Vaccines are an integral part of public health and serve as one of the most effective tools in preventing infectious illness and disease. However, while vaccines are necessary to maintain public health and safety, like any other form of medical treatment, they can cause serious health problems for some people. In fact, just last year, over 48,000 people reported adverse reactions and/or side effects from vaccinations to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System.
These adverse reactions and/or side effects range from mild allergic reactions to serious injuries. Long lasting shoulder pain, reduced range of motion, tingling sensations, burning or numbness are all indicators of a potential vaccine injury.
But how do you tell the difference between vaccine reactions (i.e., mild soreness at injection site) and injuries? A vaccine reaction happens when your body responds to the vaccine, and a person may experience mild to moderate symptoms, such as fever and/ or pain at injection site, that typically resolve on their own in a relatively short period of time.
In contrast, if you experience long lasting side effects and symptoms that do not resolve on their own, you may very well have a vaccine injury. The most common reported injuries include:
Shoulder injury (SIRVA) – ranges from frequent soreness or pain to the complete loss of use of the shoulder.
Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS) – it has been linked to a number of vaccines, especially the flu vaccine, and occurs when the immune system turns on itself, causing damage to nerve cells.
Chronic Arthritis – combination vaccines, such as MRR, have been linked to chronic rheumatoid arthritis, and common symptoms are joint pain and swelling.
Encephalitis – occurs when an infection or the body’s response to infection affects brain inflammation. Symptoms include headache, fever, fatigue weakness and pain.
Anaphylaxis – in some cases, people are allergic to vaccine components, resulting in strong allergic reactions.
Transverse myelitis – vaccine induced TM causes inflammation of the spinal cord and damages the motor and sensory nerves. Symptoms of myelitis include blurred vision, depression, pain, weakness, paralysis, bladder and bowel dysfunction, etc.
While the above list of injuries is not exhaustive, the above injuries are considered somewhat rare. Fortunately, though, if you do experience such an injury, the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP) was created to ensure that people injured by vaccines could be compensated. If you qualify, the NVICP provides legal assistance with no upfront costs.
If you believe you have suffered an injury related to the administration of a vaccine, our attorneys have extensive experience handling these claims and are here to help.