Flu Shot Recommendations for Pregnancy, Asthma and Other Medical Conditions

While getting vaccinated against influenza is important for everyone, the flu shot can have particular benefits for individuals with certain health conditions. As an infectious disease specialist recently told NPR:

“As we get older, more of us get heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, asthma. . . . Those diseases predispose us to complications of flu — pneumonia, hospitalization or death. We need to make vaccination a routine part of chronic health management.”

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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

You Have Been Diagnosed with a Vaccine-Related Injury or Illness. What Now?

If you have been diagnosed with Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration (SIRVA), Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS), or another vaccine-related injury or illness, understanding the steps to take following your diagnosis will be critical to your health and your financial stability. The treatment options for certain types of vaccine-related injuries and illnesses are limited; and, in order to recover as quickly and fully as possible, you need to make sure you receive appropriate treatment and avoid mistakes that could have negative long-term consequences.

7 Steps to Take Following a Vaccine-Related Injury or Illness Diagnosis

Here are seven steps you can take to protect your health and your legal rights if you have been diagnosed with a vaccine-related injury or illness: Continue reading

Is it SIRVA? Diagnosing Shoulder Pain Following a Vaccination

When you get a flu shot or other vaccination, it is normal to experience mild pain at the injection site. But, what if your pain lingers? What if it gets worse over time? What if you start to experience other effects, such as reduced strength or limited mobility in your shoulder? These are all possible symptoms of a class of injuries known as “shoulder injury related to vaccine administration,” or “SIRVA.”

Unlike other common vaccine injuries, SIRVA do not result from adverse reactions to particular vaccine ingredients. Instead, they result from damage to the muscle or other tissue in the shoulder as a result of mistakes made during the vaccination process. This includes mistakes such as inserting the needle in the wrong location, inserting the needle at the wrong angle and using a needle that is the wrong size for the vaccine recipient’s sex and weight. Continue reading

10 Key Facts about Vaccine Injury Claims

If you have been diagnosed with a vaccine-related injury, including a Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration (SIRVA), you may be entitled to recover your medical expenses and certain other losses under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP). Here are 10 key facts about filing a claim under the VICP:

1. The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) is a Federal Initiative Designed to Protect Individuals Diagnosed with Vaccine Injuries.

The VICP is a federal government program that Congress established in 1988 for the sole purpose of making it easier for individuals diagnosed with vaccine injuries to recover financial compensation. Under the VICP, individuals diagnosed with vaccine injuries can collect money from the government instead of filing a lawsuit against the vaccine manufacturer in court. Continue reading

You’ve Been Diagnosed with SIRVA. What Now?

Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration (SIRVA) can take a variety of forms, each with its own effects and long-term prognosis. While most people diagnosed with SIRVA will eventually recover, recovery options vary, and a person’s individual health profile can have a significant impact on the challenges, costs and duration of the recovery process.

Under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP), a SIRVA diagnosis has both medical and legal implications. While everyone’s circumstances are unique, here are some general steps that can aid in the medical and financial recovery processes: 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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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