Doctors Share Their Worst Experiences with Anti-Vaxxers

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I will never understand these anti-vaxxer people. Why would you not listen to the medical community when it comes to the health of yourself or your loved ones?


AskReddit users shared their worst encounters with anti-vaxxers and they will make your blood boil.

1. All preventable

“My step mom is a pediatrician at a major hospital here in Italy, she told me the worst thing she saw was a anti-vaxxer mom wailing and screaming after her 12 year old son died of meningitis (the mother didn’t let the son get the meningitis vaccine).

Step mom told me as soon as she walked in the room after getting called for an emergency, all the son’s limbs had gone necrotic and he was bleeding from practically every hole in his body including his eyes since his blood couldn’t congeal anymore and was like oil leaking all over. This was all preventable.”

2. Ugh

“There was an anti-vax mom who brought her kid into the ER and demanded that her kid be roomed right away and seen first because he “couldn’t be around all these sick kids.” “

3. Sobering

“Not a doctor, but worked in a pediatric ED for many years. Had a young boy come in, don’t remember exactly how old maybe 8 or 9. Comes in obtunded and stiff as a board. We take home to the resuscitation room and do all the full work up stuff including a spinal tap. It was work to try to position him because he was so stiff. I am assisting with the tap.

The fellow was able to get into the intervertebral space and a milky fluid literally shoots out of the needle and onto her chest. She hooked up the manometer to measure the pressure and the fluid climbed all the way to the top and out even with the extension added to it. I had never seen that before in hundreds of taps. I don’t remember pressure, but as you can imagine it was astronomically high.

We got the kid as stable as we could and transferred him to the PICU. He ended up living, but lost three of his extremities due to sepsis. As well as severe cognitive impairment as a result of the high pressures. Cultures showed H flu meningitis, which is the most common form of meningitis. He was never vaccinated. The HIB vaccine is > 95% effective in preventing meningitis. It was sobering to watch the parents realize their decision to withhold a vaccine has unimaginably altered the course of their lives and the life of their child.”

4. Sad

“This experience isn’t necessarily the “worst” but mainly just sad. I had a one-year old infant in the NICU with HiB meningitis, which is a vaccine preventable illness. I didn’t actually have the heart (or felt there was any reason in the moment) to explain to the parents that what was happening to their child was fully preventable.

Long story short; their child came into the emergency room, quite febrile, and non-responsive. The whole work-up was done and he was diagnosed with HiB meningitis and sepsis and was admitted to the NICU. Unfortunately he was already fairly advanced into the course of his illness and went on to develop multiple awful complications. Despite being started on the kitchen sink’s worth of antibiotics, he developed multiple brain empyemas (large collection of pus and bacteria that fill the skull), requiring multiple drains to be drilled into their skull to relieve pressure (or else the brain would have been compressed). To make things worse, the kid incurred multiple ischemic strokes (dead brain) and also developed hydrocephalus (the brain has its own ‘circulatory’ system which can get clogged with pus / bacteria causing fluid to build up and exerting pressure on the brain).

Against all odds, this tiny baby survived the ordeal. You can have your own ethical debate over whether a child that neurologically compromised should have lived, since they will be so profoundly disabled that they will likely require full-time nursing care, and may only live a few more years before dying of pneumonia, but that was the situation.”

5. Big Pharma

“Not a doctor, but I work for a vaccine manufacturer, and my title is Raw Material Engineer (aka I work with vaccine ingredients for a living.) When an AVer asks me (on social media or in public) if I know what’s in a vaccine I basically cackle and crack my knuckles.

They also don’t seem to have an answer for why I give my children the same vaccines if Big Pharma is trying to poison people.

Edit: People keep asking to do an AMA and I think that’s a GREAT idea! I’ll make sure I do it very soon but I want to wait for a time when I have enough time to dedicate to Reddit.

And for those asking “what’s in them?” that’s a more complicated question. Depending on which vaccine (both the type and the brand) there are upwards of 100 different components that go in from start to finish.”

6. Something is wrong

“I had a 7 year old showing signs of a serious illness. Her teachers initially noticed it before anyone else. The child had been sick for a few days that turned into a couple weeks. The teachers told the parents over and over something was wrong. The parents ignored the signs and claimed it was nothing bad or it was a cold, something minor, etc.

They finally came to me and the child showed signs of Measles. Within about 10-15 mins I indicated that this is not a cold and this seemed to be measles (based on what they verbalized to me and what I saw). To confirm, I examined the child’s inner cheek and did a full body exam where she (the child not the parents) pointed out a rash both confirming Measles.

The parents indicated that they did not believe in Vaccines because their previous doctor told them it was unnecessary as long as the child ate healthy and stayed active (it was a family friend who worked in Naturopathic medicine, not a licensed doctor).

After making the diagnosis and having a very tough conversation and informational session with the parents, I provided them with prescriptions to help with the measles and bring as much comfort as possible to their child. I had to break down that their child: 1. Could’ve infected children and families with a very dangerous but preventable disease, 2. Could’ve had permanent brain/nerve damage and 3. Could have died(I didn’t curse at them but boy did I want to).

The child had Measles for at least a month before seeing me. To show how serious this is, Measles does not show signs or symptoms in some cases for 10-14 days. So because they refused to vaccinate their child, at least 2-3 weeks of exposure to other kids and teachers went by. Somehow they were able to bypass school district requirements for getting vaccines (they did NOT have a religious exemption).”

7. Be a parent

“Not necessarily anti-vaxx, but a sad story related to not wanting to listen to the doctors mixed in with not being a good parent.

I’m in medical school when this happened. Seeing a new patient to establish care. Patient is a nine year old girl. Get into the room and she is on the table wearing glasses. Okay that’s cool, I had glasses at a young age also. Then I notice she has strabismus (is cross-eyed). Talk to the mother to get better history.

Turns out she was born with strabismus. Now, there is a relatively easy way to fix this. Involves surgery and then wearing an eye patch. For most people, this fixes the issue and their vision is unaffected.

The mother was against the surgery, but was someone finally convinced her that it would help so she got it done. Patient was sent home and mother was given specific instructions…keep the eye patch on constantly. Well, guess what? Eye patch isn’t exactly comfortable and kid gets fussy all the time and doesn’t want to keep it on. So mom decides not to make her wear it. Strabismus returns.

By the time I saw her, the patient’s vision was terrible, and she was almost legally blind (she could read the big E on the eye chart, nothing else. And that was with 1 month old glasses). She is cross eyed. I inform the mother that they can get the surgery again, it will help prevent her vision from worsening and help with being cross-eyed. Mother says the surgery is cosmetic, and the eye patch is too bothersome so she doesn’t want to do it.

This nine year old girl is on track to become legally blind in the next couple of years. She will remain cross-eyed for the rest of her life. All because her mother couldn’t be a parent and force her to wear an eye patch for a couple of months.

Turns out there is other evidence of bad parenting. Kid brushes here teeth maybe once a week because mother doesn’t make her brush her teeth if she doesn’t want to.

Long story short… if you are a parent, be a parent.”

8. Dead and buried

“19 year old comes on a gurney, deep coma, respiratory depression, foam issuing from the lips. Mother frantic. EEG reveals the pattern typical of subacute sclerosing panencephalitis, a sequela of common measles.

It’s preventable, people. But not curable. They buried him a few weeks later.”

9. Some people…

“I’m a veterinarian. Everyday I have to convince some reluctant pet owner that I’m not in the pocket of “Big Rabies” and I’m making recommendations for preventative care based on state law, medical research and good judgment.

The memorable people are the ones who listen to me, my advice saves their pet’s life in one way or another, and they’re still pissed about it.

“Your dog definitely needs a Lyme vaccine.”

“Why? It’s not perfect.”

“Your last dog died of Lyme nephritis like two months ago. This vaccine is 93% effective.”

Some people…”

10. Autism

“Not a doctor, but my 8th grade English teacher was anti-vax and pregnant at the time. She would constantly tell us about how bad vaccines were and stuff. So one day the science teacher spent an entire lesson just talking to us about how vaccines are good and don’t cause autism. A few years later I was talking to my friend from 8th grade who still talks to our science teacher, and he said that the English teacher’s baby had autism and wasn’t vaccinated.”

11. Terrible

“I think I may have told this story before, happened when I was in surgery residency on peds surgery.

Strongly anti-vax mother delivered sub 30 weeks. She refused to have even a Vit K injection. Baby predictably had a brain bleed and died. Brain death but organs were fine so they decided to donate. While waiting for the harvest the vent blew both the lungs with big pneumothorax and they were having trouble oxygenating. I had to put in chest tubes bilaterally with my staff on this brain dead 3 day old premie.

The mother stayed and watched. She was clearly in shock. I never saw her again. Sad, and preventable.”

12. BS

“Not a doctor but autism parent here,

A friend’s child was also diagnosed with autism a few years back and a closeted anti-Vaxxer she knew immediately came to see her and informed her that it was all her fault because she had gotten the kid their vaccines – she then proceeds to tell her that the only was to reverse the “brain damage” was to feed the child nothing but raw coriander for three days and perform that MMS bull.

Thankfully my friend wasn’t dumb enough to fall for that BS.”

13. Hot Cheetos

“Community health educator here.

I get to see cycles of poverty and miseducation perpetuate as parents pass along bad info and kids don’t pick up the right info at school. Or their parents tell them to ignore that info. There was a mom with a 4 year old who rallied against vaccines and tampons because they cause cancer.

She was feeding her toddler hot Cheetos at the beginning of class.”

14. Lots of screaming and crying

“Not a doctor, but I worked at a community clinic for a few years, and my office was right next to our medical director’s office.

One day I walked by her door (wide open) and noticed she was was sitting at her desk with her head in her hands. I knocked and asked if everything was alright.

Turns out she had just spent an hour in an exam room with one of her pediatric clients and his parents. The parents were divorced, one was anti-vax and the other was not. You can imagine how that went, lots of screaming and crying, with my poor medical director in the middle.”

15. They save lives

“Took care of a beautiful 6 year old girl who was intubated on a vent because her parents didn’t think she needed a tetanus vaccine. She had stepped on a nail and not been treated. I cut a chunk of her foot out at the bedside and managed her vent for 2 weeks. A few hundred thousand dollars later she was better, but she did almost die. Vaccines save lives.”