The Truth About Vaccine Injuries

I admit that when it comes to vaccines, I have had just as many questions as most parents. 

Although I have a medical background as a nurse and have actually given hundreds of vaccines, when it came time to answer the vaccination question for myself, of course I wanted to do my research. 

And honestly, I don't think there's any question if vaccines work or if they, for the most part, are effective. For me, I was concerned about the possible side effects of vaccines, which we don't hear as much about in terms of specific numbers. 

Obviously, anytime we take any sort of medication, there is a risk, so I wanted to know what the real numbers were. Just how many reported adverse effects from vaccines are there out there? 

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Image via Flickr/ blakespot

To my surprise, I actually found the information pretty accessible. For some reason, I had been expecting a giant government cover-up, like one big conspiracy theory. 

The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) allows any person at any time to report a negative reaction to a vaccine. The system outlines what qualifies as a reportable event and allows you to submit a report online. What's most important to realize is that most events must be reported as occurring within a week after the vaccination, so keep a close eye on your child if he/she is vaccinated for at least a week if you are concerned about a possible adverse reaction. 

According to VAERS, it receives around 30,000 reports annually, with 13% classified as serious (e.g., associated with disability, hospitalization, life-threatening illness, or death). Claims that are found to be really from a vaccine are then brought to the compensation department, which says:

“Since the first National Vaccine Injury Compensation (VICP) claims were filed in 1989, 4,022 compensation awards have been made. More than $2.9 billion in compensation awards has been paid to petitioners, and more than $123.9 million has been paid to cover attorneys' fees and other legal costs. To date, 9,882 claims have been dismissed. Of those, 4,940 claimants were paid more than $65.7 million to cover attorneys' fees and other legal costs.”

Looking at these numbers and the fact that more than 10 million vaccines per year are given to children less than 1 year old, it would appear that reported vaccine adverse reactions really are very, very rare. And while the information about vaccine injuries and their payouts is freely accessible, I still have to wonder how many people 1) know it exists, 2) utilize the reporting system in the event of an adverse reaction, and 3) fall under the designated time frame to allow for reporting. 

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I may not have all the answers, but I do know that spreading the word about the VAERS — whether that results in more information about vaccine injuries or not — is a good thing, so be sure to let your fellow expecting parents know about the website, just in case. 

What do you think?

The Truth About Vaccine Injuries

Chaunie Brusie is a writer, mom of four, and founder of The Stay Strong Mom, a community + gift box service for moms after loss. ... More

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4 comments

  1. Morgan Hart says:

    I think that when doing one’s own research, it is important to not only look at adverse side effects of vaccines, but the severity of these side effects in comparison to the severity of the symptoms of diseases you are vaccinating against. Common side effects of vaccines are fever, redness and swelling at the injection site, and localized pain. While I believe that a VERY SMALL percentage of children are genetically predisposed to have a more severe reaction, these common reactions are not life threatening. Comparing that to the mortality rate of illnesses we are vaccinating against makes vaccines a no-brainer in this momma’s book. I think not vaccinating your kids is a lot like co-sleeping-it’s all fine and wonderful to “make your own choice” and we all know parents who choose to go against widely accepted knowledge because it isn’t “right for them” and they’ve found one piece of information that presents a different side entirely. That’s all fine and wonderful until your kid is the one who dies because of your choice. It may not happen often, but do you really want to live with the weight if it happens to your child? Again, for me, this is a no-brainer.

  2. Kathy says:

    This is a horribly written article with at best, half truths. First off, the VAERS is not well know to most parents, and as this nurse herself claims she knew nothing about when she was injecting other peoples children. It is estimated that only 1%-10% of adverse reactions are reported on VAERS, this is a quote from their website “”Underreporting” is one of the main limitations of passive surveillance systems, including VAERS. The term, underreporting refers to the fact that VAERS receives reports for only a small fraction of actual adverse events.” Doctors are not going to tell parents about it, and they are not going to blame the multi billion dollar a year cash cow, vaccines. Look at you explanation of benefits (EOB) from the insurance company it’s about $125 for just the office visit, add vaccines to that about $675 and all of a sudden your at $800, quite a bit more profitable than just an office visit. The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 (Public Law 99-660) releases vaccine manufacturers from ALL liability. It is impossible to sue the vaccine manufacturers as this Act protects them, so they have a free pass to produce wha

    • Kathy says:

      …tever they want. It cost $400 to submit your claim to National Vaccine Injury Compensation, it is not a court, there is no jury, and they don’t follow the same procedures as courts. There are also limits on recovery, up to $250,000 for a death, the process can also take more than a decade after the claim is filed. There is a time limit for a parent to file a claim, but no time limit for them to hear the claim or make a decision. Any settlement is not paid from the vaccine manufacturers profits, they are paid from a vaccine tax that is on every vaccine sold in the US. This author does not even question the efficacy of vaccines, which she should, when ‘outbreaks’ occur a much higher percentage of fully vaccinated individuals get the virus than unvaccinated people. The US has the highest number of vaccines mandated for infants under the age of 1, and we also have one of the highest infant mortality rates, higher than some third world countries. Vaccinate or don’t vaccinate that is a decision you as a parent need to make. However do not base your decision on purposely deceptive articles full of half truths and important information left out. Do your own research!! Don’t be fooled into thinking vaccines are required or your child cannot attend school, there are exemptions in most states. The unvaccinated population is much healthier than their vaccinated counterparts. Do your research, look into vaccine ingredients, you will be horrified! Don’t let money hungry doctors bully you, make an informed decision. Ask yourself why they have never done a study comparing vaccinated to unvaccinated children? One last thing, not only are the vaccine manufacturers exempt from lawsuits, so are the doctors and nurses that administer these vaccines, even if they are negligent. Even if they vaccinate a sick child which every single vaccine insert warns against, they still have NO liability!

  3. Stephh says:

    Every time my daughter got a shot I could plan for 6-10 days of a 101+ fever. They told me she was just sick. Pretty much I was making it all up. I stopped vaccines at 12 months she hasn’t even had a temp higher then 99.7 since. Kinda ironic for a kid in daycare. My son is 6 months old & we are choosing select & delayed vax for him.

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