Sunday, July 20, 2008

Norman Transcript - The Rogers family

Shots or not: Parents pass on vaccines

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is part of a series of articles examining issues surrounding immunizations.

By Meghan McCormick

Transcript Staff Writer

Meet Brian Rogers and he seems just like any other 6-year-old boy his age.

He spends summer days at the neighborhood pool, and it's hard to get his attention when he's focused on his favorite computer game Monopoly.

Brian likes to talk about his birthday party last month at Pump It Up, the inflatable party zone. The party included laughter, fun and of course, a Monopoly theme cake.

His parents Bill and Sheri Rogers didn't mind the festivities because it wasn't that long ago that their youngest son wouldn't have understood the intentions of the celebration. That's because Brian is autistic.

Both parents believe vaccines played a contributing factor in his and his older brother's condition. The oldest son, Brandon, 8, was diagnosed at age 3 with sensory integration dysfunction.

"I feel because I didn't question it, my children are paying the price," Sheri Rogers said.

The mother said she had both her children vaccinated until recently.

"We are not anti-vaccine," the mother said.

Instead, the couple want toxins removed from doses and the number of immunizations reduced. The mother and father believe it would be best for physicians to delay vaccines until a child's immune system is more mature and to spread out an injection schedule. Scientists should conduct additional testing on vaccines to make sure they are safe to inject in people, they say.

The parents have no intentions of updating their children's vaccines anytime soon.

"We're not vaccinating further because of the problems our children displayed," she said.

The mother said both boys are students at Roosevelt Elementary School and immunization exemption forms are on file for their sons.

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