Pediatrician told me ‘shut your mouth’ on vaccination question

Guest Opinion//March 4, 2019

Pediatrician told me ‘shut your mouth’ on vaccination question

Guest Opinion//March 4, 2019


“Shut your mouth.”

That’s what a pediatrician said to me when I simply questioned where Vitamin K is mandated for my newborn baby. It turns out this is a recommendation and not mandated by law, rule or hospital policy. I simply wanted to know why this injection given to my baby on his day of delivery includes aluminum, and if there are any safety studies regarding the injection.

We all care for the health and welfare of all Arizona children. This includes those of us concerned about the one-size-fits-all approach to vaccinations. This also includes those who have complete faith in the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) full vaccination schedule for all children regardless of family medical history.

Paul Boyer
Paul Boyer

In 1986, the U.S. Congress passed the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act and the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP), which made vaccine manufacturers a liability free industry. The Act states that “no vaccine manufacturer shall be liable in a civil action for damages arising from a vaccine-related injury or death associated with the administration of a vaccine…”

The VICP was intended to shield vaccine manufacturers from civil lawsuits due to vaccine injuries, and to compensate individuals who could show they were vaccine-injured. They have paid out over $4 billion dollars due to vaccine injuries since 1989.

Following this law, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld that vaccines are unavoidably unsafe saying, “Unavoidably unsafe products are exempt from strict liability with the qualification that they are properly prepared and marketed, and proper warning is given.”

Vaccines are marketed as “safe and effective,” and yet parents don’t always get full information before their child is vaccinated. When parents are not told about these risks and their child ends up with a harmful reaction to a vaccine on the CDC recommended schedule, they feel justifiably betrayed. These risks, regardless of perceived frequency, should be discussed ahead of time by healthcare providers. As such, there is a growing distrust between parents who are questioning vaccine safety and their physicians. Parents fear their doctors and skip well child visits. Instead, they bounce from doctor to doctor trying to find someone who will simply listen to them and be open to discussing their concerns surrounding vaccines.

I’m simply working through Senate Bill 1115 to provide additional guidelines for physicians and bring back some of the lost trust between the patient-practitioner relationship. It would also give physicians more information so they can increase their vigilance in looking for patients with contraindications and at risk of vaccine injury.

What parents want is simply full information on vaccines so we can truly consent, and learn how to respond to an adverse event should one occur. This includes:

  • Vaccine ingredients along with the package inserts
  • The understanding that some children should not get vaccinated due to the families’ genetic history or a previous adverse event with a particular vaccination (per the vaccine package inserts)
  • The opportunity to review the ingredients, warnings and contraindications before the vaccination is administered and the opportunity to ask questions
  • A patient history review to screen for known allergies to vaccine ingredients
  • How to contact the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program should an adverse event occur after a vaccination

No two children are the same and each child will have a different risk factor. Giving parents the ability to become fully informed and ask questions will help foster trust between the patient and provider that’s been lost over the years.

Whenever there’s risk, parents deserve information.

Sen. Paul Boyer, R-Glendale, represents Legislative District 20