A new generation of parents are refusing to vaccinate their kids. They’re convinced the shots are far more dangerous than the diseases they’re meant to prevent, and they’re willing to become social pariahs to prove it
Jennifer is a 30-year-old store manager
Ananda More, a Toronto homeopath, treats her daughter with alternative therapies instead of vaccines
in Georgetown who agreed to talk to me if I withheld her last name. She dresses plainly, rarely wears makeup and follows what she calls a green lifestyle, eschewing drugs and chemicals in any form, taking homeopathic remedies when she’s sick and observing a strict vegetarian diet. She met her husband, Frank, an independent contractor, in 2008. In 2011, she gave birth to their daughter, Franca, at home in a bathtub.
Jennifer was adamant that Franca not be vaccinated. As a teen, she had a bad reaction to a flu shot that kept her in bed for a month. In her 20s, she read horror stories about parents whose children had adverse reactions to routine vaccines that contained things like mercury and formaldehyde.
Five months after Franca was born, her parents divorced. Frank only agreed to give Jennifer custody if she had their daughter vaccinated. So, in late 2012, Jennifer reluctantly took Franca, then 10 months old, for her first round. Jennifer says Franca developed cold and flu symptoms within hours, picking at her ears incessantly. Then, after Franca’s second and third sets of immunizations at 18 months, Jennifer thought she noticed her daughter’s speech and mobility development regressing.
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