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David Carney
| Anapol Weiss

A recent story on Good Morning America featured a Minnesota mother, Shannon Duffy Peterson who lost her five-year-old daughter, Abby, from the preventable childhood disease, chicken-pox.   The toddler’s case of chicken-pox was so severe that her body became very week and she developed pneumonia. Because her body was not strong enough to fight off both infections, she died within 10 hours in her mother’s arms.

Abby’s mother believes her daughter’s death could have been prevented had Abby received the chicken-pox vaccine.  Shannon wanted to get her daughter vaccinated, but their doctor, concerned about vaccine side effects, advised against it.

A 2011 national survey showed that almost 8 percent of parents refuse to get their child vaccinated.

Abby’s mother, who has become a vaccine advocate, believes that while these parents have good intentions they should follow science and make educated choices when it comes to vaccines.  “Not vaccinating is not taking full medical care of your child.” She said in an interview with Good Morning America.

While vaccine injuries do happen, Abby’s mother believes that vaccines are more helpful than they are harmful.  The chicken pox vaccine could have saved Abby’s life.  Especially since an autopsy discovered that the child was born without a spleen, which an essential part of the immune system.  Abby’s absence of a spleen made her more vulnerable to germs and viruses.

Vaccines are not perfect.  Through the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) the government acknowledges that a small number of recipients may suffer from side effects from vaccines, Dr. William Schaeffer from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine believes that the decision to vaccination is not open to debate.  “Vaccines have virtually wiped out a number of diseases that used to plague this country.”

The United States Department of Health and Human Services stands by the safety of vaccines, and will offer compensation to plaintiff’s who file vaccine lawsuits after suffering side effects of the chicken pox vaccine,  the flu vaccine, and many other standard vaccinations.

The Vaccine Lawyers at Anapol Schwartz encourage everyone to receive all vaccinations recommended by their physicians.

For more information on Shannon’s crusade, please visit;–abc-news-topstories.html


  1. Gravatar for Wayne

    This is a very sad story. But the mom omitted one important fact. Her baby did not have a spleen, maybe the doctor was trying to tell her that vaccination might do her more harm. Vaccines serve their purpose, but there is a growing subset of people that have a vaccine-related injury. The media and medical community bully them by calling them anti-vax. When all they are is vaccine safety first. Many of the outbreaks that we are witnessing are not the result of not vaccinating, but rather very poor vaccines and the failure of the artificial vaccine induced herd immunity.

  2. Gravatar for Dorit Reiss
    Dorit Reiss

    While it was discovered in autopsy that the girl lacked a spleen - something the doctor did not know when he recommended against vaccinating, and something the mother certainly did not omit from her story - vaccinating could still have protected the girl.

    Luckily, while vaccine injuries do happen, they are exceedingly rare. Unluckily, there are parents who attribute to vaccine a whole range of problems that science suggest are not caused by vaccines (like autism) - and those claims scare people from vaccinating, leading to reemergence of preventable diseases and harms like Abby's story. It's sad.

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