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Guess Who Reminded Me That My Son Missed His Vaccine?

Like many other mamas, I am a bit weary of vaccinations. The autism argument aside, my daughter used to sleep most of the day after getting her shots. My son, on the other hand, has developed fevers after a few of his vaccinations and once had two quarter sized welts on his arms in the weeks that followed.

While I have a lot of faith in our pediatrician and have discussed the benefits and risks of vaccinations at length with him, I went with my motherly instincts and skipped my son's last shot, as he was under the weather. So it came as no surprise when I received a reminder in the mail that my lil guy had missed his vaccination. But, I was stunned that the card was not from the doctor's office — it was from a pharmaceuticals company. It also advised me to contact my provider and find out if I need to schedule an appointment.

We often hear that these companies are behind the increased number of vaccines and this notice hit me the wrong way. What's your opinion?


Join The Conversation
g1amourpuss g1amourpuss 9 years
roxtarchic, thank you for that. I have heard there are ways around it and then I have heard that there is no way around it. I didn't know where to start with it.
Greggie Greggie 9 years
All states have to allow for reasons to not get vaccinated with schools, they just have different rules on how to handle it. For instance, some schools require a non-vaxed child to stay home when there's a suspected outbreak of something like chicken pox. Schools cannot absolutely 100% require vaccinations because they are public education - they have to make allowances because of a child's right to an education. This thread reminds me once again why I love my childrens' doctor so much. I can't imagine being so insensitive as to sell this info to drug companies.
roxtarchic roxtarchic 9 years
glamour... you have a choice, you just have to do a lot of research in order to excercise it. there are medical exemptions (which are difficult to obtain) there are philosophical exemptions (in some states) and religous exemptions (which depending on your state are difficult or routinely accepted). i would google vaccination exemptions to start and a really good book (not biased on either side of the controversy) is "the vaccine book" by dr sears. and i'm really sooo bothered that vaccine companies are taking it upon themselves to send reminders.... altho i suppose in the scheme of what they normally pay out to get their vaccines promoted & added to the schedule required... a stamp & a letter is probably a cheaper way to go!
foxie foxie 9 years
The medical and pharmaceutical business is just another giant mall, for the most part. I only shop there when absolutely necessary.
g1amourpuss g1amourpuss 9 years
I don't know how to feel about vaccinations. My daughter and husband get them, and they both get more sick (yearly) than I do. That would totally freak/creep me out too! If I had a choice I would not get my daughter vaccinated. That was one of the first things that rubbed me the wrong way when I had her. (My first/only child.) Apparently I don't have a choice as her mother about what I have to have injected into her?
facin8me facin8me 9 years
From what I can find about HIPAA rules, what happened to lilsugar is permissible under the law. It appears that under HIPAA, marketing communications regarding referrals, prescription reminders, appointment notifications, disease management and wellness programs are allowed. Of course, this doesn't address whether the state of California has laws that might overrule this. lilsugar, you might want to ask your doctor for another copy of their privacy policies, because it is possible you have consented, directly or indirectly, to this information sharing. Additionally, you may want to consider that it was your insurance company and not your doctor that released this information to a health marketing firm.
ufshutterbabe ufshutterbabe 9 years
I would call the pediatrician and find how exactly how this works with that office. I know there is communication between vaccine manufacturers and doctors (they track each vaccine that goes out by lot number, in case anything goes bad in that lot they know who to contact) but I would be perturbed in your situation as well.
Lolafox Lolafox 9 years
I got a notice like this too. I don't think it's a big deal. So many people have information. If it was about something a bit more personal like his actual illnesses or something I would worry. But for shot...I'm not too concerned.
kikidawn kikidawn 9 years
I agree with roxtarchic!
TheEnchantedOne TheEnchantedOne 9 years
lawchick lawchick 9 years
Call your attorney general, and switch doctors. this is a very serious violation of privacy laws and can result in fines and jail time (as it should!). You should bring this to light before it happens to someone else.
roxtarchic roxtarchic 9 years
i would SERIOUSLY be put off getting a reminder from a pharmaceutical company. i'd call them and ask that the remove my child and my family from their mailing list and records. I'd also want to know where they got their information from...
Moms Moms 9 years
It is a stock card with the text printed on it. It was mailed directly from the pharmaceuticals company addressed to my son and marked PERSONAL AND CONFIDENTIAL.
facin8me facin8me 9 years
lilsugar, are you sure your doctor doesn't receive postcards for free from the company? Kind of like the dentist or the optician?
LiLRuck44 LiLRuck44 9 years
I do not trust pharmaceutical companies in any way. Just follow the money. By using their products you become their customer, and one they'd like to keep!
YayaOzoHead YayaOzoHead 9 years
Perhaps the doctor's office wrote the reminder on the pharmaceutical company's letterhead or postcard. I can't imagine they would have access to your records. That would be some serious violation.
Greggie Greggie 9 years
I forgot to add - I'd absolutely check with my ped if something like this happened, though. I'd want to be absolutely sure he/she's not breaking doctor/patient confidentiality. And if he/she is, I'd be filing complaints with anyone I could find, including the state licensing board.
Greggie Greggie 9 years
We get reminders, but only from the state, and that's whether we go to our appointment or not. Our doctor doesn't sell our information to anyone. However, it's also possible that the dr didn't give the information. Formula companies, vaccine manufacturers, and all kinds of advertisers have many ways of getting info, including signing up at Motherhood Maternity or getting a magazine subscription. Motherhood is infamous for selling their mailing lists (which include child's birthday/due date) to all kinds of places.
Moms Moms 9 years
Scary that I never would have known had my son not missed his vaccine. Since my daughter always went to her appointments we had no idea our information was being shared.
faerymagick15 faerymagick15 9 years
I find that an invasion of privacy! Aren't there HIPPA laws out there in effect now??? I would be PO'd at the pediatrician's office if they gave info away like that about my child.
katedavis katedavis 9 years
That is frightening that not only do they know who gets the vaccines, but they have some sort of database that your (and mine, and everyone's) child is in an they keep tabs. How do they get the info? Do the pediatricians give it to them? My bet is the insurance companies get paid to pass the info along. So much for confidentiality.
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 9 years
Yea if you have ANYTHING they can fix it! There are so many commericals out there for drugs it's crazy! Itchy skin? Running nose? Allergies? ED? They got something for you!
foxie foxie 9 years
Not suprising. Drug companies advertise to us all on the television and they give perks to our doctors... they may as well play the guilt card to parents too. It's a scary world.
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