Vaccination Information for Women Who are Pregnant

During pregnancy, vaccinations can provide protection against certain diseases for both the mother and the child. As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explains, “Pregnant women share everything with their babies. That means when a pregnant woman gets vaccines, she isn’t just protecting [herself]— she is giving the baby some early protection too.”

While the CDC provides general vaccine recommendations for adults, it provides certain specific recommendations for women who are pregnant. If you are expecting a child, it will be important for you to speak with your doctor about getting vaccinated during your pregnancy. Continue reading

What Should I Do if My Child is Complaining of Shoulder Pain After Getting a Flu Shot?

Shoulder pain is among the most-common complaints following vaccinations among both children and adults. In general, vaccine injections are expected to cause a moderate amount of shoulder pain, with this pain subsiding within 24 to 48 hours.

However, if shoulder pain following a vaccination persists, or if the pain is more than a mild throb at the injection site, it could potentially be symptomatic of a vaccine-related injury. These injuries, known as shoulder injuries related to vaccine administration (SIRVA), are among the most-common complications from vaccine injections, and they are a risk for vaccine recipients of all ages. Continue reading

When Should Pain Go Away After a Flu Shot?

Getting the annual flu shot provides important protection for you and those around you. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that, “[a] flu vaccine is the first and best way to reduce your chances of getting the flu and spreading it to others,” and it recommends that almost everyone six months of age and older get vaccinated against influenza each year.

The annual flu shot has a handful of potential side effects, but the CDC describes these side effects as “generally mild.” These side effects include, “[s]oreness, redness and/or swelling from the shot.” Continue reading

CDC: Infant Flu Hospitalizations are Significantly Higher than Expected

According to recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), infant flu hospitalizations in several countries are “at least double previous estimates.” Although the list of countries does not include the United States, the study nonetheless sheds light on some important considerations for health care providers and parents domestically. Continue reading

CDC Releases FAQs for the 2019-2020 Flu Season

The 2019-2020 flu season is here. Each flu season, well over 100 million Americans get vaccinated, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that, on average, the flu shot protects 40 to 60 percent of recipients against infection annually.

5 Highlights from the CDC’s 2019-2020 Flu Season FAQs

For individuals and parents who have questions about the annual flu shot, the best thing to do is to consult with your physician. However, the CDC has also published answers to a number of frequently-asked questions (FAQs) about the flu vaccine for the 2019-2020 flu season. Here are some of the highlights: Continue reading

Understanding the Contraindications and Precautions for CDC-Recommended Vaccinations

While receiving vaccinations is a safe and effective means for combatting disease, there are certain diseases and medical conditions that can increase an individual’s risk of an adverse reaction or other negative side effects. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) refer to these as “contraindications” and “precautions,” and it advises that:

“Contraindications (conditions in a recipient that increases the risk for a serious adverse reaction) and precautions to vaccination are conditions under which vaccines should not be administered. Because the majority of contraindications and precautions are temporary, vaccinations often can be administered later when the condition leading to a contraindication or precaution no longer exists. A vaccine should not be administered when a contraindication is present. . . . However, certain conditions are commonly misperceived as contraindications (i.e., are not valid reasons to defer vaccination).”

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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