How many vaccinations result in serious health problems?
The debate about the benefits of vaccinations weighed against the potential dangers has been discussed extensively, especially in the wake of the recent measles outbreak in several states. In February of this year, Dr. Bob Sears appeared on CNN to discuss the issue and stated that between 3,000 and 4,500 individuals suffer from serious reactions as a result of exposure to vaccines every year. Dr. Sears appears to have exaggerated the numbers, but the fact remains that there are many reports of adverse reactions to vaccines every year that result in hospitalization, disability, or death.
The Center for Disease Control maintains a database called the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, or VAERS. This system allows for medical professionals to report any possible association between vaccines and possible side effects. There is no concrete determination that the vaccine caused a complication, only that one is possible. According to the CDC, 30,000 VAERS reports are filed annually, and 10 to 15% of those are considered serious. This aligns with Dr. Sear’s statements. The VAERS reports involving hospitalization, disability, death, or life threatening illnesses can be tracked separately, and since 2006, the highest total of serious cases reported through VAERS was 2,701 in 2009, and the average for all years since 2006 is 2,117. These numbers are significantly lower than the statistics quoted by Dr. Sears, and still offer no concrete evidence of a relationship between a medical condition and a vaccination.
In this case, Dr. Sears attempted to use the CDC’s statistics to prove a point, that vaccines can have harmful consequences. Even if the numbers he used were not accurate, his point remains true. As with any medication, use of vaccinations can cause allergic reactions or side effects. Knowing how common these instances are offers little consolation to a parent whose child suffers from serious medical conditions as a result of exposure to vaccines. It does not matter how many people suffer from these conditions to the people who suffer from them.
The National Vaccine Compensation Program was designed to help families who need support following these events. Of the claims filed since 1989, 28% have been found to be compensable by the Federal program. This averages 155 claims each year. These numbers do not tell us much either because many victims who suffer from adverse reactions from vaccines are not aware that this program even exists. The Law Office of Leah V. Durant is experienced in handling these cases and can help your family understand your rights with no cost to you. If your family member developed a medical condition as a result of a vaccination, call (202) 800-1711.