Making an informed vaccination decision and taking responsibility for it is not easy. At times, it seems a lot easier to not ask questions or simply do what someone else tells us to do. But remaining uninformed and trusting blindly can be the biggest risk of all. You have the right to make informed, voluntary choices about risks you are willing to take with your life or your child’s life when it comes to making health care decisions, including vaccination decisions. Exercise your right to be an informed health care consumer.
The National Vaccine Information Center recommends obtaining information from many different sources and consulting one or more health care professionals before making a vaccination decision. NVIC’s website (www.nvic.org) is linked to many different information resources. It is important to become informed about the risks and complications of diseases as well as the risks and complications of vaccines when making a vaccination decision.
NVIC has designed a series of questions and downloadable brochure entitled Ask 8 to assist consumers in understanding what questions should be a part of the decision making process and the significance of the answers to these questions.
- Am I or my child sick right now?
- Have I or my child had a bad reaction to a vaccination before?
- Do I or my child have a personal or family history of vaccine reactions, neurological disorders, severe allergies or immune system problems?
- Do I know the disease and vaccine risks for myself or my child?
- Do I have full information about the vaccine’s side effects?
- Do I know how to identify and report a vaccine reaction?
- Do I know I need to keep a written record, including the vaccine manufacturer’s name and lot number, for all vaccinations?
- Do I know I have the right to make an informed choice?
To learn more about this series and becoming an educated consumer, please visit our Ask 8 webpage for more information and links to additional resources. NVIC also publishes a free online NVIC Vaccine eNewsletter to keep consumers informed of the latest information about vaccines and infectious diseases and offers tools like the Vaccine Ingredient Calculator to assist consumers in becoming knowledgable about vaccines, existing safe standards for toxins found in vaccines and a printable vaccination plan to facilitate parent-health provider dialogue. Be sure to visit our Diseases and Vaccines webpage, which provides informationn on risks and benefits associated with vaccines.