Service Member Shares Vaccine Experience


From an anonymous service member,

“I do not know what-all was in these vaccines, but I thought I would share my story of three vaccines, all received in the last three years in the US Navy. I had never had a serious reaction to any vaccine before, and it was after the third round of it that I decided to do some research for myself. Now I am carrying my first child, and I am grateful that I have done this research so that I can spare my child the results of a criminal undertaking in the form of mass vaccination.

First up: bird flu.

December 2009, Great Lakes. Avian Influenza was scaring half the world out of its mind with fears of people being out of work for six weeks at a time or more, en masse. I was a student at TSC Great Lakes at the time, waiting for my turn through FC “A” school to begin. On the morning of my first day of “A” school, everyone on base was rounded up by barracks and marched into the indoor gym to receive the just-released (and very rushed) bird flu vaccination. I asked a senior corpsman if I should take that form, as I already had a good cold going with a sinus infection, and was told to take it anyway.

Within the day I was coming down with persistent flu-like symptoms: to my horror, I was still coughing from this more than three MONTHS later.

The following Friday, the freshly-vaccinated population of TSC Great Lakes was released to go home on holiday standdown. My trip home to [omitted] was stressful, to say the least, and by the time I touched down in [omitted] I was very sick. I could not make it home to [omitted] for three days: a friend halfway between the two towns was very kind and took me in during that time and took care of me (later coming down with the same symptoms himself) while I was flat on my back.

I remained pretty much useless, much to my family’s disappointment, for the rest of the week and was only just able to get up, walk slowly and croak for water by the end of the second week, when it was time to return to base. Please note that these were the exact symptoms that everyone was afraid the bird flu itself would cause in the general population, if left unchecked: the fear was that everyone would come down with a prolonged, incapacitating illness at about the same time nationwide and crash the economy that way.

Navy Medical continues to deny that my symptoms could have been in any way caused or aggravated by the bird flu vaccine, disregarding the series of events. The live “attenuated”, intranasal version that I was ordered by medical personnel to put directly into my sinuses that were already infected by a cold, thereby providing a perfect environment for viral reproduction…

Next mistake: Gardasil.

Before I left Great Lakes with orders to “C” school and a ship following, Gardasil came out, and I elected for it. Of that, I can say only that I walked into Great Lakes with a clean pap smear: I left Great Lakes with an “inconclusive” pap and by the time I got back from my first deployment with the ship (9 months after leaving Great Lakes), I had been placed on aggressive monitoring for cervical cancer due to abnormal paps with two clearly precancerous lesions visible on my cervix. Wasn’t hard for me to do the math…

Final mistake: Smallpox

In between my fun-with-bird-flu and the horrible realization of the results of what could only have been my election to accept the Gardasil series, I deployed on a destroyer to the Persian Gulf. The ship was already on-station when I arrived and I had to receive the inoculation immediately. This is a nasty, nasty inoculation and contagious, especially in a shipboard environment where everyone’s laundry is washed together, everyone eats together, everything goes around like wildfire. I heard no end of cautions against contacting any surface with a hand (or bandage) that had touched the resulting blister (even though it is a mandatory vaccination for military deploying to that region of the world, so I knew everyone had had it already). I was also advised not to wash that arm due to the potential for spread it to otherwise unaffected portions of my skin.

Within three days of receiving it in my left arm, my left arm had swollen from neck to elbow and the lymph nodes under my left ear and under that arm had gone twice their normal size, and daily activities (like getting dressed, or transiting a ladderwell safely) were agony. I saw the ship’s two hospital corpsmen daily (an HN and a HMC) but they refused to accept that something was reacting badly: all they cared about was that the infection site had most definitely “taken.” My arm was so swollen and so painful that when it came time for an
underway replenishment, the ship’s Executive Officer saw me choking back tears while trying to haul a line: he pulled me aside and asked what was wrong. When I pulled down my coveralls, an ordeal by itself, and he saw it, he sent me to my rack for the rest of the day with no further questions and informed my chain of command that I was to be allowed to rest until I could see Medical the next day. (It was after that that ship’s Medical finally decided that maybe I was serious after all, so I know he said something.)

That is my story, and that is why I refuse to vaccinate the little one I’m carrying, who is only 16 weeks along right now. Her father, also Navy but with no history of poor reactions (other than getting the sniffles from flu vaccines) stands by me in this decision, for which I am grateful: the state in which we are stationed provides for only medical and religious exemptions from the mandatory vaccination program and we will take advantage of this. It is harder, as we are both Pagan, but I will find a way to spare my little one that crime.

I have also found out that, as a military member, you CAN opt out of military vaccinations – but it can only be a religious or medical exemption, and it MUST be disclosed prior to entering active service at MEPS. (Late convert to Roman Catholicism, objecting on grounds of aborted human fetal tissue being used in it? You’re still getting them.)

I am somewhat ashamed that it took three very different vaccines for me to get the idea that these are not good for you. I still wonder if the plethora of rhinovirii that Great Lakes has given up trying to treat in its recruits has anything to do with the battery of vaccinations received during P-days (I remember coughing so violently from three weeks in through the rest of Basic that I would throw up whatever food I had eaten). And I will have to deal with the effects of Gardasil for even longer than I will bear the smallpox scar (that is to say, for the rest of my life).”

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About the author


Jeffry John Aufderheide is the father of a child injured as a result of vaccination. As editor of the website he promotes well-educated pediatricians, informed consent, and full disclosure and accountability of adverse reactions to vaccines.