Vaccines, Autism, & Government Liability

10 years ago

An excerpt from Attorney Daily: "Government health officials have conceded that childhood vaccines worsened a rare, underlying ailment that in due course led to autism-like symptoms in a Georgia girl, and that she should be rewarded from a federal vaccine-injury fund."

This story has also been in the newspapers and on the news. While I don't believe that vaccines cause autism in every child, or the reason a child is autistic is because of vaccines, I do believe vaccines can harm children that may have other factors going on with them, like the above case.

I don't think there is a "one size fits all" for every child, when it comes to vaccinations. While some babies and children can tolerate the recommended vaccination schedule by the American Academy of Pediatrics, I think it is becoming very obvious to many parents that this may not be the best schedule for their child.

In our case, I did not see the need for my babies- at birth- to have a Hepatitis B vaccination. Hepatitis B is a blood borne disease. It can only be contracted by coming in contact with an infected person's blood, or by sexual contact. Since Ryan and Cole would be at home with me full-time, the risk was extremely low, that our newborns would be coming in contact with a Hep. B infected person's blood. Hepatitis B can live and survive on dried blood for about a week. As Ryan got older, the probability increased that he could come in contact with dried blood- still not likely, but more probable than when he was a newborn. At this point we decided to have him vaccinated for Hepatitis B. We will do the same with Cole when he gets older. Both our boys are on a delayed immunization schedule.

I firmly believe that all the vaccines that are recommended for such small babies and children, could harm them. It may not show up as autism, but it could magnify itself as a behavior problem or even allergies. I read an article not too long ago, which said there was some research being conducted which was trying to see if there was a link between allergies and vaccines. The thought was when a newborn and children under the age of 2 or so, are subjected to so many vaccinations, many mixed together, (MMR for example), it overwhelms the child's underdeveloped immune system. Since the child's system is so busy fighting and making antibodies to these vaccines, something has to give, and it can't fight off the common triggers for allergies.

Whether this link will be shown or not, it does make sense to me in the fact that how can we expect a baby's immune system which isn't developed, to be able to fight off all the vaccines and allergen triggers they are exposed to?

I also find it disturbing that so many of the vaccines are mixed together. I suppose this is done so the baby only has to have one shot, but given that there is so much that is still unknown about what happens when vaccines are mixed together, there should at least be the option for parents to have their children receive only one vaccine at a time. I would rather have my baby get another shot, than be increasing his chances of developing autism.

I learned first hand that in this day and age, that isn't even an option, we were holding out immunizing Ryan for measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR). A lot of the research I had done had stated numerous children have had problems right after receiving this vaccine. Some within 24 hours of having it, started displaying autistic symptoms. Numerous more suffered bad reactions and had several days of high fevers, vomiting, and other problems.

After doing more research on the measles and mumps rates in my area, I learned there was only one case of measles in my area within the last two years, and two cases of mumps. The measles case was in a child that had been adopted from a foreign country. Rubella (German measles) are only contracted by females. It just seemed ridiculous that we could be possibly jeopardizing our son's health with serious consequences for diseases that were not a problem in our area. When I asked Ryan's doctor at the time why boys need to be immunized for rubella, (even though they can never contract it), he said it was to protect pregnant women. Rubella can be devastating to a pregnant woman's baby.

Before I got pregnant for the first time, I got immunized for rubella (I didn't know for sure if I ever had been vaccinated for it). I was told to wait three months before trying to become pregnant, and that was that. Why are we possibly compromising our children's health and giving them immunizations to protect adults, who should be capable of being immunized later in life for rubella? What are the chances an infected female child with rubella would come in contact with a pregnant woman and infect her, (assuming they weren't family members?) It seems like this is overkill for situations that have low probabilities of happening in the first place. When was the last time you heard of a pregnant woman's baby being harmed from rubella by an un-vaccinated girl? When was the last time you heard of or know of a child who was diagnosed with autism, Asperger syndrome, or severe allergies?

Back to the MMR vaccine. We wanted to delay this vaccine for as long as possible when a mumps outbreak occurred in my county. Mumps can cause sterility in boys, in severe cases, and we were concerned. I thought I could just call my doctor at the time and ask for the mumps vaccines, bypassing the measles and rubella ones. WRONG.

You would have thought I had called and asked for a Nobel Prize winner in medicine to develop a new vaccine, available only for Ryan. It took the nurse two days to call me back after asking me why in the world I would want just the mumps vaccine- didn't I know about the MMR vaccine? She said she had to "check into it." She finally told me that they don't make just a mumps vaccine by itself, not in the MR mix. A few of my friends were also concerned and one of my friends said her doctor (who is now our doctor) could order just the mumps vaccine, but it only came in large quantities and he would have to order the entire case. He said if we could come up with about 25 kids who only wanted the mumps vaccine he would order it, but otherwise it was not profitable for him to do it.

I understand where he was coming from. This doctor is a single practice, and he does have to watch his costs. But the first place was a large clinic in town. I had seen 25 kids in the waiting room every time I went there. Surely, they would have other parents who only wanted a mumps vaccine. I was furious that they wouldn't order just the mumps vaccine. I called them back and asked them again about this, and the bottom line was they just didn't want to do that, and said the mumps vaccine needed to be given with the measles and rubella vaccine, and their doctors were not interested in giving separate mumps vaccines.

Needless to say, this was just ridiculous. From the moment I saw Ryan, and Cole, I let my instincts guide me. They have not been wrong yet. Something just tells me all these vaccines can't be good for their systems when they are so young. Even though I don't need "proof" from the government that vaccines can be harmful, it does reinforce that when you listen to your instincts as a parent, you are usually right.

I hope this case today helps parents, who have chilren with autism or any other vaccine injuries in the future. I hope it gives other parents food for thought. Just because something is recommended by your doctor, the government, the pediatric associations, or anyone else, etc. you don't have to do it, if it feels wrong. Trust your instincts.

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