Wednesday, May 22, 2024


“You may choose to look the other way, but you can never say again that you did not know.”

— William Wilberforce


Woman Paralyzed by Tetanus-Diphtheria Vaccine Still ‘Firmly Pro-Vaccine’

woman in a wheelchair looking at herself in the mirror

There is an article in “indy100” website sponsored by the British newspaper The Independent that highlights a vaccine reaction experience of a woman named Tiffany Yonts, who was given the tetanus-diphtheria (Td) vaccine when she was 14 years old. The article is titled “Woman who developed lifelong illness from vaccine hits out at anti-vaxxers” and it relays an account of what Yonts endured as a result of a serious vaccine reaction.1 2

The underlying theme of the article is that, despite the severe negative effects of the Td vaccine on Yonts’ health, she remains “firmly pro-vaccine” because she believes vaccines are the “right thing—the socially conscious & caring thing” to do. That article opens with a reference to a report published by the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) that found that “half of all parents with small children have been exposed to misinformation about vaccines on social media.”1 2 3

After reading Yonts’ story, I thought it deserved to be shared further. It is an extremely graphic and personal account that should be read by everyone, regardless of how they feel about vaccines in general.

Yonts began… “When I was 14, I received a tetanus-diphtheria vaccine as part of a routine physical. As a competitive swimmer, I was in fantastic shape. My health and my fitness were my life. I was strong, had amazing lung capacity, and rarely caught more than a cold. That changed overnight. My arm tripled in size from the injection and was very painful. I started to have trouble breathing. Then most of my muscles in my body stopped working. I developed pneumonia and was bedridden for approximately six months. I could barely move or breathe. I almost died.”1 2

“I began to struggle with random paralysis,” Yonts continued. “Breathing remained painful and difficult due to a mostly paralyzed diaphragm (which remained that way for five years). My muscles atrophied seemingly instantly. I began to exhibit stroke-like symptoms. I had to use a wheelchair. It was a waking nightmare, made worse by the lack of a diagnosis. It took two years for us to find a name for my condition: Guillain-Barré Syndrome, officially listed as a possible side-effect of the tetanus-diphtheria vaccine a whole year after I contracted it.”1 2

“Only 30 percent of Guillain-Barré patients continue to exhibit symptoms after three years,” Yonts noted. “Only three percent ever relapse. I am part of both groups. It’s been 14 years since the original incident, which took around six years to begin to significantly recover from. I relapsed last spring. I spent many days lying on the floor gasping for air. I couldn’t sit up for more than five minutes at a time. I still have to use the wheelchair if I go somewhere I have to walk for more than an hour or two. It’s physically impossible for me to complete my hygiene routine at one time.”1 2

Yonts acknowledged that “the vaccine, in many ways, destroyed my life. I will always have GBS and I will always have serious symptoms.” She said she understood that she “could relapse again at any time” and that there was nothing that any doctor could do for her. She said she understood that there was no treatment for her and that this would be her “reality” for the rest of her life.

Then, Yonts went on to stress that, contrary to what some people might assume, she was not “anti-vaccine.” She identified herself as an “unwavering supporter of vaccinations for every single person who can receive one,” excluding “immune-compromised individuals.” Yonts said she believed that her experience with the Td vaccine was an unfortunate rare occurrence. “What happened to me has a literal one in a million chance of occurring,” said Yonts. “I’ve suffered more than I can explain and I continue to suffer, but I’m the one in a million. I’m the outlying statistic that’s a grim necessity for the majority of people to be healthy.”1 2

These excerpts from Yonts’ detailed description of her vaccine reaction experience were the ones I found most compelling because they offer seemingly total transparency into this young woman’s suffering as a direct result of the Td vaccine. She makes no bones about it: the vaccine seriously harmed her and changed the quality of her life forever.

But Yonts became equally convinced that she was simply unlucky—the “one in a million” person who had the bad luck for everything to go wrong for her after she got vaccinated. That is what I find most fascinating about her story, because I have still not been able to confirm the reliability of the origin of that calculation. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Any medication can cause a severe allergic reaction. Such reactions from a vaccine are very rare, estimated at fewer than 1 in a million doses, and usually happen within a few minutes to a few hours after the vaccination.”1 2

However, the CDC bases that calculation on vaccine safety data gleaned from the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), which is a passive national vaccine safety surveillance program maintained by the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). VAERS gauges injuries and deaths associated with or caused by vaccines. The problem is that most vaccine providers do not report to VAERS. There is no requirement that they should. The percentage of vaccine reactions that are actually reported to VAERS is estimated to be about one percent.4 5

So the truth is that nobody knows how reactive vaccines are and, specifically, how many injuries and deaths are caused by them. The “one in a million” guesstimate is more of an idiom than anything else.

As I wrote in an article for The Vaccine Reaction in 2017:

Many doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals who administer vaccines are busy and reporting to VAERS has not been made a high priority in standard of care. Or they do not associate the events with the vaccinations because they have been taught to simply believe vaccines are safe and, therefore, health problems that occur after vaccination couldn’t possibly be the cause and are usually only a “coincidence.” Imagine the impact of this kind of circular logic on reporting rates.4

A citation for that same article was a 2011 study conducted in Canada and published in the journal PLOS One that found that vaccination “led to an emergency room visit for one in 168 children after their 12-month vaccinations and one in 730 children after their 18-month vaccinations.”4

One in 168. That’s a far cry from one in a million. One wonders how Yonts might view that disparity. Would she still think of herself as the unlucky one—the outlying statistical casualty, “a grim necessity for the majority of people to be healthy?” Or would she consider the possibility that there are more people than she imagines who identify with what happened to her after she suffered a vaccine reaction and her life was never the same again?


31 Responses

  1. She must have gotten a HUGE payout to say that she is still pro vaccine after being paralyzed by a vaccine…. That would be like being pro illegal immigrant after one of them robbed you at gunpoint, shot you in the face and then raped your wife. Hard to believe.

  2. This is insane. A person who was paralyzed by a vaccine is still for vaccination. Yes, everyone who is vaccinated does not become paralyzed. But she doesn’t know the statistics, nor was she curious enough to research them. That a 2011 study in Canada found that vaccinations let to an emergency room visit for 1 in 730 CHILDREN. Those are terrible odds. (Not one in one million as she stated.)

  3. This is insane. To still believe in vaccinations after you have been paralyzed and your life has been ruined. At the least she should have researched the safety (not 1 in 1 million, as she stated). 1 in 168 vaccinated children after 18 month vaccines were admitted to emergency rooms. (Likely much worse for infants, whose immune systems are not developed.)

  4. It is unfortunate that this young woman, or anyone, should suffer of because greedy pharmaceutical companies and doctors. It is unfortunate that those who push vaccines for all are part of the reason others might suffer. At first I thought, “a martyr for vaccines”, but then I decided not to consider her a martyr because a martyr is a person who is killed because of his or her religious or other beliefs. This woman is willing to put the well being of others at risk for her beliefs. It is ok that Ms. Yonts believes that vaccines are ok, but it is not ok for her to push vaccines for all when some feel as strongly about not vaccinating as she does about vaccinating. Even though she acknowledges that her life was destroyed by one, she has no compassion for anyone who does not feel the way she does. I am assuming she is not a mother. If she were a mother, would she sacrifice her child for the cause?

  5. Through The Teacher’s Lens:
    She has been frighted and under conventional medical care for 14 years! That’s more than ample time to influence her thinking, especially while under life threatening symptoms of disease. What else would you expect, while she’s in their court?

  6. I guess living in denial eases the pain of the truth I find this article quite unsettling and I can see her being the next poster child for vaccines despite the misery and suffering she attributes to bad luck.The incorrect information and her comments are misguided and more fodder for the vaccine at all cost crowd.This is not how our lives are intended to be lived and I hope somewhere she can get the help she needs.Very disturbing.

  7. Well, good for her (& yes, I do mean that). It’s concerning that she’s okay with being an acceptable loss; although that is totally her right.

    Many are not okay with being an acceptable loss. Many are not aware that they could be the next acceptable loss. Most parents are not okay with their child being seen as an acceptable loss.

    My daughter would have been turning 25 years old next month & she’s not alive to tell her side off the story. I have a son who is 15 & will never be able to use social media to advertise his opinion; given that he is unable to communicate his needs.

    I wonder why this young woman has not been featured in mainstream media as the next token advocate & “real-life” hero for vaccination? I suppose the appalled reaction from commenters about the “My baby stopped breathing” story wasn’t advantageous.

  8. So for kicks and giggles I decided to look up just how many cases of tetanus there were each year before vaccination was introduced. I found out it was about 4 per million (not all fatal). The rate was already decreasing dramatically before the vaccination was introduced, similar to other diseases. Today the chances of getting tetanus are less than a million in western countries so how on earth can this woman really thinks being permanently disabled by this vaccine is acceptable?! Chances are she would never have got tetanus in the first place but I think she has been brain washed into thinking she would have. Personally I had a horrific reaction to the last tetanus booster I was given and it took months before my arm was back to normal.

  9. The tetanus shot has got to be one of the biggest profit centers ever for the vaccine manufacturers. Nurses in every ER nationwide are programmed to give the shot to anyone with a break in the skin even something as benign as a clean paper cut. Problem is, getting the actual disease tetanus doesn’t confer future immunity to tetanus and, guess what, neither does the vaccine. Never been proven that the tetanus vaccine prevents the disease tetanus.

    1. That is what I read, too. The tetanus shot preventive, is about useless, and the tetanus shot when you have a wound already is completely useless, because it takes 2 weeks to start working. And a shot can be a tiny wound, but it sure is a puncture of the skin, too. (I hate shots)

  10. I googled her—found her FB profile and her headshot, where she is listed as an actress
    She has several crowdfunding things up, too.

    No mention of disability on her FB page and she has a degree from UCLA and studied acupuncture. She seems to change her “look” a lot.

    Disabled from vaccine? Don’t know but if I had to gues…

  11. Great article. Especially appreciate the documentation on the “less than 1%” VAERS-reported figure from the “Lazarus, R” article, listed in your references. I was just looking into stats on MMR in the US. During the years 2004-2015, according to VAERS, there were an average of about 9 deaths reported per year from the MMR vaccines. In the same years, there were zero deaths from actual measles. The Lazarus article states that serious complications (such as death) are more likely to be reported to gov’t recordkeepers, in the range of 1%-13% of the time. Applied to MMR vaccine-induced deaths, that means it’s likely that the average of 9 reports per year means an actual number of deaths in the range of 70 deaths (if 13 percent are reported) to 900 (if 1 percent are reported) per year. Now, the yearly death rate in the US due to measles hovered consistently at about 400 per year during the years 1955-1965, prior to vaccination. Adjusted for population increase, we’d expect about 670 deaths nowadays if there were no vaccination. That’s in the same range as the likely MMR vaccine-induced deaths! It appears that we basically have just traded rare deaths from measles for rare deaths from the vaccine. The trouble is, people are no longer getting the well-documented benefits of having the natural infection, not to mention the possible contribution of MMR vaccine to the onslaught of auto-immune diseases we’ve seen since the 1970. The overriding trouble with natural measles is that it is not patentable and marketable.
    Regarding the woman in the article, I’m sad for her injury, but sadder still that she does not question vaccine safety more. Tetanus is extremely rare and people generally recover completely. In the developed world, more people are struck by lightning than contract tetanus, but I suspect that the number of people getting injured by the tetanus vaccine may currently be quite higher than those injured by lightning.
    Regarding diphtheria (the d portion of Td), it is very questionable why public health is still administering this vaccine. Although the disease is serious, it has been effectively eradicated from developed countries (and so has natural polio). Under current conditions, the risk of injury from that portion of the vaccine is infinitely higher than the risk of injury from contracting diphtheria.

  12. Something about this article bothers me the more I read it. On the Indy 100 article they have a stock photo of a woman not a photo of Tiffany-why? If you are willing to tell your story and convince the word basically that even though you have been damaged by vaccine permanently- you’re still a true believer, wouldn’t you want to put a face to the “unlucky” one? Wouldn’t the blog want to put a face to their story. Why haven’t the MSM picked up on this and ran? I remember several years ago a story about a mother outraged about her infant contracting measles from an UN-vaccinated person. It went viral and the country was outraged by people not vaccinating their kids. This was after the Disney Measles CDC hype. As the story went on people investigating the woman discovered that her grandfather held a large amount of stock in a pharma company that profited from vaccines. When this was outed she shut down her facebook page which she had used to proselytize for vaccine uptake. Once that was discovered people began to scrutinized her story and discovered her baby, who was suppose to have contracted measles in a doctors office from an UN-vaccnated person did not have measles and the person who did was discovered to be a young male adult who had been vaccinated but still contracted measles. After all that information came out the entire episode went away as if it never happened. You can’t find it online.

    The article is also from June 8, 2018 as you can tell from the Q&A that she’s responding to. If you look on Indy100 website and type in vaccines, this is how many results there are: 13,200. Looks like a website for pro-vaccine propaganda.

  13. As for the commenter who claimed this young woman is “an actress…UCLA…blah, blah, blah.” Please! Can we keep this discussion intelligent and rational?That is a different Tiffany Yonts; the Guillain-Barre victim is British, and her complete story is quite easily Googled.

  14. How sad that she believes the statistics. One in a million? Hardly. I knowvof several people in my own state that have vaccine damaged children (I belong to a vaccine choice group), and they are just a few of the actual cases. Since the population of the state is less than 1.5 million, the “one in a million” goes right down the drain.

  15. But the vaccination worked, she did not get tetanus or diptheria. By the way, how many teenage athletes get tetanus or diptheria in the US or Canada? Bet it is way less than one in a million, probably zero.
    How many healthy babies born to healthy moms contract hep B? None, but it is recommended that every baby receive a hep b injection on day one of life.

  16. I have experienced severe adverse reactions to vaccines, as well have my children and other relatives. I believe certain vaccines are useful and good. I believe vaccines should not be given in the large numbers so close to each other as they are today. I believe that morbidity and loss of life happen as a result of vaccines. It is b/s of this I deeply believe children need to be screened before any vaccine is given and that family history as to severe reactions are important in determining vaccine schedules and further screening of a person’s immune system factors. My daughter got measles encephalitis from the MMR shot. both daughters went into shock from their 1st DpT shots as 2 month olds. I have had severe reactions to the Dt vaccine. One of my daughters develop serum illness (high fever with hot red body) and an Arthus reaction (hard indurated 10 cm welt with a edge that looked like a raised pie crust) after her Dt shoot at age 4 (shot required for kindergarten entry). She also after the MMR vaccine induced severe case of the Measles (had 107.4 fever about day 5/6 after the shot with severe measles rash, had seizures, severe photo phobia) then developed severe kidneys issues w/ an increased glomeral filtration rate 4 times greater than normal, episodes of blood glucoses above 400, large ketones in urine, loss of coordination, floppy tone, difficulty swallowing choking frequently, difficulty handling solid foods, regression of attempts to speak, screaming episodes (especially if we left our home to go anywhere, rocking, no interest leaving a blanket, prefernce to be in her playpen, loss of balance suddenly when standing, staring into space..we were told not to expect much of her due to the severe reaction she had from the shot. Fortunately both she & her sister got the chickenpox, both had significant cases of it, but nothing as severe as the reaction to the MMR shot. Though both are at high risk to develop Shingles b/c to not get Shingles you have to be exposed to those with Chicken pos on occasion….Childhood illnesses of the past strengthened our immune systems to fight off illness. The body needs high fevers to fight off getting various cancers…what immunizations should we get? Tetanus vaccines are a yes!!!! I got Tetanus. I survived b/c I had a good amount of antibodies from the vaccine to help fight this illness. It was horrible!!!! new borns should not get the hepatitis vaccine. No one should get it until at least school age, though I think not until age 12 unless traveling outside of the USA. If one has low IgA Low IgG low IgM live vaccines are not the best idea. unfortunately so many take medications that decrease their immune system function why it has turned into a huge mess to not get vaccines today. if you have a reduced immune system you cannot tolerate any bacterial or viral infection very well….There are so many reasons there is a huge push for vaccines. Vaccines do protect most of the illnesses they are intended to protect against, BUT vaccines cause all kinds of auto immune diseases!!!!!!! Allergies, cancers, and more are triggered!!!! And not all develop the intended immunity to vaccines they get. Also many have significant reactions to vaccines many do not realize that many adverse side affects happen in the long term, not immediately!!!!! Take with caution!!!! Know when you should not take a vaccine!!!

    1. “Vaccines do protect most of the illnesses they are intended to protect against, BUT vaccines cause all kinds of auto immune diseases!!!!!!!”

      Absolutely has never been proven by double blind placebo controlled independent studies by research companies that have no ties to the pharma industry. There are NO studies on their safety or effectiveness. There are no long term studies. The vaccine makers can’t even provide scientific justification on how a vaccine would prevent viruses from mutating during manufacturing or how bypassing the respiratory tract (or mucous membrane) is advantageous and how directly injecting viruses into the bloodstream enhances immune functioning and prevents future infections?

      Your statement has no foundation in scientific facts.

  17. I can understand her and I totally accept her opinion. I just see no reason she expect others should have the same. Many people find any reason to justify their suffering simply to be able to go through it, and that’s OK. Asking others to willingly risk the same suffering just to make her feel better about her own, is not OK.

  18. I find it hard to believe that she has had a shot of anything other than whiskey. If she truly did get the vaccine and it really did this to her and she is still a pro-vaccinate advocate then she is a liar and a fool or a very rich paid off problem. If she is from CA what can you expect?

  19. For those who aren’t aware of it, Tetanus shot are useless because Tetanus is a spore-not a virus. “A tetanus vaccination cannot possibly protect from the disease since the human organism cannot build up any immunity after contracting the disease (as is the same after HIB, diphtheria or TB). So, if nature hasn’t planned the immunity, how does the vaccine work? HINT: it doesn’t.

    Also, on the CDC webpage on Tetanus it states there is no diagnostic test for it. So how do we know a person actually has tetanus. Symptoms of tetanus are similar to symptoms of some other toxic poisonings. There is no test to prove the person has Tetanus. Tetanus develops in an environment devoid of oxygen so if a wound bleeds, there is air getting into it and Tetanus won’t occur. According to the CDC spores of tetanus are everywhere in the environment, including soil, dust, and manure. The only protection against Tetanus is a strong immune system-not a shot.

  20. The immunization reporting tool allows you to report and view your child’s record online. You can also attach a photo of the record when reporting immunizations.

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