

Vaccines and Infant Mortality Rate from Just the Vax Blog

The CDC Addresses Vaccine Concerns

Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS)

Elyce Powers 

The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) is repeatedly used as proof that vaccine injuries are common, or even extremely prevalent. Even anti-vaccine doctors have falsely promoted that there are high rates of vaccine injuries using VAERS as a source. There are a few major problems with using VAERS as proof of vaccine injury; this post will highlight those reasons.

We know vaccine related injuries are rare.

In reality, vaccine injuries are extremely rare. On social media we see plenty of anecdotal evidence of vaccine injury, and many parents that believe vaccines have harmed their children. We know that these parents fully believe that vaccines have cause problems in their children. The problem with these parental claims, there is no verifiable proof of the claimed injuries being cause by vaccines, only belief.

More reading on vaccine injuries:

Why most vaccine injury stories aren’t true.

From Voices for Vaccines: Vaccine Injury Stories: theSacred Cows of the Internet?

What is VAERS?

“The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) is a national vaccine safety surveillance program co-sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). VAERS is a post-marketing safety surveillance program that collects information about adverse events (possible side effects) that occur after the administration of vaccines licensed for use in the United States.”

The home page of VAERS notes some important points about interpreting VAERS data. 


Only 3% of VAERSreports have been found to be definitely vaccine related.

“108 AEFIs were identified in the selected 100 VAERS reports. After initial review majority agreement was achieved for 83% of the AEFI and 17% required further discussion. In the end, only 3 (3%) of the AEFI were classified as definitely causally related to vaccine received. Of the remaining AEFI 22 (20%) were classified as probably and 22 (20%) were classified as possibly related to vaccine received; a majority (53%) were classified as either unlikely or unrelated to a vaccine received.”

Annual Data

Per the CDC: “Approximately 30,000 VAERS reports are filed each year. About 85-90% of the reports describe mild side effects such as fever, arm soreness, and crying or mild irritability. The remaining reports are classified as serious, which means that the adverse event resulted in permanent disability, hospitalization, life-threatening illness, or death.  While these problems happen after vaccination, they are rarely caused by the vaccine.”

More about VAERS, including its strengths and weaknesses can be found, here.

Actual VAERS Reports

The following screen grabs were collected and annotated by Luci Baldwin.

WARNING: The following reports are full of graphic information which can be very upsetting. These reports contain stories of people and children who have been harmed or killed. There are mentions of child abuse, SIDS, and the deaths of children.  We want to make you fully aware of this. Please do not proceed if these topics are traumatic for you.