I often hear the words safe, effective, and life-saving used to describe vaccines. I heard a new term to describe them on a commercial on the radio this week: life-changing. I tuned out the song that came on after the commercial and reflected on how much my child’s life changed post vaccination. You know something? They’re right. Vaccines really are life-changing!
Now, before you think that I’m saying that in a positive tone, I am not. Vaccines changed my son’s life, but it wasn’t for the better. For anyone who knows Ronan, they can see just how severely he’s been affected by them. His life before vaccines was different, very different.
He was healthy. Then he wasn’t.
He was reaching milestones. Then he wasn’t.
He was happily babbling. Then he wasn’t.
Were the vaccines my son received life-saving? Nope.
Were they safe? I don’t think so.
Were the vaccines effective? Not unless the seizures, losing speech, and regressive autism was part of the package.
Did they change his life? Yes, they most certainly they did. But his life is hardly a reflection of the lives of the young children portrayed in the commercial who we’re meant to believe have gained years of health from a vaccine by the time the commercial ends. Vaccines are life-changing, but not in the sunshiny, positive way this store and its partners have portrayed.
To the person not familiar with vaccine injury or who’s never cared for a vaccine injured loved one, the program described in the big box pharmacy commercial may sound sincere: buy something, give something! The timing is perfect, too - when better to give things away to the less fortunate than during the upcoming Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons. Sending vitamins and vaccines overseas to others very well could be considered a nice gesture. With how the commercial pulls on the heartstrings, it sets the stage to make someone think that they’re performing an act of kindness. As the parent to a vaccine-injured child, I think giving away vaccines is anything but nice. It’s risky, and, honestly, it’s the last thing I’d give to a disadvantaged child in a third world country. I’d rather help make sure they got clean food, clean water and improved sanitation long before I’d ever suggest they be injected with something made by a company that cannot be held liable for its products.
Once the vaccine goes in, the public is on their own even if complications arise and even when reactions happen. Who’s going to take care of the children in a third world country should that happen to them post-vaccination? The pharmaceutical companies aren’t itching to help those harmed by vaccines here in America. I can’t imagine them chomping at the bit to provide intensive follow-up medical care vaccine injured people need in other countries either.
I was left with the responsibility of proving round-the-clock care for my son when he got sick. He has a potentially life-long neurological disorder that’s left him unable to speak or take care of himself now. I wouldn’t wish what he’s gone through on anyone nor would I ever want another family – here in the states or abroad – to experience what ours has as well. It would be uncharitable for me to introduce that to another child, which is why I won’t be supporting big box pharmacies seducing the public into believing that they are doing a good thing by sending vaccines overseas.
Cathy Jameson is a Contributing Editor for Age of Autism.