VACCINATION DECISIONS FOR PARENTS
Vaccination is a medical procedure, which carries a risk of injury or death. As a parent, it is your responsibility to become educated about the benefits and risks of vaccines in order to make the most informed, responsible vaccination decisions.
1. Your doctor is required by law to provide you with vaccine benefit/risk information materials before your child is vaccinated. Consumer groups, including the National Vaccine Information Center, worked with government health agencies to develop parent information booklets on each mandated vaccine. Ask your doctor for the booklet and take time to read it before your child is vaccinated. You may also ask your doctor to show you the information insert provided by the drug company, which manufactured the vaccine(s) your child is scheduled to receive.
2. Your doctor is required by law to keep a permanent record of all vaccinations given, including the vaccine manufacturer’s name and lot number. Ask for a copy of the doctor’s record on vaccinations given to your child to keep for your records.
3. Your doctor is required by law to report all adverse events, including injuries and deaths which occur within 30 days after vaccination to federal health authorities. If your doctor refuses to report a reaction following vaccination, you have the right to report to the government yourself.
4. If your child is left permanently brain damaged or dies as a result of a vaccine reaction, you may be entitled to benefits under the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986. By fall 1994, the federal vaccine injury compensation program had compensated nearly 1000 families at a cost of $500 million.
· Become educated about childhood diseases and vaccines. You have the ultimate responsibility for your child’s health and well-being and you, not your doctor or state or federal health officials, will live with, and be responsible for the consequences of your decision.
· Ask your doctor to give your child a physical exam to make sure your child is healthy before you permit vaccination.
· Write down your child’s personal and family medical history listing major illnesses and diseases or medical conditions, especially previous reactions to vaccinations, and have it included in you child’s permanent medical records. Before permitting vaccination of your child, ask your doctor if any of these conditions will put your child at risk for having a vaccine reaction. If you are not satisfied with the answers you are given, get a second opinion.
· Monitor your child closely after vaccination. Call your doctor if you suspect a reaction.
· Obtain a copy of your state mandatory vaccination laws. Become educated about state vaccine requirements, your rights and legal exemptions to vaccination.
· Don’t vaccinate a sick child. The best and safest time to vaccinate is when your child is healthy.
· Don’t be intimidated by medical personnel and forced into a vaccination decision before you are comfortable with your decision.
This information is provided by THE NATIONAL VACCINE INFORMATION CENTER (NVIC) a national, non-profit, educational organization founded in 1982 and dedicated to preventing vaccine injuries and deaths through public education. NVIC supports the right of American consumers to make informed, independent vaccination decisions for themselves and their children.
THE NATIONAL VACCINE INFORMATION CENTER (NVIC)
512 W. MAPLE AVENUE, #206, VIENNA, VA 22180, 1-800-909-SHOT