Vaccination FAQs

  • Medical Author:

    Dr. Eddie Hooker is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Services Administration at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio. He is also an Associate Clinical Professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Louisville and at Wright State University. His areas of expertise include emergency medicine, epidemiology, health-services management, and public health.

  • Medical Editor: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

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What are invalid reasons for postponing vaccination?

Vaccination should not be postponed for any of the following reasons:

  • Mild illness: Low-grade fever, colds, upper respiratory-tract infections, and mild diarrhea are not reasons to put off vaccination.
  • Antibiotics: The current administration of antibiotics is not a reason to put off vaccination.
  • Household contacts of pregnant women or immunosuppressed patients: Living in a house with a pregnant woman or an immunosuppressed patient is not a reason to put off vaccination. Two exceptions are the live attenuated nasal influenza vaccine and smallpox vaccine.
  • Breastfeeding: Breastfeeding is not a reason for either the mother or baby to put off vaccination.
  • Preterm birth: Preterm birth is not a reason to put off vaccination.
  • Generalized allergies: Children with allergies, but no history of reactions to vaccine components, should receive vaccines as recommended.
  • Family history: Having a family member who had an adverse reaction to a vaccine is not a reason to put off vaccination.

Why do people keep getting vaccines if the numbers of cases of the vaccine preventable diseases are at a record low in the United States?

Vaccine-preventable diseases are indeed infrequent in the United States because of the success of the vaccine program. However, if people stop receiving vaccines, these diseases will come back rapidly. This occurred with measles in the early 1990s and resulted in many deaths.

Is there any financial help for people who have been injured by vaccines?

In 1986, the United States government set up the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act. This act provides a "no fault" compensation mechanism for people injured by vaccines.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/25/2015

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