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Vaccine information statements. Revolutionary but neglected educational advances in healthcare in the United States.

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1
University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville, Virginia, USA. redlich9@comcast.net

Abstract

The purpose of this report is to provide further information about vaccine information statements (VISs) that are revolutionary but neglected educational advances in the United States. Because the use of VISs is mandated by the Federal Government in every individual being immunized, it is the goal of this report to further awaken health professionals and society to the mandatory use of these superb educational statements. With the passage of the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986, the Federal Government required that VISs would be given to all vaccine recipients. As of September 2001, the VISs that must be used are diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, (DTaP); diphtheria, tetanus (Td); measles, mumps, rubella (MMR); polio (IPV); hepatitis B; Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib); varicella; and pneumococcal conjugate. Copies of the VISs are available at www.cdc.gov/nip/publications/VIS. The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 mandated that all health care providers report certain adverse events that occur following vaccination. As a result, the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) was established by the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 1990. In order to reduce the liability of manufacturers and healthcare providers, the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 established the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP). This program is intended to compensate those individuals who have been injured by vaccines on a no-fault basis. While the use of VISs has been mandated since 1996, a national survey of private practice office settings has revealed that many immunized patients do not receive the VISs. When these forms were used, physicians rarely initiated discussions regarding contraindications to immunizations or the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. Fortunately, the state boards of medical examiners, like the one in Oregon, are taking a strong stand for the use of VISs, with the warning that failure to use a VIS may result in disciplinary action. Our nation and practicing physicians must be awakened to the importance of the use of VISs to ensure that every vaccinated individual receives this statement at the time of vaccination.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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