Narrative Inquiry in Bioethics Call for Stories: To Vaccinate or Not? Parents’ Stories—“Regrets from a Recovering Pro-Vaxxer” is my “to vaccinate or not” story. You asked for true, personal stories from parents about making vaccination decisions for their children. I guess where my story begins is at that time, as a young mother in the 90’s, it really wasn’t a decision to make. I didn’t know there was anything I needed to further research to decide regarding vaccination. I did not have any reason to question vaccines. “Vaccination” was a non-issue in that I never read or heard from anyone anything about vaccination, pro, con, or otherwise.
All I knew was what my Pediatrician told me, and even then, it was not what I know today as “informed consent”—it was more, “you are at so and so visit (2, 4, 6 month, etc.) and here is what your baby will be getting, sign this . . .” That was all I knew of vaccination. It wasn’t a “decision” it was something you just did. I didn’t know about any adverse reactions other than the benign things listed on the consent form the office gave me. A form that I now know was vastly different than the “informed consent” form that is wrapped around the vaccine vial that the manufacturer must include by law, but that parents like me never saw, or knew to ask to see. I didn’t know about the vaccine ingredients (they weren’t listed on their form) and I certainly didn’t know the odds of my son getting what I was vaccinating against vs. the incredible odds of him having a chronic, debilitating, life altering and life–long adverse vaccine reaction.
Perhaps most horrifically, I didn’t know that not once in the United States were vaccines studied done to show outcomes in vaccinated vs. unvaccinated children to answer the question, “Who is healthier?”—that would have been good to have had on the consent forms. I further didn’t know that vaccines were never studied when given in combination as my sons were. I didn’t know that vaccines were not tested against a true placebo as every other drug is required to be. I didn’t know that no one but me would be responsible for any and all adverse vaccine reactions. I didn’t know the contraindications of vaccines. I didn’t know the scope of what vaccine reactions were. So very much was left off that “consent” form! I essentially didn’t know anything about vaccinations when I “decided” to have my son vaccinated! Knowing what I know now, in having an adult son severely injured by adverse vaccine reactions, I would never recommend anyone to vaccinate their child. Knowing what I know now, if I could go back and do it all again, I would never, ever vaccinate my children. [End Page E1]
Those who make, mandate, and profit from vaccination have severe conflicts of interest and anything they share or assure regarding vaccines fall on deaf ears of those who know better, those who have since done their own independent research. I would rather take my chances on acute, benign, fully recoverable typical childhood illnesses that strengthen the immune system, over the chronic, lifelong, debilitating disorders that have weakened my son for life. Where once he could say words, smile, interact—he now cannot read, write, or speak and will need 1:1 assistance and lifelong care. All to prevent a weak case of: chicken pox? Measles? The flu? Vaccine policy is not about health; it is about profit and convenience. It would be easier to not be inconvenienced by missed school or missed work—so instead many have bought into the lie of artificial immunity—that is anything but “immunity”. I can speak with authority as a parent on this because I have lived both sides. Between my husband and I, we have had chicken pox, measles, and mumps. We are in our 50’s, healthy, and are on no medication. We had a total of five vaccines in our life...