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Rachel's son got the varicella vaccine to return to his special needs school

During pregnancy, Rachel struggled with inflammation and “severe nausea.” After her son was born, both she and the baby were placed on antibiotics for a placenta infection. This caused severe diarrhea for the baby.


Initially, Rachel declined all vaccines for her infant son. He had trouble sleeping through the night, was speech-delayed, and constantly seeking sensory. By age 2, he was formally diagnosed with autism. Rachel had placed her son in an integrative school for autistic children and started to see him make tremendous progress at around the age of 3 and a half. He was just starting to speak and was improving on his social skills.


Around this same time, there was a child in the school who contracted chicken pox. The case was reported to the health department and all children attending the school were required to either get the varicella vaccine or be removed from the school for 21 days.


Rachel and her husband did not want to slow their son's progress, so they scheduled a vaccination appointment. Within 72 hours of receiving his shot, there was a large, swollen lump at the injection site, and he expressed symptoms of encephalitis.


We've been recovering ever since.

After his vaccine reaction, Rachel's son noticeably regressed from the progress he had been making at school. While he has made strides, they are still working toward a healthier future.



Rachel shared her son's story on the Children's Health Defense (CHD) VAX-unVAX Bus in collaboration with the Michigan chapter of CHD and Michigan for Vaccine Choice (MVC).


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