Side-Effects After Getting a Vaccine: When Should You Be Concerned?

Vaccinations protect lives by preventing certain diseases like COVID-19 or chicken pox. Although vaccines are highly beneficial, they are not without their risks. Many people get vaccines for school or their jobs, not truly understanding the side effects that could result. People need to know about the potential side effects before getting a vaccine. They also need to know what help they can get if they suffer a vaccine injury.

What Is an Adverse Vaccine Event?

The Vaccine Injury Help Center sees thousands of cases a year, with clients suffering various adverse reactions to vaccines. A negative response can range from mild to severe and even life-threatening. While significant side effects are rare, they do happen, even with vaccines that have been available for decades. Any possible side effect caused by a vaccine is called an adverse event.

Possible Side Effects from Vaccines

No vaccine is without side effects. Although vaccines undergo rigorous testing before being released to the public, people can still have adverse reactions that sometimes become dangerous. Vaccines can cause adverse reactions like any other medication. Out of the ten million vaccines given annually, the United States Government states that only one to two out of one million people experience adverse reactions.

Life-Threatening Allergic Reactions

People can have a life-threatening reaction to vaccines, even if they do not know they have any allergies. Severe reactions typically occur within 15 to 30 minutes after vaccination but can also happen later. Signs of allergic reactions include the following.

  • Labored breathing
  • Swelling of the face and throat
  • Increased heart rate
  • Rash
  • Dizziness and weakness

Call 911 immediately if someone suffers a severe allergic reaction to a vaccine. Prompt medical attention is critical to reverse the allergic reaction and prevent serious side effects or death. The US Government and CDC manage an adverse reaction reporting system. These organizations recommend reporting adverse reactions so the government can keep vaccines safe.

Hib Vaccine Side Effects

Children receive four doses of the Hib vaccine by the time they are 12 to 15 months old. The Hib vaccine is known to cause injection site discomfort, redness, and swelling. It is also possible for this vaccine to cause fevers over 101. Although no serious side effects are associated with this vaccine, that does not mean a child will not have one.

Smallpox Vaccine Side Effects

Smallpox vaccines can cause mild to moderate reactions in children. Children receive a smallpox booster every three years throughout their lives. Some children develop a fine rash that lasts two to four days. They may experience swollen or tender lymph nodes for two to four weeks. It is also common for children to run a fever over 100.

More severe side effects can also occur with a smallpox vaccine. The following are some of the severe adverse reactions suffered by some people.

  • Eye infection or loss of vision
  • Rash on the entire body
  • Encephalitis
  • Infections at the injection site
  • Death (1-2 per million)

Pertussis Vaccine Side Effects

Pertussis vaccine components cause more reactions in children than many other injections. The vaccine includes the entire killed organism, making it a greater risk. The following are some of the known common reactions.

  • Redness, pain, itching, and swelling at the injection site
  • High fevers, up to 105 within a couple of days after vaccination
  • Shock
  • Seizures or convulsions
  • Brain and neurological conditions
  • Guillain-Barré Syndrome

What Should You Know About the Possible Adverse Reactions?

Although allergic reactions are the most commonly experienced, there are other issues people who get vaccinated may face. Exploring the following is critical before getting a vaccine.

Autoimmune Disorders

Some vaccines cause autoimmune disorders in people of all ages. An autoimmune condition occurs when the immune system starts attacking healthy cells. The following are some of the autoimmune diseases that have arisen from vaccinations.

  • Encephalopathy
  • Brachial neuritis
  • Thrombocytopenic purpura
  • Transverse myelitis

Blood Conditions

Vaccinations can also cause certain blood conditions. Vaccinations can injure the components of blood, including the white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets. These blood disorders can sometimes become challenging to manage.

Bowel Problems

Although rare, bowel problems can also occur after vaccinations. These conditions can range from mild to severe, causing increasing inflammation. Intussusception is a painful condition that causes parts of the intestines to slide into one another like the action of a telescope. People with this condition must seek immediate medical attention.

Shoulder Injuries

People can also experience shoulder injuries from vaccines. SIRVA (Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine) is an injury that occurs near the injection site. SIRVA leads to shoulder stiffness and pain that can become debilitating.

Which Organization Monitors Adverse Vaccine Reactions?

The Federal Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control monitor adverse vaccination reactions. The government started the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System in 1990. The organization estimates around 30,000 reports of adverse reactions to vaccines annually. Approximately 10% to 15% of these reports involve severe or life-threatening adverse reactions. The organization uses the data for the following:

  • Detect new or strange adverse reactions from existing vaccines
  • Monitor an increase in specific adverse reactions
  • Identify potential adverse reactions among a particular group of patients
  • Identify vaccine lots with increased adverse reactions
  • Determine the safety of new vaccines

Also read: Yearly Flu Shots: Is There Such a Thing as Too Many?

What to Do After an Adverse Vaccine Reaction?

Make a report to the VAER system right away after seeking medical attention. The Vaccine Injury Compensation Program was implemented as a no-fault alternative to the legal system and traditional lawsuits. Individuals of any age can file a petition for compensation for their injuries.

It is also wise for the injured and their families to seek legal counsel. Wounded individuals have a right to seek legal counsel to help them through the claim’s process, including the hearing held before the court-appointed special master over the claim.

It is essential to note that injured individuals can receive compensation for their measurable losses and any court or attorney’s fees. Scheduling a consultation appointment is the first step in seeking fair compensation for injuries caused by vaccines.

When someone becomes injured because of a vaccine, taking action to protect their rights is essential. Take action now and schedule an appointment.