Revaccination Safe in Children W/ Prior Adverse Event
The decision whether or not to vaccinate is becoming a more difficult one as more and more questions arise about the safety of numerous vaccines given today. Here are a few of my thoughts. First, I feel that the safety aspects of these vaccinations are not completely studied and many are released too soon. A good example of this was the recently pulled rotavirus vaccine that was found to increase the risk for a specific intestinal disorder. Next, underreporting of adverse effects is very high. I remember one patient telling me that her son’s pediatrician refused to call a several day sustained high fever immediately following a vaccination as an adverse effect. These vaccines do have a benefit, and one can’t deny that certain previously lethal diseases have been all but eradicated (smallpox); but the questions being raised are definate cause for concern for all parents. If you have a child almost due for vaccination, please be as informed as you possibly can…many doctors do not give full disclosure on the issue.
Arch Dis Child 2000;83:128-131 Children who have a past history of an adverse event following immunization (AEFI) can be safely revaccinated in most cases, according to a report in the August issue of the Archives of Disease in Childhood. Between 1996 and 1999, 469 children with a prior AEFI attended one of three special immunization service centers. According to the report, 63% had minor post-vaccination reactions and 37% experienced hypotonic hyporesponsive episodes, convulsions, skin rash, anaphylaxis, apnea, or various miscellaneous symptoms. Most children (90%) were revaccinated after careful clinical review, the authors report. Among the 421 children vaccinated, 83% experienced no AEFI. All but one of the remaining children experienced only minor reactions, including fever, local reactions, and/or lethargy, during the 7 days following immunization.