Recently, I was having a conversation with another attorney about our various practice areas. I told him that I represent people injured by vaccines through the National Vaccine Injury Program and that my clients are from various parts of the country. We discussed the program and then he asked me what my thoughts were about vaccinations. Of course, I am not a scientist, a pharmacists or a medical doctor. I have four children and all of my children received all of the required vaccinations. Fortunately, none of them had any serious adverse reactions. After doing this type of work for more than 25 years I realize how fortunate I am that my children did not have adverse reactions. On the other hand, statistically, most children do not have adverse reactions to vaccines.
My first response is whether he was asking me about adults or children. He was puzzled and had no idea that adults who receive certain vaccines and have adverse reactions to them can receive damages through the Vaccine Injury Program. I told him about clients that I have represented with adverse reactions to Tetanus or the flu vaccine. Again, not being a doctor I told him that I thought that adult vaccines have their place and are important in preventing serious illness and/or in some cases death to millions of people. On the other hand, not everyone needs a flu vaccine and just because they are offered at your local Walgreens for little or no cost should not be a reason to be vaccinated. Again, a medical doctor may have an entirely different opinion but the question was posed to me a non-medical person.
With respect to children, told him that children by the age of 6 get 40 or more doses of multiple vaccines. My experience has been that some children cannot handle receiving multiple vaccines at the same time. My advice is that if I were to do it over again with my children that I would not have more than one vaccine given at a time. Again, I am not sure if there is any scientific data to support my opinion but I gave it. In addition, sometimes if your child has a fever, runny nose, is not feeling well then perhaps that is not the best time to give a vaccine. I suggested that I would rethink giving a vaccine to a child with a cold, slight fever or runny nose. Again, I am not sure if there is any evidence to support my advice but I gave it.
Also, I said based upon my experience some children, at certain stages of their development, may not have a strong enough immune system to handle a vaccine. Again, every child is different and just because vaccines help millions of children from coming down with the measles, mumps, rubella, etc., does not mean that every child should get every vaccine on schedule as recommended.
It is an individual decision that every parent must make and should make based upon all of the available information. There should be frank discussions with your medical doctor about your child’s vaccinations. Also, sometimes your “gut feeling” is an indication that it may not be the right time for the vaccine. I am all in favor of children being vaccinated but sometimes a little common sense and consideration should be given in order to avoid taking unnecessary chances. If you are a parent questioning whether your child should be vaccinated research the issue on your own and have an intelligent conversation with your child’s medical doctor. Again, vaccines were developed to help the masses and they do a great job protecting most of us from disease. Again, a child is an individual and should be treated as such.
Most of the time there are no adverse reactions; however, when there are seek immediate medical attention and if the injuries are substantial in nature and that being lasting more than six months or have any permanent affect or require your child to be hospitalized your child may be entitled to damages through the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. If you, a loved one or a family member have any questions about your rights in the vaccine injury program please contact me for a no cost consultation. Attorney’s fees and costs are paid for by the program so there is no financial risk to you in proceeding with the claim. There are certain time limits and criteria that must be met for you to file a claim. These issues and the facts of your case should be analyzed as soon as you have any concerns about your child having an adverse reaction to a vaccine.
For more information about the Vaccine Injury Program please go to http://www.hrsa.gov/vaccinecompensation and do not hesitate to contact me with any questions.