The advent of vaccinations has changed the world both in the U.S. and globally. From the eradication of smallpox to the near eradication of polio and whooping cough – all highly contagious – vaccines mean a safer, more promising future for millions. Now, people can even be protected from certain forms of cancer, like cervical and liver cancer from vaccines. Despite these amazing advances, complications and negligence still occur.
Understanding Vaccine Injury
Though vaccine injury is extremely rare, it does happen. For instance, scientists discovered that an early oral polio vaccination could actually cause people to come down with the disease. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has replaced it with a non-oral injection, but this story is evidence that the FDA doesn’t always spend enough time analyzing new drugs before allowing manufacturers to release them – vaccines included.
Additionally, big pharmaceutical companies are not known for their reliability. They often consider the dollar first and the patient second. For that reason, do research about global vaccines and practices. While the U.S. takes cases of vaccine injury very seriously, new vaccines should be tested well before hitting the market. If you notice that the FDA approved a vaccine that scientists only recently created, it may be wise to give it time – depending on the circumstances and medical advice.
If it’s time for vaccinations and you have concerns, there are some things to consider before letting a doctor administer vaccinations to yourself or your children:
- Illness – If you or your child has a virus, consider waiting a few days to allow the body to recover before immunizing. Most doctors will see your child or yourself at one appointment, but won’t let you do a walk-in for immunization until after the virus has passed.
- Previous reactions – If you or someone in the family has had a negative reaction to a vaccine, talk with your doctor about it first. There may be alternative vaccines, or your physician may recommend waiting a period of time.
- Side effects – Understanding what to expect after a vaccination can save a parent days of worry. Know what drugs you or your child are getting and all the possible responses. Be alert for the next few days for these reactions.
Perhaps most importantly, however, is that you and your doctor have a good relationship and that you trust his or her advice. You should never see or have your children see a physician who is unable to openly speak with you about vaccinations.
The Importance of Recording Vaccinations
There are many reasons it’s important to keep track of your or your children’s vaccination records. From school to travel and overall safety, knowing what vaccines you or your child have had should be available information. If you have a moral or philosophical objection to vaccinations, some states will take that into consideration if you have a child attending the public school system, which requires matriculating students to be up to date on vaccines.
There are some exemptions, however, to mandatory immunizations. All states allow for a medical exemption for vaccines – if your child is immune-compromised and unable to take the vaccine. Most states also have exemptions for religion. The religious exemption can be tricky, however. Though your church doesn’t have to explicitly be against medical procedures, you and your children generally must be active participants in a church to claim the exemption. Less than half of states will allow a philosophical objection to vaccines.
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When to Look for Help for Vaccine Injury
If you believe you or your child has suffered from a vaccine injury, talk to your doctor first. Like anything else, it’s wise to get a second opinion, especially if your doctor fears the repercussions of admitting the vaccine may have caused issues.
Your next step may be to discuss your options with an experienced vaccine injury attorney who understands the complex issue of vaccination from a national perspective. Contact Anapol Weiss for an injury attorney who will examine your case and determine the next steps of action. Call today for your free consultation.