Common Vaccine Reactions
In the days following a vaccination, you may find yourself going through vaccine reactions wondering whether your body is having a normal reaction to a vaccine or whether you might be experiencing something far more serious.
Certain kinds of vaccine reactions are normal. A good physician will inform you of the possibility of certain vaccine side effects to expect after your vaccination, such as temporary pain, bruising or mild redness and swelling in the area where the vaccine was administered. These side effects are reported to occur in 1 out of 4 children who receive any given vaccine.
Sometimes a patient (especially young or infant patients) will experience a vaccine reaction that is similar to the flu. Commonly reported symptoms of vaccine reaction include mild fever, upset stomach with or without vomiting, headache, fatigue and loss of appetite.
The reason for this vaccine reaction is that vaccines imitate the infection in order to help the body develop the right immune response.
A vaccine reaction like this is nothing to be alarmed about. However, it is best to keep an eye on the symptoms and report to your doctor if they do not subside within a day or two.
Severe Vaccine Reactions and Vaccine Injuries
If you or your child do experience symptoms like this after a vaccination, you may find yourself wondering if you’re dealing with a vaccine-related injury. This is a very different matter from a normal vaccine reaction. A vaccine-related injury involves symptoms that appear or continue over a matter of months without getting any better, or lead to hospitalization, surgery or death.
For most vaccines, vaccine-related injuries are rare. But that does not make it impossible that you or your child is the victim of a vaccine-related injury.
A reliable way to tell the difference between a normal vaccine reaction and vaccine-related injury is the duration of the symptoms. Symptoms of a normal vaccine reaction will usually appear shortly after the vaccine is administered, and should go away in just a few days. Another indication would be hospitalization.
Health Problems Related to Severe Vaccine Injuries
There are many different reactions one can have to a routine vaccination, including fevers, sore throat, and congestion. It is estimated that vaccine reactions of this nature occur in about 1 out of 100 patients. In other words, it is believed to be rare that a vaccination will result in a vaccine-related injury. Nevertheless, if you find yourself experiencing a vaccine reaction of this nature, it is best to report it immediately to your doctor and pay close attention to your symptoms.
However, severe reactions can occur as well. Vaccine-related injuries have been known to result in chronic and debilitating conditions such as the following:
- Anaphylactic shock
- Chronic arthritis
- Viral infection
- Transverse Myelitis
- Brain injury
- Gullian-Barré Syndrome/Disease
- Brachial Neuritus
- Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration (SIRVA)
If you suspect that you or your child have been a victim of a vaccine-related injury, it is important to keep a close watch on your symptoms and report them promptly to your doctor.
Frequently Asked Questions About Vaccine Reactions-
If you or your child have experienced health problems or other negative effects following a vaccination, you may be wondering whether these problems are normal vaccine reactions or whether you might be the victim of a vaccine-related injury.
The following are frequently asked questions concerning vaccines and vaccine reactions:
Are vaccines safe?
The vaccine safety system implemented by the FDA ensures that vaccines are as safe as possible. Vaccines are constantly monitored and reviewed for their safety as well as effectiveness. Millions of children are safely vaccinated each year.
Why do vaccines cause side effects?
Like many medicines, vaccines cause side effects because they are prompting the body’s immune system to work harder than usual. In particular, normal vaccine reactions come from introducing small amounts of disease-causing bacteria into the body in order to prompt the body to build up stronger immune cells to fight off that particular disease in the future. The side effects seen in normal vaccine reactions are a sign that the body is fighting off disease.
How do I treat the symptoms of a normal vaccine reaction?
Since most vaccine reactions mimic the symptoms of a mild flu, you can treat those symptoms in a similar way. A cool washcloth to the head will help alleviate the discomfort of headaches, while a heating pad can be applied to help with nausea. It’s best to get plenty of rest while recovering from a vaccine reaction.
How long will it take for the vaccine reaction to go away?
Normal vaccine reaction symptoms should subside within a day or two.
My child is sick right now. Should I hold off on getting him/her vaccinated?
Most vaccinations can be given even if the child has a mild illness (such as a cold, earache or diarrhea). However, it’s best to consult your doctor about your child’s illness before moving forward with the vaccination.
What are normal vaccine reactions for an infant to have? What kind of vaccine reaction should I be concerned about?
Infants will usually respond to a vaccination by becoming mildly fussy. You’ll probably notice some redness or swelling around where the vaccine was administered, and you may notice a mild fever that lasts a day or two.
Serious vaccine reactions in infants include a lot of swelling around the area of vaccination, rash, high fever or constant crying (3 hours or more). If your infant has this kind of vaccine reaction, contact your doctor immediately.
My child had a severe allergic reaction to a vaccine. Do I have to take him/her in for more vaccinations?
Children with certain allergies should not receive certain vaccines. Before vaccinating your child, make sure to discuss any allergies or other preexisting conditions your child has with your doctor.
Remember, you should never be hesitant to talk to your physician about any questions or concerns you might have about a vaccine reaction.
It can also be very helpful to seek the services of a lawyer who specializes in claims of vaccine injury, who can help you ask the right questions and understand your rights in the wake of a vaccine injury.
Report a Vaccine Reaction
If you or your child has received a vaccination that was followed by severe or prolonged symptoms, or if your concerns are being ignored by your doctor, you can report the vaccine reaction yourself to the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC). Reporting your vaccine reaction to the NVIC allows your information to be shared for educational and legislative purposes.
While reporting your vaccine reaction is a way to help others victims of vaccine-related injury and contribute to the greater pool of knowledge about vaccines, it is unlikely to help with your specific case. If you wish to pursue justice for your vaccine-related injury, your best option is to contact Pittman, Dutton & Hellums for legal counsel. We have years of experience helping victims of a vaccine reaction file claims and receive the financial resources they need to recover their health.
Call us for a free, no-obligation consultation about your case. We are here to listen to you and help you understand your rights.