18 June 2011

Vaccines and Informed Consent

Yes, I'm talking about this again.  I was just reading through the package inserts for the vaccines, and it amazed me how these things aren't mentioned when we go in for the jabs.  I was given a brochure that briefly outlined what jabs my children would receive and when, but it was nothing in depth.  At each visit they asked if my child was well and if everything had gone well last time, but there was no discussion of what the various side effects could be nor which ones were considered serious. The only time I was given a package insert was when I specifically asked to see it.

Imagine my surprise, then, when I looked at the info sheet for the DTaP/IPV and found under the "contraindications" section that they mention a child crying inconsolably for over 3 hours within 48 hours of receiving a jab containing pertussis.  Yeah, my son did that.  Was this mentioned as a side effect when I took him in for the jab? No.  Was this discussed at the next appointment?  No.  The insert doesn't say not to get it because of that, but says the decision "should be based on potential benefits and risks".  Now, it seems to me that the decision to get the jab should weigh potential benefits and risks anyway, not just after an adverse reaction.

The insert also says that a vaccine that doesn't contain pertussis should be made available if the child has had an adverse reaction, yet when I asked about that, I was told it wasn't an option.  So much for that.  Now I'll see if I can find a private chemist who can do it. *sigh*  I did find a different GP that might be able to do it, so I'll phone them, too.

No comments:

Post a Comment