Few parenting issues have gained as much attention in recent years as vaccines. While doctors and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continue to recommend these injections, many parents have serious concerns about the safety of vaccines for their children. Though negative side effects are rare, they do occur, and they can cause lasting effects on a family.
If you’ve made the difficult decision to vaccinate your child and she has experienced a vaccine injury, you do have recourse. Through the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, parents can file a claim to obtain compensation to help their child. In fact, the program was started after concerns that the common childhood DTaP vaccine was causing significant injuries to kids.
Federal Mandates Regulate Childhood Vaccines
Amid those news reports about possible dangers of DTaP vaccines, the federal government offered a set of mandates regarding all childhood immunizations. In part, it commits the government agencies involved with vaccines to continually improve the safety of childhood vaccines and to enhance the reporting of adverse events, as well as the recall of any lots that may be unsafe. Additionally, it acted as the impetus for the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP). These give parents options when a child is injured by a vaccine.
Reporting an Adverse Reaction and Filing a Claim
If you suspect your child has suffered an adverse reaction, it is important to secure the help they need to recover as fully as possible. Parents should:
- Seek medical treatment. Call your doctor to discuss any reactions or development of illness as soon as possible. Earlier treatment can lead to better outcomes. Also, documentation of medical treatment is necessary to pursue a claim.
- File a report with the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). This is the national database for negative reactions to vaccines. While it is not an entirely comprehensive view of vaccine injury, it is a useful tool in understanding these events.
- Call a vaccine injury lawyer to make a VICP claim. While the VICP states that legal representation is not mandatory, seeking compensation is a legal process, and the outcome can have a significant impact on your child’s future. Recently, a Stanford researcher investigating the system noted that victims “need counsel—and often highly specialized legal help—to have any chance at successfully resolving their claims.” Through the VICP, it is possible to obtain compensation for medical bills, rehabilitation, pain and suffering, and more.
Your child’s health is important. When your careful efforts to protect them are met with serious and long-lasting negative consequences, you can take action. Call the vaccine injury lawyers at Shannon Law Group, P.C., to learn more about your options.