Recently, I heard a story of a young mother who, because her child was suffering from the side effects of the flu and/or cold delayed her child’s vaccinations including the Prevnar vaccine. In between the delay and the rescheduled appointment her child came down with an ear infection. This concerned mother took her child to the same doctor and the doctor scolded her and in fact blamed her for the ear infection. The doctor claimed that had she gone ahead with the Prevnar vaccine, the ear infection would not have happened. The direct implication was that Prevnar prevents ear infections and this mother was neglectful.
Having represented injured children and their families from the side effects of vaccines for almost all of my 28 years of practice I was curious. I had never heard that Prevnar prevented ear infections. Also, as a father of four, now adult children, I recall that all of my children were vaccinated, yet all had constant ear infections.
Upon some research I quickly discovered that, although there may be claims that Prevnar can prevent ear infections, it is not supported by the medical literature and, at least as far as I know, is not listed as one of the benefits or purposes of Prevnar that comes with the Prevnar vaccine. Some of the information I found indicated that Prevnar helps something like 7% of less in preventing ear infections.
Generally, Prevnar is given to prevent pneumococcal infections in young children. Pneumococcal infections are bacterial infections causing pneumonia and meningitis. Again, certain pediatricians may claim that it can prevent ear infections but studies can be interpreted in different ways by different individuals.
The point of the blog is not whether Prevnar prevents ear infections. The point is that there are many doctors who, for many reason, claim that vaccines should be given as scheduled regardless of the health of the child at the time and stand for the proposition that all children should be vaccinated. The decision to vaccinate your child is an individual decision. It is inappropriate for a doctor to make such claims and to make a parent feel guilty for making a reasonable decision to delay vaccines because it was their opinion that their child was not healthy enough to have a bacteria injected into their child.
There are doctors who better understand both the benefits and risks of vaccines as well as the issues that parents must address in making these difficult decisions. It is not “black and white” as to whether all children at specific times should be vaccinated. Again, the decision is yours. Please research the issues, ask questions and make informed decisions. Do not let doctors intimidate you in to doing something that you, as a concerned parent, do not feel comfortable doing. You know your child better than any doctor. Get the information and make the right choices without guilt.
To say this child’s ear infection would not have occurred had he received the Prevnar vaccine is pure speculation. What is not speculation is that some children suffer severe adverse reactions from Prevnar and other childhood vaccines. Some of the more minor side effects are mild redness and swelling near the site of the shot, weakness, crying or fussiness, low fever or drowsiness. In rare circumstances more serious side effects such as a high fever (103 or more), seizure or convulsions, wheezing or trouble breathing or severe pain, itching and irritation with skin changes near the site of the shot. In those situations, you and/or your child may be entitled to compensation through the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. The Program is designed to compensate children and their parents from the rare but unfortunate side effects from these vaccines.
Only specific attorneys can represent you in these cases and our fees and costs are all paid for by the Program so there is no financial risk for you in retaining an attorney regardless of where you and/or the attorney of your choice works. For more information on the Vaccine Injury Program and whether your child has a claim for side effects from the Prevnar vaccine or other childhood vaccinations please call me for a no cost, no obligation consultation. We represent people from across the country and our clients never incur any legal expenses associated with a legitimate vaccine injury claim.
In Wisconsin contact me at (608) 824-9540, in the New York City area at (212) 521-4192, in the Chicago area at (312) 988-4830 or nationwide at (866) 455-2993. At Krueger Hernandez & Thompson SC, we listen, we care, we get results and that includes you and your child’s vaccine injury claim. Krueger Hernandez & Thompson SC, where children matter most.