It’s a parents worse nightmare to have your child to have a child injured or die from a vaccination. It’s one of those situation where you want a do over. If you could just go back in time.
Pressured by public health to do what is right and protect your child from preventable diseases, parents’ hearts have been broken over and over again as children develop autism or other disabilities as a result.
Even those incidents are relatively rare, except perhaps for autism, they happen to families. Even though the link between autism and vaccinations has not been proven, parents know. The same holds true for a tragedy involving the flu vaccination in Vermont.
A seven-year-old girl died after receiving a flu shot last month. Seven Days reports:
Nicole and Justin Matten of Barton have lived every parent’s worst nightmare. On December 2 their 7-year-old daughter, Kaylynne, visited her physician for an annual checkup. She got a flu shot. The next day, she developed a bad headache and fever. On December 6, the normally happy and healthy girl, who had no previous history of chronic health problems or adverse reactions to vaccines, turned blue, stopped breathing and died in her mother’s arms…
The state medical examiner has yet to determine the girl’s exact cause of death; the autopsy report is due within a few weeks. State health officials are also investigating the tragedy. Any child’s death “puts a hole in everyone’s gut, and when one dies, we all have to ask a lot of questions,” says Vermont Health Commissioner Dr. Harry Chen.
“We’re just waiting for an answer,” says Kaylynne’s mom, “but we believe in our hearts that it was the flu shot…
Chen and other state health officials are more worried about the effects of news reports prematurely linking the Barton girl’s death to the flu shot: specifically, that more parents will opt out of immunizing their children, or themselves, against seasonal influenza.
I am not 100% anti-vaccine. They do save lives and eliminate diseases, such as polio, from maintaining epidemic levels. I do believe we over vaccinate our children, and the flu shot, in particular, is one I do not believe in. It’s effectiveness is questionable and largely based on a guessing what strains will be rampant during that particular flu season. It is also still preserved with thimersol but can be obtained without.
I just can’t imagine what this family is facing. It reminds me of when you hear about other tragedies, like families dying in car accidents or children with cancer. It is easy to remove oneself and think we are immune, but we aren’t. I learned this when my son was born with a congenital heart defect. We all know someone, and some day, that person my be us.