JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) — A group rallied at the State Capitol Wednesday hoping to have their voices heard when it comes to the vaccination debate.
Mississippi has one of the highest vaccination rates in the country.
It also has one of the highest autism rates. While it’s not been proven that the two are linked, some parents believe they are, and they want the right to choose.
Dr. Scott Guidry and his wife said they noticed a significant change in their son Hunt after he got some of his vaccinations.
“My son was vaccine injured, and we reversed the vaccine injury, and now he’s recovered from autism,” he said.
“We lost him there for a long time, and they told us it was genetic,” Mrs. Guidry said.”They told me to go home and love him, hold him more, that it was something that I was doing.”
“And I’m not against vaccines,” Dr. Guidry said. “I learned the same importance of vaccines like every other physician who went to med school did. I know. But it’s never really been studied, the safety of vaccines. There’s never been a long-term safety study on vaccines.”
Some of those vaccines require multiple doses like the Tdap shot, which has five and is a requirement for school.
For Amanda Vizer, that’s a sign of comfort.
“Do not think it’s a choice for parents necessarily. Unless their child is unable to take the vaccine because they’re immuno-compromised,” she said.
Her daughter Chloe is 12. For six years she’s battled with a rare form of juvenile arthritis, which means her immune system attacks her body, not just in her joints.
“They’re just even more susceptible to catching diseases, the common cold and their body can’t fight it as well as healthy kids.”
The medicine she takes suppresses her immune system and makes it harder for her to fight off things as simple as the common cold. The outbreak of measles could be devastating.
“You worry about them going to school, going to Walmart or just going shopping somewhere. If the public is not taking their vaccines as they should, then it leaves her more open to diseases that may not normally effect a healthy child.”
Mississippi does low allow a child to be exempt from a vaccine if there is a medical reason. According to state epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers, there were 342 exemptions made for K-12 students for this current school year.