We are parents of three children ages 17, 15 and 11 (“Z”,” M”, and “E”). We fully vaccinated our first two children and have refused virtually all vaccines for our youngest.
Our middle child (M) became ill after his 14 month “well baby visit.” He was feverish, lethargic, and crying constantly in a high–pitched voice. His pediatrician told us it was a genetic issue. In 2003, he was examined by the clinical director of a major East Coast teaching hospital. He told us that our son was suffering a severe vaccine reaction—he used the term “vaccinosis”—and stated that if we wanted him to get better we should seek out medical practices that specialize in treating autistic spectrum disorder.
Two years later, our youngest child was born with an infection. We informed the hospital that we declined the birth dose of Hep–B vaccine for our child. That turned out to be a good decision, as she spent her first nine days outside the womb in the NICU with a lung infection. We feel that if she had been given the Hep–B vaccine, her systemic infection would possibly have been dismissed as a “normal reaction” to her Hep–B shot and the more serious infection she actually had may not have been diagnosed and treated. [End Page 173]
Despite the hit our middle child took, we consented to a spread out vaccine schedule for our youngest. After her second DTaP, her arm swelled up so badly she was put on a steroid med pack at age five. When I brought her to the pediatrician to have her arm swelling evaluated, I was struck by the obvious fear in the doctor’s eyes when she saw our daughter. That was a very sobering experience. From that point forward, our attitude towards vaccination became “trust but verify.”
Our vaccine education continued as we sought treatment for M, now carrying a diagnosis of autism. His stomach was bloated and distended. He experienced episodic explosive diarrhea several times a week, expelling yellow, loose, foul smelling stools so violently and copiously that it would spatter against the walls and foul his bed. We had to restrain him in his crib to prevent him from wandering. He developmentally regressed, lost eye contact, molded his stomach to furniture, and isolated himself. The doctors who gave him the vaccines disdainfully dismissed the claim of vaccine injury out of hand, as well as his terrible stomach distress. They continue to push more shots. Our relationship became strained as they simply ignored M’s suffering, and treated us as an inconvenience.
The Journal of Pediatrics, November 2012, supplement discussed undiagnosed gut issues related to autism. Based on the article we took M to a pediatric gastroenterologist. We learned he was suffering with treatable, chronic gut inflammatory symptoms. After a course of Budesonide followed by a round of Pentasa, his stomach receded, his body mass index dropped from 29 to 18, and his neurotransmitter levels normalized. We presented this data to the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) in 2016 as a case study and were very warmly received
After our negative vaccine experiences, we felt it was our parental obligation to educate ourselves about vaccine safety policy. I began reading first source, peer reviewed, medical journals. Our go to source for information had previously been our doctors. We were surprised to discover that much of the information they had provided us is not supported by evidence based medicine. For example, they said that mecury in shots is not a problem. That is contradicted by a 1991 Merck internal memo where Dr. Maurice Hilleman states that six–month– olds received vaccine mercury exposure 87 times greater than FDA guidelines for dietary consumption. The takeaways from our experiences and our research—the things we wish we had known before we consented to vaccination—include the following points:
1. The vaccine schedule is predicated on the systematic and calculated suppression of the legal, ethical, and moral imperative of informed medical consent. We were told that vaccines are “safe and effective” by the people who sell them. We were not told...