Your choice to work with your pediatrician on safer vaccine schedule has just received a very large blow. Merck and Co. has decided to take away your option of separating the MMR, instead of getting the whole shebang at once. Forget those who may be predisposed to not handling 3 viruses at once; you know the weak, the infant who may need a bit more time. What if they are unable to take one of the viruses due to allergy of an ingredient, but have decided to go ahead with one or both of the others? Well too bad, allergy or not you have lost your right to choose. It’s now, all or nothing. (HERE)
I’m shocked at such a move. Why on earth at a time when some Doctors are just barely beginning with work with their patient’s parents by creating a schedule per individual child, is Merck deciding to pull the plug? Is this something they believe will quiet the supposed anti-vaccine crowd? Quiet the MMR/Autism controversy? I highly doubt it. This is a mistake of monumental proportions that will likely come back to bite them as given only the choice of all or nothing, many more may choose nothing. So you can stop banging down our doors at that point because the blame will be in the mirror.
The vaccine court was set up for the purpose of when adverse reactions happen to some children, vaccines have always been known to have side effects for some, and vaccine court is there to compensate them when there is sufficient evidence. On Christmas Day I learned of a recent case in vaccine court just decided in favor of a child who developed seizure disorder and acute encephalopathy or the marked deterioration in neurologic development as a result of the MMR, his name is Ben Zeller. (HERE)
Anyone watching Ben Zeller’s parents holding him, this beautiful child, without the ability to sit up or fend for himself at all, would be overwhelmed with compassion, those of us with injured children can feel the knife passing through us. Click HERE to watch video.
I remember clearly what it was like when my son CJ received the MMR. Ahead of all milestones necessary; talking, walking, imitating, pointing, smiling, etc., all early. He used to look right into my eyes as I rocked him to sleep and sang to him. His favorite song was “Take me out to the ball game”. He was walking by 10 months and not long after was trying to play every sport. He had a set of plastic golf clubs and would wake up every morning and expertly whack balls all around our small apartment as if he were Tiger Woods in training. He also used to like to sing “Who let the Dogs out, who….who….who…”
Then at 15 months we went in for the MMR. I remember him not sleeping at all that night, crying and waking up with the most toxic smelling diaper. I also remembered when 48 hours later he had a 105 degree temperature. I called the pediatrician’s office but thought that 48 hours later was too long to be a result of the MMR but asked the nurse anyway (turns out that fever up to 2 weeks later can be result of MMR per Merck). The pedi’s office said no, it’s probably not a reaction, maybe he’s just getting a virus.
Well 3 days after that we still had no sleep, still had toxic diapers that didn’t seem to stop and I lifted up his shirt to see a rash all over his midsection and beyond. I called again and thought maybe it was roseola, they said maybe. Very few answers, just many coincidences. He started staring episodes which later realized were most likely absence seizures, started leveling off development and “Who let the dogs out, who…who….who...” became only “who…who….who…” As if he no longer had the energy to say the whole thing.
At 18 months we discussed some of the changes but his gross motor skills were still really good so we gave him his 18month shots. He immediately stopped calling me “Mommy”, stopped wanting to be in the same room as my husband and stopped following his sister around. He had on and off days but everything was steadily leaving and by 2 he was gone completely into the world of autism.
Do I believe the MMR alone is to blame? Or do I believe it was the thimerosal containing vaccines at 18 months alone? No, but they were both triggers, both involved absolutely in the decline of my son’s health. My children all reacted to vaccines in a way they should not have. I absolutely believe in predisposition, other toxic insults, all combining in a way to wreak havoc on a little body not equipped to handle them. There are too many too soon for some. I should be anti-vaccine from what I’ve been through but I instead believe in an individual’s right to informed choice. Their right to choose their own medical procedures designed around each child. I am not a fan of the “horde”, as I’m often confronted with those who believe I should take my lumps because it’s better for the “horde” and too bad for you if your children couldn’t handle it. I happen to think each child is worth more than that. Slower, less invasive schedules may have been the best decision for some, but no longer is it an option with the MMR.
I guess Merck believes you don’t need the choice, or that you aren’t responsible enough to have the choice. I don’t know which one is worse. If you would like to call Merck and Company to demand they correct this huge error in judgment their contact info is below. It says right on their website, “Where patients come first” we should make them prove it.
Merck & Co., Inc. Global Headquarters
Merck & Co., Inc.
One Merck Drive
P.O. Box 100
Whitehouse Station, NJ 08889-0100 USA
Monday-Friday 8:30 AM - 5:30 PM ET
Allison Chapman is mom to three children and a member of the Autism Action Network.