Vaccine Administration of infectious material which has been rendered harmless in order to stimulate the resistance of the body to that disease.
Vaccine damage/vaccine encephalitis This usually refers to the inflammation of the brain which can follow vaccination against pertussis (whooping cough). The incidence of this complication is about one in 168,000 vaccinations. The symptoms may occur within minutes or as long as 3 days after vaccination. A generalized convulsion and impairment of consciousness are the usual presentation sometimes with weakness of one side of the body. There is no association with the onset of infantile spasms. Most children survive but are left with mental handicap and/or physical handicap and/or epilepsy. It is recommended that children who have a history or family history of seizures should not have the vaccine and revaccination of children who have reacted badly should be avoided. In the U.K. compensation for a severe disability as a result of vaccination is paid under the vaccine damage payments scheme introduced following the Vaccine Damage Payments Act (1979). It is a one-off, taxfree payment.