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Nick Morris
GRT
Infant and Child Vaccines: Personal Testimonies

The Hospitalization of Thomas T. Morris's Preschool Son, Nick

By Nick Morris
Nick's father, Thomas T. Morris, says parents would never hesitate to immunize their children if they understood what whooping cough puts a child through.
"If you were able to see the horrible, debilitating condition the disease brings about, it greatly outweighs the risk of a reaction to the inoculation itself," Morris said.
Nick received his first pertussis vaccination. But his parents responded to a national media blitz about adverse effects of the vaccine and chose not to complete the series. Nick had already been prone to lung problems and seizures, and they didn't want to take the risk.
"My wife and I, thinking we were making an informed, educated decision, chose not to get the second dose," Morris said. "We wimped out."
When he was 4, Nick developed a cough, which gradually worsened. As his condition progressed, an ambulance took him from a Columbus hospital to Scottish Rite Children's Medical Center in Atlanta.
His parents feared their child would die. His coughing spells were frequently violent, causing him to vomit and turn blue, and he suffered additional complications.
In hindsight, Morris says he thinks the media did a disservice by frightening parents about the vaccine without noting the risks of pertussis.
"It was everywhere, a big national controversy," he said. "The press really ran with it without knowing what they reported would bring about.
Nick and his older sister are now fully immunized.
Thomas Morris's statement appeared in the Winter 1999 issue of Immunize Georgia's Little Guys, a newsletter published by Children's Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA). It is reprinted here with the permission of CHOA, the copyright holder.
Published 5/25/05
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This page was reviewed on January 26, 2013
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The Immunization Action Coalition (IAC), a non-profit organization, works to increase immunization rates and prevent disease by creating and distributing educational materials for health professionals and the public that enhance the delivery of safe and effective immunization services. IAC also facilitates communication about the safety, efficacy, and use of vaccines within the broad immunization community of patients, parents, healthcare organizations, and government health agencies.