Immunizing against certain diseases is a decades-old concept that in years past has been shown to be effective at eradicating very serious and life-threatening diseases. As technology has advanced, so has the number of inoculations recommended for children and adults every year, and the number of vaccines that are now expected for children and recommended for adults is staggering compared to what was recommended years ago. Vaccinating is a very personal choice, one that currently all adults and parents have the freedom to decide for or against. Here’s what you should know about immunizations and what to do if you believe yourself or your child were harmed by a vaccine.
All Vaccines Have Side Effects
People may feel that immunizations are a crucial component to overall health and wellness, or perhaps they are on the fence about whether to immunize or not. Still other parents know for certain that vaccines simply aren’t for them. Regardless of where you land in the vaccine debate, the fact of the matter is that like any medicine, vaccines can have side effects. No matter how rare, these side effects can be serious and even deadly. Many studies show that the benefit of getting the vaccine outweighs the risk, what happens after the fact when a family is left to deal with the aftermath of vaccine side effects?
Your Doctor Has a Responsibility
Many doctors know much less about individual vaccines than patients are led to believe. Some doctors aren’t aware of the ingredients or which vaccine is contraindicated in what case. Most doctors receive education that vaccines are for everyone and that without them, public health will decline radically. However, this one-size-fits-all approach can be detrimental for some individuals, especially children.
Your doctor has a responsibility to you to recommend only the vaccines that are generally safe for you — or your child — to receive. If, for example, your child has a known allergy to one of the components of a vaccine, your child’s doctor should omit that vaccine from your child’s immunization schedule. If you receive a vaccine and have an adverse reaction to it and report the reaction to your doctor, your doctor should not administer the remaining boosters for that particular vaccine.
Doctors often get accustomed to giving all rounds of all recommended vaccines to their patients and may not take the time to look over past medical history or even their own office records before retrieving and administering a vaccine or instructing a nurse to do so. When this occurs, and an adverse reaction is the result, you may be able to hold the doctor responsible for damages.
How an Expert Witness Can Help
If you or your child was the victim of a vaccine adverse reaction and you believe your doctor neglected their responsibility to administer only vaccines that were safe and not contraindicated with your medical history, an attorney can help you bring forward a claim. However, with vaccines being such a hot-button issue and doctor’s offices having expert legal teams on their side, it’s important that you do everything you can to strengthen your case.
An expert witness can be invaluable and can provide supporting testimony that helps judges and juries better understand the nature of vaccines, their potential side effects, and what exactly happened to cause you or your child to have an adverse reaction to a particular vaccine. It’s likely that many of the jury members and even the judge have never considered that vaccines can be extraordinarily harmful in some unique cases and may even believe that vaccines are faultless. It can be an uphill battle to help them understand there’s another side, which can be all but impossible without an experienced physician on your side to counter the claims of other medical professionals arguing the opposite.
Dr. Edward Mallory has over 25 years of experience in emergency medicine and can offer an unbiased expert testimony in plain, easy-to-understand language. If you have a vaccine injury case, don’t hesitate to call for a consultation at (813) 997-1241.