To Vaccinate or Not

  • To Vaccinate or Not: Jenny McCarthy, the Obamas, others take sides 1 of 16
    Jenny McCarthy

    One of the most outspoken opponents against vaccines for children, the former Playboy model continues to argue that vaccines caused her child's autism — even after the study that led her to that conclusion was deemed an “elaborate fraud.” In response to the controversy, McCarthy wrote in an article for the Huffington Post that “this hoopla made us a little stronger and even more determined to fight for the truth about what's happening to our kids.”
    Read the latest on Jenny »

  • Jim Carrey 2 of 16
    Jim Carrey
    Carrey didn't come out with “guns blazing” against vaccines like his former flame, Jenny McCarthy, but he did write an article in the Huffington Post in which he strongly advocated further research. The actor also appeared at a June 2008 rally for Green our Vaccines, an organization that seeks to raise awareness about toxins in children’s vaccines.
    Read the latest on Jim »
  • Barack and Michelle Obama 3 of 16
    Barack and Michelle Obama
    Smart health decision or political move? When both Obama children received their H1N1 flu vaccines (as soon as the vaccine was available to all Washington D.C. schoolchildren), the media carefully scrutinized the Obamas’ motives. Barack and Michelle themselves waited until children and the elderly had received their vaccines first. When asked about his stance on the issue, the President told CNN: “We want to get vaccinated. We think it's the right thing to do. We will stand in line like everybody else.”
    Read the latest on Michelle »
  • Kristi Yamaguchi 4 of 16
    Kristi Yamaguchi
    The Olympic gold medalist and Dancing With the Stars winner is also a champion for the flu shot. Last year, while receiving the shot herself to kick off the Faces of Influenza campaign by the American Lung Association, Yamaguchi told reporters, “The benefits certainly outweigh a little bit of discomfort.”
    Kristi’s advice for fellow parents »
  • Britney Spears 5 of 16
    Britney Spears
    The queen of pop has never come out and directly talked about her feelings on vaccines, but she has been known to throw her celebrity weight in Jenny McCarthy’s corner. Back in 2008, Spears was spotted at a fundraiser for Generation Rescue, McCarthy’s autism nonprofit.
    Read the latest on Britney »
  • Charlie Sheen 6 of 16
    Charlie Sheen
    The former Two and a Half Men star allegedly fought bitterly with ex Denise Richards over whether their children would be immunized. In an interview with Redbook magazine, Richards said, “When I vaccinated [our daughter], [Charlie] accused me of poisoning her.” The move was later followed up with a letter from Sheen’s attorney stating that the actor no longer consented to Richards’ choice of pediatrician.
    Read the latest on Charlie »
  • Robert F. Kennedy Jr. 7 of 16
    Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
    In 2005, Kennedy published an article on Salon.com claiming that the government was trying to conceal the hidden dangers of vaccines. Thimerosal, a preservative in vaccines, “appeared to be responsible for a dramatic increase in autism,” he wrote.
    5 myths about the flu vaccine »
  • Salma Hayek 8 of 16
    Salma Hayek
    The actress feels so strongly about promoting vaccination among young children, she's a spokesperson for it. In 2008, Hayek became a representative for the Pampers-UNICEF One Pack = One Vaccine campaign, which donated the cost of one tetanus vaccine (approximately 7 cents) for each specially marketed package of Pampers sold.
    Read the latest on Salma »
  • Kerri Russell 9 of 16
    Kerri Russell
    Whooping cough, also known as pertussis, is one condition that caught the attention of the former Felicity star. In October 2007, Russell signed on as a spokesperson for the Silence the Sounds of Pertussis campaign to help educate parents about the dangers of whooping cough. And she didn’t just talk the talk, stating in a press release, “Like any parent, I would do anything to protect my baby, and that is why I followed my pediatrician’s recommendation to get the pertussis vaccine myself.”
    One shortcoming of the whooping cough vaccine »
  • Jennifer Lopez 10 of 16
    Jennifer Lopez
    Like most celebrity parents, J. Lo says that her interest in the vaccine controversy began with the birth of her children. Shortly after giving birth to twins Max and Emme, Lopez became the newest celebrity rep for the Silence the Sounds of Pertussis campaign to encourage vaccination against whooping cough.
    Read the latest on Jennifer »
  • Amanda Peet 11 of 16
    Amanda Peet
    The actress came under fire when she told a reporter from Cookie magazine, "Parents who don't vaccinate their children are parasites." Though she issued an apology, Peet remains a spokesperson for the pro-vaccine group, Every Child By Two.
    Amanda compares parenting to what?! »
  • Glenn Beck 12 of 16
    Glenn Beck
    During the swine flu outbreak in 2009, radio host Glenn Beck discouraged his listeners from getting the H1N1 flu vaccine, saying that it might be "deadly." Beck even went so far as to question President Obama's recommendation to get vaccinated.
    Obama’s daughters get the H1N1 vaccine »
  • Julie Bowen 13 of 16
    Julie Bowen
    Bowen isn't an official spokesperson for the flu vaccine, but she may as well be. In an interview with Parade magazine, Bowen admitted: “I always get a flu shot, and this year all my kids will be vaccinated. An estimated 226,000 people are hospitalized with the flu every year, and thousands die. I don't want to have to worry."
    Read the latest on Julie »
  • Hugh Hefner 14 of 16
    Hugh Hefner
    The original Playboy rarely weighs in on politics, but he cast a silent vote on this one. In 2008, Hefner and the Girls Next Door ladies rallied for a Generation Rescue fundraiser to support Jenny McCarthy’s autism org.
    One of Hugh’s “Girls Next Door” talks about being a mom »
  • Lance Armstrong 15 of 16
    Lance Armstrong
    Here’s another celeb Jenny McCarthy’s rounded up for her cause. In 2008, the seven-time Tour de France winner co-hosted Ante Up for Autism with McCarthy. The event’s proceeds benefited autism charity group Talk About Curing Autism, which supports Dr. Wakefield’s research on the link between vaccines and autism.
    Lance’s baby has a Twitter?! »
  • Jennifer Garner 16 of 16
    Jennifer Garner
    “I want to help make sure that all moms across the country understand that influenza is serious, and that vaccination should be a family priority," Garner told reporters in 2007. To reinforce her point, Garner was later filmed getting her flu shot on The Martha Stewart Show.
    Read the latest on Jennifer »
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