Jaime Eisenbise says her son Daniel's autism was the result of his immunization and she's upset at Gov. Jan Brewer's birthday cards to parents urging those shots.
PHOENIX (CBS5) -
Thousands of families with new babies across Arizona are finding Hallmark birthday cards from Gov. Jan Brewer in their mailboxes.
The cute cards with a peek-a-boo birdie on the front seem innocent enough.
But those cards are causing controversy.
An Arizona Department of Health spokesman says they're a simple reminder to keep up on vaccinations, and keep children safe, but a Gilbert mom of an autistic 6-year-old boy believes the card is sending a dangerous message.
"I can't believe that something like this over a needle prick could happen," said Jaime Eisenbise about her son Daniel's autism.
Nearly five years ago, she took Daniel to get his measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) shot.
At the time, she said, he spoke and knew his alphabet. But that was the turning point in their lives, because Daniel hasn't spoken since.
"The very next morning he woke up, and everything was gone," said Eisenbise.
When Eisenbise saw the Hallmark card sent out to 50,000 Arizona families, she was shocked. It reminds new parents that one of their most important roles is to immunize their baby.
"That's insane. Your most important role as a parent is to make sure your child is safe and healthy and happy," she said.
The card has an immunization record attached, and is signed by Brewer and her husband, John.
"If they were affected personally by autism, I guarantee you their name would not be on that card," Eisenbise said.
A 1998 study linking autism to childhood vaccines was found to be an elaborate fraud, according to the British medical journal BMJ in January 2011.
The study's author, Dr. Andrew Wakefield, was found to have altered medical histories of all patients in the study. He was stripped of his medical license in May 2011.
"We certainly don't come out and force parents to get vaccines if they are truly against them," said Dr. Cara Christ from the Arizona Department of Health Services.
She said that with some parents in recent years opting to not get their child's shots, the cards are another tool to help remind parents of the importance of the full range of vaccines to protect not just their family, but all Arizonans as well.
"We need to do more education and make sure that parents understand that although we don't see these diseases, these diseases are just a plane ride away," Christ said.
Hallmark launched the national card program in the 1990s. They donate all of the cards, and the participating states pay to send them through the mail. In Arizona, that's about $30,000 that is paid for by a grant from the CDC.
Because of budget cuts in Arizona, the program was on hold for the past couple of years until now.
Copyright 2012 KPHO CBS 5 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
Wednesday, June 19 2013 11:01 AM EDT2013-06-19 15:01:14 GMT
Cell phone records show the young woman who vanished just blocks away from her Tempe apartment over the weekend made a phone call before she disappeared. Adrienne Salinas, 19, hasn't been seen or heardMore >
Cell phone records show the young woman who vanished just blocks away from her Tempe apartment over the weekend made a phone call before she disappeared.More >
Wednesday, June 19 2013 3:36 PM EDT2013-06-19 19:36:55 GMT
Gun threat at Arizona Mills Mall
A gun threat forced the evacuation of Arizona Mills Mall Tuesday night. A caller told 911 that someone was pointing a gun at theater-goers while they were watching a movie. The scene is unfolding andMore >
A caller told 911 that someone pointed a gun at theater-goers while they were watching the new 'Superman' movie.More >
Wednesday, June 19 2013 4:58 PM EDT2013-06-19 20:58:02 GMT
The man suspected of kidnapping three women and holding them captive for years inside his west side is due in court this morning. Ariel Castro will go before Judge Michael Russo at 8:30 a.m. on nearlyMore >
With his head hanging down, suspected kidnapper Ariel Castro went before a judge on Wednesday morning.
Castro refused to make eye contact with anyone, but did answer the judge when questioned. He provided a simple answer of 'yes' when asked normal questions about the proceedings. More >
Friday, May 31 2013 8:01 PM EDT2013-06-01 00:01:34 GMT
A bus driver loses his job over a Facebook post. Here's hold it unfolded. The last week of school in Haralson County, a student told driver Johnny Cook he was hungry, that didn't get to eat lunch at HaralsonMore >
A bus driver recently lost his job over a Facebook post. More >
Wednesday, June 19 2013 1:40 PM EDT2013-06-19 17:40:44 GMT
Jesus Cabrera Molina (Source: CBS 5 News)
A judge has denied bond for man believed involved in the hit-and-run death of a Phoenix police officer.Police say 24-year-old Jesus Cabrera Molina is being held on suspicion of manslaughter and leavingMore >
Maricopa County court officials said Jesus Cabrera Molina, 24, pleaded not guilty to charges of manslaughter and leaving the scene of the crash in the hit-and-run death of a Phoenix police officer.More >