Anti-vaxxer parents are refusing vitamin K shots, and children keep paying the price

Anti-vaxxers and their devotion to anti-logic is a constant and growing threat to children.

When Krista Deary decided not give her newly born baby boy Judah a vitamin K injection, she was simply following the ‘logical’ conclusions of her anti-vaccination beliefs. Why worry? Her baby was healthy and her other five kids who never received the shot were too.

One month later, little baby Judah was found to have stopped breathing and in the thralls of a seizure.

At the hospital, Deary learned of Judah’s condition and that he had suffered from two brain hemorrhages. Hospital staff told her, “Had you given your baby the shot, this probably would have never happened.”

Three years later, Judah is still unable to walk, crawl or even sit up. He suffers from cerebral palsy and hydrocephalus, where fluid builds up in his brain cavities.

According to the CDC, vitamin K is a substance that our body uses to prevent blood clots and stop bleeding. Humans primarily get the mineral through food, but some is also made by the good bacteria that lives in the intestines. Babies are born with little amounts of vitamin K, which can lead to serious bleeding problems if not supplemented, hence the vitamin K shot.

Science-denying parents in this country are choosing to opt-out of the life-saving shot for their children in the hopes of preventing conditions like autism or ADHD — a link to vaccines that has been thoroughly debunked.

While there is no proven link (direct or otherwise) suggesting vaccines cause such diseases or ailments, the anti-vaxxer movement continues to live on and spread misinformation to gullible and fearful parents.

“This seemed to be an issue that a lot of mothers were struggling with, and there was a lot of confusion surrounding this topic,” Rebecca Dekker, a nursing professor and researcher behind the popular Evidence Based Birth website. “They did not expect to find that vitamin K was so effective at essentially eliminating the risk of newborn bleeding.”

In an effort to halt this growing movement, Dearey and Stefani Leavitt, 26, another mother whose baby suffered serious brain bleeding, are sharing their stories as part of a new program by the CDC to educate expecting mothers and health care providers about the risks of refusing to get the routine newborn injections, primarily vitamin K.

“I can’t change what happened to Olive, but I can try to prevent it from happening to another baby,” said Leavitt. Olive was also a month-old when she underwent surgery to repair massive brain bleeding which had caused a stroke.

“The information I was given caused me to fear the shot greatly. Now that I know more, I’m no longer scared of it. I see it as a blessing,” said Dearey, expecting another baby. “Our seventh baby will definitely be receiving it.”

Feature image via Flickr



  1. Avatar

    Barbara Abu-Odeh

    December 31, 2015 at 5:05 pm

    charge the bitch with attempted murder

  2. Avatar

    MoxieCat (@JacquelynnHubba)

    January 3, 2016 at 9:36 am

    How classy of you. smh

  3. Avatar

    Carol Ann

    January 3, 2016 at 7:50 pm

    It is not possible for parents to refuse a vitamin K shot, this is a national requirement. Vitamin K is administered the moment the infant enters the nursery and has been properly identified. I don’t agree with the anti-vax movement but I see no need in fabricating this incident. There are plenty of cases of children who have suffered and died from diseases that were all but eradicated because they choose to believe in false scientific studies that have been disproven and retracted. They choose blind fear instead of scientific fact and choose to follow the words of a dishonored quack instead of their own pediatricians. It is insanity.

  4. Avatar


    January 10, 2016 at 11:07 am

    Untrue… I could have refused it when I had my daughters…. I was asked. Nothing is a national requirement, not sure where you’re getting that from.

  5. Avatar


    January 10, 2016 at 11:08 am

    Ummm…. fact check. “vitamin K is a substance that our body uses to prevent blood clots and stop bleeding”. NO- Vitamin K is a substance that HELPS our blood to clot. It is used to counteract anti-coagulant medications such as Coumadin. Please correct your article.

  6. Avatar

    Rico Peterson

    January 10, 2016 at 11:13 am

    Think of it as evolution in action.

  7. Avatar


    January 10, 2016 at 11:15 am

    uninformed propoganda. The body produces Vitamin K on its own on the second or third day of life- there is no need to interfere and give a shot. This is fear and uninformed hype talking.

  8. Avatar

    Dori RN

    January 10, 2016 at 11:15 am

    Actually, it is not a national requirement. According to the CDC it’s a state by state requirement, if at all… please fact check before you attempt to discredit the importance of this information.

  9. Avatar


    January 10, 2016 at 11:16 am

    6 and 7 children? The world is overpopulated enough.

  10. Avatar


    January 10, 2016 at 11:25 am

    They cannot give your child anything that you do not approve of. You can state it is religious and they will not be able to give your child that shot. This is how many unvaxxed kids get into schools. Vaccines are required, but there are loopholes.

  11. Avatar

    Laura Long Woerner

    January 10, 2016 at 11:50 am

    You are wrong for the first six months of life babies DON’T make Vitamin K.

  12. Avatar


    January 10, 2016 at 11:55 am

    You can tell the staff at the hospitals here upon being admitted to L&D that you are refusing the vitamin K injection, it is dumb but not against the law.

  13. Avatar

    Linda S

    January 10, 2016 at 12:01 pm

    Oh, please do get in the faces of the mothers in the article and share your wisdom with them. I dare you.

  14. Avatar


    January 10, 2016 at 12:13 pm

    Vitamins by definition are something that must be come in through a person’s diet, and that CANNOT be produced by the human body. K is easily taken up, and stored, but it MUST be eaten first. You obviously know nothing about nutrition.

  15. Avatar


    January 10, 2016 at 12:15 pm

    You are ignorant. Babies are born with extremely low supplies of vitamin K. Sometimes, these intraventricular hemorrhages occur with or during birth… BEFORE that third day of life. What then, Doctor? Oh wait, are you even a doctor or a nurse? Whose forwarded email did you read?

  16. Avatar

    Barbara Prodger

    January 10, 2016 at 12:26 pm

    Very untrue…a parent can request that their child not receive ANY shots, furthermore, a parent can request that her child NOT leave her side at all. SO yeah it is very possible.

  17. Avatar

    Barbara Prodger

    January 10, 2016 at 12:27 pm

    Tell that to Olive and his parents.

  18. Avatar

    Nancy julian

    January 10, 2016 at 12:36 pm

    “Our seventh [seventh! seventh!?!?!] baby……” WTF! THAT sould be a crime, too.

  19. Avatar


    January 10, 2016 at 12:42 pm

    I was wondering if the vitamin K that is produced on its on on 2nd to 3rd day to late? MURGATROYD in previous post said it was to counteract anti-coagulants medications. I assume that the mother used this during labor?

  20. Avatar


    January 10, 2016 at 1:04 pm

    Yeah ! The statement they made was completely contradicting. That was the point where i decided this article was bs.

  21. Avatar


    January 10, 2016 at 4:40 pm

    Baby Judah had brain bleeding at age 1 month. Half life of vitamin K is about 2 hours… even if he had received it, it would not be present 4 weeks later

  22. Avatar


    January 10, 2016 at 5:35 pm

    The child had no voice in this decision. It is completely the parent’s fault. Minimal research could have prevented this tragedy.

  23. Avatar

    Ed Chambers

    January 10, 2016 at 7:06 pm

    Too bad there is no one suing these idiot parents for child abuse, willful neglect or worse on behalf of these innocent children whose lives are destroyed by their parents extremist politics.

  24. Avatar


    January 10, 2016 at 7:33 pm

    Not true. I’m a pediatric registered nurse. I had a patient literally today, 2 months old, whose parents refused vit K and all other immunizations at birth. One guess what their diagnosis is….

  25. Avatar


    January 10, 2016 at 7:34 pm

    It absolutely is possible for parents t refuse the Vit K shot! I work in pediatrics, and know of at least 3 patients whose parents refused the shot. One of them ended up back in the NICU for bleeding. And her mom is an RN.

  26. Avatar


    January 10, 2016 at 7:52 pm

    My understanding is that the injection gives a good supply for 3-4 months. I hadn’t read that the half life was so short. I’ll read the insert next time I grab one to administer.

  27. Avatar

    Sarah Robinson

    January 10, 2016 at 8:04 pm

    My Dad was born before Vitamin K injections were standard and almost died in the first week of his life due to bleeding. He spent quite a period of time in hospital and my Grandma insisted he was frail till she died in her 80s. He is now in his 70s and fine but she always worried. I had my children vaccinated and given Vitamin K and am sick of people saying they won’t due to unproved fears. They do have the right to choose but if a problem occurs they can’t abdicate responsibility for it.

  28. Avatar

    Dennis Irwin

    January 10, 2016 at 9:35 pm

    Inject the anti vaxxers with measles 🙂

  29. Avatar


    January 10, 2016 at 10:16 pm

    Here is the answer to not taking the vitamin K shot an not having complications by a friend of mine who’s a midwife: When a baby passes through the birth canal their bodies are compressed. A large amount of their blood leaves their bodies and goes into the placenta. If the cord is cut and clamped immediately after delivery which is often done the baby does not have as much blood in their bodies. Causing them to have complications and jaundice from their liver working overtime to replace the blood in the placenta. We leave the cord attached until after the placenta is completely delivered. That gives the baby plenty of time to keep their blood and their stem cells. It makes for a healthier baby. Nursing naturally helps too, as the breastmilk and skin to skin helps the regulation.

  30. Avatar


    January 10, 2016 at 10:34 pm

    Actually state requirement is right, Many things are nationally required. Taxes, social security cards, speed limits. Lots really, You sound misinformed.

  31. Avatar


    January 10, 2016 at 11:42 pm

    This article is bullshit, so you mean humans required vitman K shot before modern medicine? This article is misleading and vacs are not full proof, ask the parents that have lost there babies to them. Some people have a brainwashed consumer mentality and will believe anything people write. I guess when they release the hiv vac, y’all will be giving your babies that as well huh? People will believe anything, just because you choose to let someone else think for you and not research things for yourself. Smh.

  32. Avatar


    January 11, 2016 at 4:54 am

    I’m a bit confused here? Are you saying the above story is a fabrication from someone? Is there an article or documentation they did that? Is a really stupid thing to do and in fact will be ammunition for the nix vaccine movement (who it almost always seems to be religious fundamentalists?).

  33. Avatar


    January 11, 2016 at 5:25 am

    Interesting how it’s never an intervention, only the LACK of an intervention, that’s dangerous and grounds for removal of children.

    Any piece that presents an intervention as having only benefits, no risks, is being blatantly dishonest.

    What about children who suffered FROM the Vitamin K shot? Or a host of other interventions?

    Ah, well, never mind. The medical establishment is always right.

  34. Avatar


    January 11, 2016 at 5:03 pm

    I had to go back and visit my nursery friends(I mainly care for adults now and we give vitamin K to reverse anticoagulation like coumadin)….daily vit K requirement is about 2-3 mcg for newborns, dose given is many times that (0.5-1mg) so that the excess is stored in the liver and will be available to the newborn for 2-3 months….so, my apologies, you are right 🙂

  35. Avatar


    January 11, 2016 at 8:37 pm

    Vitamin D is produced by the body. .. change your major

  36. Avatar


    January 11, 2016 at 8:39 pm

    Please either open your mind or switch your major. Look at vitamin D. All your body needs to create optimal levels is sunlight.

  37. Avatar


    January 12, 2016 at 1:43 am

    You’re not a smart one, are you? Do you know what happens when you have a blood clot traveling in your body? What happens if it reaches your lungs? It’s called an Embolism, look it up. Vitamin K is widely used to PREVENT blood clotting in newborns (that, as proven, can cause embolisms), AS WELL AS reversing effects of blood thinning. IT IS USED AS BOTH. So, perhaps YOU should do your research and correct YOUR statement, lest you look like a complete idiot.

  38. Avatar


    January 12, 2016 at 1:47 am

    You’re silly. So, you would like to risk your child’s health? “My child will be fine in a few days, nothing will happen” <- What we like to call 'Famous last words'. Most newborns do not produce enough Vitamin K within their first few days of life to properly prevent clotting problems. But hey, if you'd like to chance your child's life on it, go for it.

  39. Avatar


    January 12, 2016 at 2:31 am

    Those babies died that could not get enough Vit K from their mothers. Died within the first few months. It is also why they had so many kids. Some would die. There is a reason we have a much longer lifespan now.

  40. Avatar


    January 12, 2016 at 8:20 am

    Most hospitals these days don’t have “a nursery” so to speak – the baby stays in the parents room with them.

  41. Avatar


    January 12, 2016 at 3:48 pm

    This article is about Vitamin K, not Vitamin D.

  42. Avatar


    January 12, 2016 at 7:08 pm

    administration of a mega dose of vitamin k is not the best route nor actually the preferred method in countries that has much better birth outcomes than the U.S. Look up Cees Vermeer, the premier researcher in Vitamin K. Instead of using 1961 science, we should be delaying cord clamping and administering Vitamin K orally. This means that the Bitamin K can be supplemented without the alcohol, polysorbate 80, or aluminum which is added to the mega-dose shot!

  43. Avatar


    January 12, 2016 at 7:29 pm

    Your post is the only one worth reading. It amazes me what some people think! Thank you for actually knowing what you are talking about!

  44. Avatar

    S Till

    January 12, 2016 at 7:52 pm

    They prob don’t believe in that either.

  45. Avatar


    January 13, 2016 at 3:38 am

    hear hear barbara!

  46. Avatar


    January 13, 2016 at 8:32 am

    Vitamin k is essential FOR blood clotting. As the above person stated it is the reversal agent for Coumadin-an anti coagulant. It is not a vaccine rather an injection of vitamin K. A newborn’s gut is sterile and therefore does not have the bacteria nor nutrients(vit k) to synthesize clotting factors. The risk of hemorrhagic disease i.e. Bleeding in the brain or intestines, is the indication for the administration shortly after birth.

  47. Avatar

    Melissa Andrew Cokl

    January 13, 2016 at 2:46 pm

    I have a hard time believing that ANY religion is against getting shots. Considering… religion was designed and used LONG before any vaccines and vitamin shots were invented.

  48. Avatar


    January 13, 2016 at 3:38 pm

    You can decline any vaccine you want.

  49. Avatar


    January 13, 2016 at 3:40 pm

    aporthi, thank you

  50. Avatar

    Anne smith

    January 13, 2016 at 7:45 pm

    You could also be responsible and not abuse health care by not having your child in a hospital meant for sick people. Home birth is much safer. Vaccines kill and harm children.

  51. Avatar


    January 13, 2016 at 8:39 pm

    Wow. Most of these comments make me so sad. So many hateful comments just because people make different choices than the norm. This article is discussing their choice about vit K and they’re being attacked for having “too many” kids. Most people that have chosen not to vaccinate are much more educated than those that blindly follow the CDC. It starts with listening and not attacking.

  52. Avatar

    Alexandria Jones

    January 14, 2016 at 7:46 am

    vaccines are a grandious HOAX!

  53. Avatar

    J & S's Mama

    January 14, 2016 at 11:19 pm

    That’s insensitive. She’s already in extreme pain. I feel awful for that child AND the family. Besides there’s nothing to be charged with.

  54. Avatar

    J & S's Mama

    January 14, 2016 at 11:21 pm

    This story is a sad one…i am very sad for this baby, the mother and father, and rest of the family who have to live with the decision made. Parents need to be informed of other options & our society needs to address the issues with vaccines that many parents are rejecting. From my wise cousin: Many well educated, science loving parents chose not to get the VitK shot because it contains aluminum (which) is a neurotoxin that is also highly toxic to the kidney. In fact all newborns have deficient kidney function. There are other options such as giving them drops orally or increasing your VitK before the birth. If you truly believe in science you have the humility to know that there is more out there to learn and investigate than what is currently “known”.

  55. Avatar

    J & S's Mama

    January 14, 2016 at 11:30 pm

    What this article and the hospitals should inform people of is that chosing not to get the VitK shot is okay, because it contains aluminum, a neurotoxin that is highly toxic to the kidney. And in fact all newborns have deficient kidney function. The question that should be asked is why aren’t other options offered?! Such as giving them drops orally or increasing mommies VitK before the birth. It is not okay to condemn someone for trying to do right for their baby. The failure is on our society as a whole; our children need us. This is a pandemic that needs to be addressed sooner than later.

  56. Avatar


    January 15, 2016 at 3:47 am

    I think the reason people chose not to take the vitamin K they give in the hospitals is because it contains aluminum which is very bad for anyone. Why can’t they use a natural form of Vitamin K without the additives?

  57. Avatar

    Linda Q

    January 15, 2016 at 10:39 am

    Ok that is your Dad before Vit K but millions of others without Vit K were fine. Wasn’t her 5 other children fine? We can’t be sure it was due to a lack of Vit K or if that would have changed things. You are saying then that babies are not made right, that a shot of aluminum, preservatives etc + Vit K has to be given or they will bleed. You could make sure you as a mother have enough, you could give just an oral Vit K without all the other harmful additives.

  58. Avatar


    May 23, 2016 at 2:43 am

    No. What kills and harms children are people like you that would see them dead out of fear of a debunked myth. This anti-vax mother almost murdered her child. I hope that you do not have a child. You might murder it, yourself, as well as get other children killed because you didn’t vaccinate your spawn, and infected children that aren’t old enough, or are unable to get vaccines. Let me tell you, if a person like you let your child get my child sick, because you are too much of a selfish cunt, I would kill you. Slowly. You would disappear, and your child would be put into CPS where they would get vaxxed.

    And home birth is NOT safer. Good lord… You are stupider than a rock. I just hope you never have children, then murder them for your own pride.

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