Most of us received vaccines when we were children. We are taught that vaccines are safe and not risky. However, vaccines are like every other drug – they can can cause injury.
Vaccines work by changing your child’s natural defense system to protect her from potentially deadly diseases. The question becomes whether a parent feels that the benefits of the avoiding a potentially deadly disease is outweighed by the risk of the child suffering a serious injury. This is a very complicated decision.
Vaccine injury claims are not like traditional personal injury claims and require a lawyer admitted to the vaccine court in Washington, DC. Our Vaccine Injury Lawyers have represented numerous clients injured by vaccines from around the country.
Children today are exposed to more vaccines then ever before. We at the Vaccine Injury Help Center created a short primer below to educate parents about vaccines.
Our Immune System: The Body’s Natural Defense
It is her body’s natural defense to viruses and bacteria called the immune system. When children are exposed to viruses and bacteria, their immune system fights it off by creating little pieces of protein called antibodies. These antibodies help the body target the invading virus or bacteria by attaching itself to the invaders. Once attached, the body recognizes the virus or bacteria as an invader and sends reinforcements to destroy it. The body naturally creates antibodies in response to infection and is part of the reason we get “sick”. So, if your child catches the flu, her body will create antibodies to fight off the flu and eventually will get better (after many miserable days of aches, pains and nausea).
Vaccines Stimulate The Body’s Natural Defense
Vaccines work by stimulating your child’s immune system to create antibodies without the need for her to get sick. So if she receives a vaccine for tetanus and is exposed sometime later, the antibodies will target the tetanus and eliminate it from the body.
Which Vaccines Are Recommended For Children?
- Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib)
- Hepatitis A (HAV) vaccines
- Hepatitis B (HBV) vaccines
- HPV vaccine (Gardasil)
- Influenza (TIV, LAIV)
- Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR)
- Meningococcal (MCV4, MPSV4)
- Pneumococcal conjugate (PCV)
- Polio (OPV or IPV)
- Rotavirus (RV)
- Tenanus (DTaP, Tdap, DTP-Hib, DT)
- Varicella (VZV)
Signs And Symptoms Of Vaccine Injury
Since vaccines are commonly given to children most vaccine related injuries are found in children. It is difficult to tell whether or not your child is suffering from a vaccine injury or is upset that she was just jabbed in the arm with a needle.
Parents should look for is prolonged soreness (lasting more than 2 to 4 hours) around the site where the vaccine was given. Redness or bruising around the vaccine site in combination with fever is also an early sign of a vaccine injury.
Educating the public with regard to the sign and symptoms of vaccine injury can prevent serious injury. Education is the heart of public health.
Mark T. Sadaka, Esq., MSPH
We at the Vaccine Injury Help Center created a list of the common signs, symptoms and injuries that result from vaccines. The list can be found here.
Vaccine injury can be often very complicated, painful and lifelong. Injuries compensated by the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program include the following:
- Allergic Reaction/Anaphylaxis
- Autoimmune Disorders
- Blood Clots
- Blood Disorders
- Bowel Injury
- Brain Damage
- Chronic Fatigue
- Nerve Damage
You child will not develop a vaccine related injury. This article does not intend to delve deeply into scientific methods of determining your child’s risk. We only to seek to inform parents only that there is a risk of vaccine injury which runs contrary to the teaching of most doctors and society.
It is important to remember that vaccine injuries are serious, debilitating and sometimes deadly so you do hear about them in the media. They also involve children which heightens the media’s coverage. However a vast majority of children are vaccinated in this country. As with any drug, some of those vaccinated will be injured by the vaccine. Its up the parents to decide if the risks outweigh the benefits.
What About Vaccines Causing Autism?
There has been a lot of talk about the use of chemicals in vaccines that are used to prevent the growth of bacteria and fungi causing autism. These chemicals are called preservatives. One preservative in particular is called Thimersol, which contains mercury. A number of scientific studies and court decisions that have addressed the issue determined that Thimersol does not cause autism. The FDA created a website to address the Thimersol issue. Sites like AgeofAutism.com and SafeMinds.org disagree with the FDA’s view.
One thing is clear, however, vaccines can cause a number of conditions which cause autistic like symptoms. Encephalopathy is one of those conditions that can damage the brain and cause these symptoms. To learn more about this condition please click here.
When your child is going to the doctor to receive a vaccine it is important to understand what your health care provider is talking about. We at the Vaccine Injury Help Center created a glossary of terms to help you:
Combination vaccines (more than one virus or bacteria, such as MMR which contains measles, mumps and rubella viruses).
Inactivated vaccines – Inactivated vaccines contain dead or inactive bacteria or viruses. These vaccines can be safely given to individuals with weakened immune systems. However, for such individuals, additional (booster) doses may be required to achieve immunity (protection).
Live-attenuated vaccines – Live-attenuated vaccines contain a living bacteria or virus that has been weakened in the laboratory so that it doesn’t cause the actual disease in individuals with healthy immune systems.
Multi-valent vaccines – The reason why people get sick from the flu every year is that the virus changes every season. This means the the flu virus has many strains or types. Multi-valent vaccines contain several strains such as the seasonal influenza vaccine which has three strains of influenza.
Single valent vaccines – The reason why people get sick from the flu every year is that the virus changes every season. This means the the flu virus has many strains or types. Single valent vaccines contain one strain of the bacteria or virus.
Subunit inactivated vaccines – subunit inactivated vaccines contain just a portion or a “subunit” of the disease-causing bacteria or virus is needed to provide protection.
Toxoids – some bacteria cause illness by secreting a poison or toxin. Scientists discovered that inactivating the toxins, to create toxoids, and administering the toxoid can also protect individuals against the disease.