I got an email notification on Wednesday from the medical center that my son, Ronan, goes to. I’m used to getting all sorts of communications from them. Upcoming appointment reminders, notices that refills are ready, and COVID-19 screening alerts are the norm. This time, though, the email was for Ronan’s younger sister. She’s been a patient at the same center for about 2 years. The reason she goes there is far less complicated and nothing like the many medical problems Ronan has. Since it was way too early for a next appointment reminder I was a bit shocked to see the email with my daughter’s name on it. Questions flooded my brain…Why were they reaching out to me? Did they discover something new after a records review? Did a result for an old lab test just come back? What could be wrong? I couldn’t access the information right away, so I tried to keep my mind at ease.
Keeping a worried mother’s mind at ease is no easy task! So, as soon as I got home, I turned on the computer and opened the medical center’s online portal.
No matter the age, I don’t think it’s wise to get an experimental vaccine for an orchestrated pandemic. Shaking my head, I took a screenshot of the email and went to delete it. Just before deleting it, I read this line again.
“Vaccinating our community is our priority, and we are committed to ending this pandemic one shot at a time.”
The ACIP had only just met that day. They didn’t just meet on May 12th, though; they opted to issue an Emergency Use Authorization for an experimental vaccine for kids 12 – 15 years of age on that same day. The notification I received was sent at 5:31pm. Man, they were working quickly to get a hold of parents of young teens! I had barely had a chance to read the ACIP update but was not surprised that the medical facility, the media, and even the current administration gave the immediate go ahead to get more shots into more arms, including into healthy children’s arms that don’t need it.
“The vaccine for kids between the ages of 12 and 15 are safe, effective, easy, fast and free,” Biden said. “So my hope is parents will take advantage of the vaccine and get their kids vaccinated.” - Joe Biden
My priority is to not live in fear of a treatable and recoverable illness but to protect my children. I’ve promised to keep them from harm, and from coercion, because of previous medical decisions that I made. Those past decisions were based off of fear. Instead of listening to reason, and my mother’s intuition, I let someone else make a vaccine decision for me. I won’t let that happen again. And I’ll never let a government official sway my thinking, especially one who doesn’t respect vaccine choice.
The do-it-or-else threats won’t work on me. It won’t work on my children either. When I read them the email notification that a liability-free COVID vaccine was available for their little sister, each one of them was shocked. Are you kidding? They can’t be serious. They’re really doing that?? The siblings of the vaccine injured know when someone is pulling a fast one, and they will not be fooled. I am grateful that they know that The Science doesn’t speak for them. They understand that The Adults are making rash, knee-jerk reactions. Where others live in fear of the future, they’re living safely in the present. The brother’s past has made a profound difference on them. With that, my kids worry immensely for those who are now opting for the experimental vaccines that come with risk and that may result in devastating outcomes. Those outcomes may not happen right away but could someday down the road.
None of us knows the long-term effects, positive or negative, of any of these latest quickly created vaccines. They don’t wish harm to happen to anyone and are understandably concerned for their peers who’ve recently been vaccinated. A few of their peers have had reactions from one of the COVID vaccines. While minor, a reaction is a reaction, and my kids recognize the gravity of that. The one positive my children have shared is that the teenage friend has at least been able to verbalize the pain. Their brother hasn’t been able to do that. They have certainly seen the changes that come post-vaccination, but Ronan may never be able to talk to them about the physical and mental anguish that stems from a vaccine injury.
That vaccine injury he encountered didn’t just affect Ronan. It affected all of us. It changed life for us as a family when it happened, and it continues to shape aspects of life for each of us now. With the latest government overreach hitting their generation this week, now’s a good time for me to review some vaccine information with my kids. So far, I’ve been the one to answer most, if not all, of the medical questions at appointments. Time will come for them to speak for themselves. That’s why we’ll go over our family’s medical history again and talk about how to strengthen the immune system. We’ll also talk about what vaccine choice means. We’ll review our rights as well as our options. We’ll remember what’s worked for us in the past, and finally, I’ll remind my children that no is always a complete sentence.
Do you want a vaccine? No.
You can get one for free. No.
Getting one is going to end the pandemic…don’t you want one? No.
Our family experience and their personal reactions cannot be denied. That, and their vast knowledge of a topic others don’t know to research, has given them many opportunities to speak personally about vaccines in the past. The siblings are tough, and I haven’t ever worried about vaccine peer pressure for them before. But times are so different these days. I pray that the next time they need to speak up about vaccines that they will be heard.
Cathy Jameson is a Contributing Editor for Age of Autism.