Shoulder Pain After an MMR Vaccine? It Could Be a Sign of SIRVA

The measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine has recently been in the news as a result of reports of measles outbreaks in several parts of the country. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), outbreaks have been reported in California, Illinois, New York, Texas and Washington, with more cases of measles already confirmed in 2019 (269 as of March 14) than all of 2016 and 2017 combined (206).

While the CDC recommends vaccination against measles, mumps and rubella for most individuals (with limited exceptions for pregnant women and individuals with certain other health conditions), “[d]uring an outbreak is when you see an influx of patients who would otherwise be vaccine-hesitant,” according to an infection control nurse in Washington quoted by CNN. Unfortunately, although getting the MMR vaccine can significantly reduce an individual’s risk of contracting measles, it carries certain risks as well. Continue reading

Enduring Shoulder Pain After a Vaccine Injection Isn’t Normal

With vaccine injections, it is normal to experience acute stinging or dull pain that dissipates in the hours following the vaccination. It is not normal for this pain to linger, worsen or spread to other parts of the arm or shoulder. Unfortunately, while this pain is not normal, studies show that it is becoming increasingly common. Continue reading

What Vaccine Recipients Need to Know about AIDP and CIDP

The risk of being diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS) is among the most serious risks associated with flu and tetanus vaccinations. Acute inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (AIDP) and chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP) are variants of GBS that can have serious – and potentially fatal – consequences. Individuals who receive flu shots and tetanus booster shots should be aware of the symptoms of AIDP and CIDP, and parents should be prepared to seek medical attention at the first sign of either of these vaccine-related illnesses. Continue reading

When is Pain More than Just a Side Effect of a Vaccination?

“Any vaccine can cause side effects.” While all vaccines recommended for use in the U.S. are considered safe for the vast majority of the population (with exceptions for individuals with certain medical conditions), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) wants vaccine recipients to be aware that certain side effects are possible.

However, the CDC also warns that, “[a]s with any medicine, there is a very remote chance of a vaccine causing a severe allergic reaction, other serious injury, or death.” Over the past five years, an average of roughly 1,000 people have filed petitions under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP). So, while pain may simply be a side effect of a vaccination, it could also be a sign of a potentially-serious injury, and vaccine recipients should have an understanding of when they may need medical attention and when they may be entitled to compensation under the VICP. Continue reading

May is National Hepatitis Awareness Month

May is National Hepatitis Awareness Month, as recognized by the Immunization Action Coalition (IAC) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This year, the CDC is encouraging individuals and families to learn more about the immunizations and treatment options for Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B, as well as the risks associated with contracting Hepatitis C from sharing needles to inject drugs. Continue reading

FDA Approves “Six Vaccines in One”

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a new vaccine that is being billed as “six vaccines in one.” As reported by Forbes.com:

“[T]he hexavalent Vaxelis is designed to offer protection against six diseases and significantly reduce the number of shots you need to get as a little kid. Thus, to be fully immunized against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, hepatitis B, polio, and invasive haemophilus influenza type B disease, [children] will only have to get three doses of Vaxelis between… turning 6 weeks and turning 5 years old.”

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FDA Approves Expanded Use of Gardasil 9 HPV Vaccine

In late 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced expanded approval of the Gardasil 9 human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine. Previously approved for administration to males and females between the ages of 9 and 26, Gardasil 9 is now an approved HPV vaccine for men and women through 45 years of age.

According to the FDA’s press release:

“[The] approval represents an important opportunity to help prevent HPV-related diseases and cancers in a broader age range. . . . The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has stated that HPV vaccination prior to becoming infected with the HPV types covered by the vaccine has the potential to prevent more than 90 percent of these cancers, or 31,200 cases every year, from ever developing.”

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CDC: Flu Shot Reduces Pregnant Women’s Risk of Hospitalization Due to Infection by 40 Percent

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend an annual flu shot for everyone beginning at six months of age, subject to limited exceptions for individuals who present certain risk factors. The general recommendation to get vaccinated includes women who are pregnant. According to the CDC:

“Getting a flu vaccine is the first and most important step in protecting against flu. Pregnant women should get a flu shot and not the live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV), also known as nasal spray flu vaccine. Flu vaccines given during pregnancy help protect both the mother and her baby from flu. Vaccination has been shown to reduce the risk of flu-associated acute respiratory infection in pregnant women by up to one-half… Pregnant women who get a flu vaccine are also helping to protect their babies from flu illness for the first several months after their birth, when they are too young to get vaccinated.”

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U.S. Researchers are Investigating an Oral Flu Vaccine

According to a recent article in MD Magazine, scientists at a private research company have made significant progress toward the development of an oral flu vaccine. As stated in the article, the researchers at Vaxart, Inc., “have found that an oral tablet for influenza vaccination can protect against infection just as well as – if not better than – a commercial injectable quadrivalent influenza vaccine.”

The oral flu vaccine recently underwent Phase 2 clinical trials, reportedly with very favorable results. MD Magazine reports that: Continue reading

Immunization Works is the CDC’s Monthly Vaccine Newsletter

Each month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) publish a newsletter highlighting recent news and updates in the world of immunizations. The CDC provides this newsletter, titled Immunization Works, to “national health care provider and consumer groups for distribution to their members and constituencies.” However, it is also free to the public online. Continue reading