Vaccine injections sometimes have disastrous, even tragic, consequences. Despite disagreement and controversy on the subject, many people choose to be immunized and have their children inoculated. Like any other medication or treatment, vaccinations can result in acute short-term harm, chronic long-term illness, or even death. Given the risk of adverse effects, it is critical that everyone – especially parents and seniors – know what to look for in the event of a vaccine-related injury.
Vaccination Recommendations and Statistics
The latest recommended immunization schedule from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) lists 21 vaccines for children ages 18 and younger, with more than three billion doses of vaccines distributed over the last two decades. For people with certain health issues, vaccinations may be contraindicated and precautions should be taken, but no vaccination outcome is 100% predictable.
Vaccine Reactions and Adverse Effects
Beginning immediately after the administration of a vaccination, patients and parents should pay close attention to signs and symptoms of a possible vaccine-related injury. You need to be the most vigilant and watchful in the first few days following the injection because it is within the first week that minor symptoms can develop into dangerous, sometimes life-threatening complications.
If you notice any of the following reactions, signs, or symptoms in the week after an injection, you should contact your doctor or seek immediate medical attention:
• Swelling or rash at the injection site
• Severe pain at the injection site
• Anaphylaxis or serious allergic reaction such as hives, swelling of the mouth, or breathing difficulty
• Numbness in the arms and legs
• High fever lasting more than three days
• Vomiting or diarrhea lasting more than three days
• Seizures or convulsions
• Loss of vision or coordination
• Collapse or signs of shock
• Aggression or other behavioral changes
• Excessive sleepiness or non-responsiveness
Reporting a Vaccine Injury
CDC statistics show that some vaccines have a higher percentage or reported adverse effects than others, including:
• HPV (human papillomavirus)
• DtaP (diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis – children ages seven and younger)
• Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis – booster for children age 11)
• MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella)
• Hepatitis B
To detect possible vaccine problems, the CDC and the U.S. Food & Drug Administration established the anonymous Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). Although anyone can report a vaccine-related injury to VAERS, healthcare professionals must report certain adverse events and vaccine manufacturers must report all adverse events that come to their attention.
Compensation for Vaccine Injuries
There is a special process for seeking compensation for a vaccine-related injury, and while reporting an adverse effect to VAERS is not required, having an attorney experienced in vaccine injury cases is your best course of action.
When the administration of a vaccine results in illness, disability, or death, you need an attorney who is familiar with the unique laws and procedures associated with a vaccine injury claim and who has a demonstrated history of successful outcomes. With so much at stake, don’t take your chances with just any lawyer. Instead, choose The Lamothe Law Firm.
Please contact us today to schedule a free consultation.