VACCINATION CHOICES

By Dr. Dan Van Roon • November 6th, 2012

No matter what vaccination choices you make for yourself or your family, there is a basic human right to be fully informed about all risks of medical interventions and pharmaceutical products, like vaccines, and have the freedom to refuse if you conclude the benefits do not outweigh the risks for you or your child.

It’s vitally important to know and exercise your legal rights and to understand your options when it comes to using vaccines and prescription drugs. For example, your doctor is legally obligated to provide you with the CDC Vaccine Information Statement (VIS) sheet and discuss the potential symptoms of side effects of the vaccination(s) you or your child receive BEFORE vaccination takes place. If someone giving a vaccine does not do this, it is a violation of federal law. Furthermore, the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 also requires doctors and other vaccine providers to:

• Keep a permanent record of all vaccines given and the manufacturer’s name and lot number

• Write down serious health problems, hospitalizations, injuries and deaths that occur after vaccination in the patient’s permanent medical record

• File an official report of all serious health problems, hospitalizations, injuries and deaths following vaccination to the federal Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS)

If a vaccine provider fails to inform, record or report, it is a violation of federal law. It’s important to get all the facts before making your decision about vaccination; and to understand that you have the legal right to opt out of using a vaccine that you do not want you or your child to receive. At present, all 50 states allow a medical exemption to vaccination (medical exemptions must be approved by an M.D. or D.O.); 48 states allow a religious exemption to vaccination; and 18 states allow a personal, philosophical or conscientious belief exemption to vaccinations.

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