I am the daughter of a doctor and also the mother to a teen with severe autism. She was a baby who was vaccinated on time because I believed in vaccination.

After those well-baby visits, she was often ill for weeks, yet I was told that was not a concern. Her regression into autism at 18 months developed after her MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine. She ran a fever for days, developed an intense rash, stopped using words and began to have visual issues.

I wish I could tell you that there was a cure or a happy ending, but I can’t at this time. My daughter’s condition continued to worsen, and she began having seizures this past year. Testing has now also shown an autoimmune process.

It is getting hard to ignore the thousands of other parents like me who have witnessed similar scenarios with either acute vaccine injury or a progressive deterioration of their children’s immune systems. We don’t like it and wish we believed, like many of you, that vaccines could never harm, could never cause seizures, autoimmune disease, mitochondrial dysfunction, gastrointestinal disease and encephalopathy—all of which are the medical terms describing—autism.

The Gazette’s Nov. 29 editorial, “Don’t ignore need to vaccinate your children,” has a purpose. It is to scare people about disease. I understand that. Diseases are not nice, but to ignore the many chronic diseases such as autism that are increasing is a denial of enormous error. To use a statement such as, “the outbreak of whooping cough, which sickened 9,000 in California last year, to understand the danger,” does not give the full facts:

—The Centers for Disease Control reports that in the United States, cases of whooping cough (pertussis) have increased approximately 10-fold in the last 20 years, despite an increase in infant vaccination rates from 61 percent getting at least three doses of the pertussis vaccine in 1991 to 96.2 percent getting at least three doses in 2008.

—“The rise in pertussis doesn’t seem to be related to parents’ refusing to have their children vaccinated for fear of potential side effects. In California, pertussis rates are about the same in counties with high childhood vaccination rates and low ones,” the New York Times reported last year.

A Penn State study (“Acellular Pertussis Vaccination Enhances B. Parapertussis Colonization”) in 2010 found that DTaP vaccination actually increased the growth of para-pertussis bacteria, indicating that “herd immunity” may be a wishful term. It is also wishful to blame Dr. Andrew Wakefield (see “Callous Disregard,” Skyhorse Publishing) for this issue or parents who question Thimerosal, a very toxic mercury.

Bringing inconvenient truths to light seems to be the real controversy with vaccines.

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