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Injuries from the Flu Shot Vaccine
Injuries from the Flu Shot Vaccine
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Do You Need a North Carolina Flu Shot Injury Lawyer?

Each year, well over 100 million people across the United States get a flu shot. Even in years when the flu shot’s effectiveness rating is relatively low, the vaccine still protects millions of people against suffering serious illnesses. But, unfortunately, some flu shot recipients suffer complications, and those that do will need help from a North Carolina flu shot injury lawyer.

girl receives flu shot

What Flu Shot Recipients Should Know about the Vaccine

What are the Different Types of Flu Vaccines?

Currently, there are two types of flu shots generally approved for use in the United States. There is also a nasal spray flu vaccine which the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has approved for use in “healthy non-pregnant people, 2 through 49 years old.”

A flu shot can be either trivalent or quadrivalent. The nasal spray is a quadrivalent vaccine. Trivalent flu shots protect against three flu viruses (an influenza A(H1N1) virus, an influenza A(H3N2) virus and an influenza B virus), while quadrivalent flu shots protect against four flu viruses (those covered by the trivalent vaccine plus a second influenza B virus). When there is an adequate supply of quadrivalent vaccines available during a flu season, the CDC may not approve a trivalent vaccine.

Brand-name manufacturers produce all flu shots administered in the U.S. Individuals in North Carolina may receive:

  • Afluria (manufactured by Seqirus)
  • Fluad (manufactured by Seqirus)
  • Fluarix (manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline)
  • Flublok (manufactured by Sanofi Pasteur)
  • Flucelvax (manufactured by Seqirus)
  • FluLaval (manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline)
  • Fluzone or Fluzone High-Dose (manufactured by Sanofi Pasteur)

Is There Anyone Who Should Not Get a Flu Shot?

The CDC recommends flu vaccinations for everyone six months of age and older, with some exceptions. For example, the CDC states that “[p]eople with severe, life-threatening allergies to any ingredient in a flu vaccine (other than egg proteins) should not get that vaccine.” Anyone who has questions about whether they should get vaccinated against influenza should consult with their physician.

Does the Flu Vaccine Work Right Away?

It generally takes about two weeks for antibodies to develop in the body following a flu shot. As a result, the CDC recommends that most people get their flu shots early—ideally before flu season begins.

What are Common Side Effects of Flu Shots?

It is not unusual for flu shot recipients to experience mild side effects. As listed by the CDC, typical side effects of flu shots include:

  • Soreness, redness, and/or swelling from the shot
  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Muscle aches

When Should I Be Concerned about a Possible Flu Shot Injury?

The side effects of a flu shot should generally last no more than a few days, and they should go away without medical treatment. Lingering side effects or side effects that get worse could be a sign of a potentially-serious vaccine injury. Other signs of possible flu shot injuries include:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Dizziness
  • Excessive swelling
  • High fever
  • Increased heart rate
  • Limited range of motion
  • Muscle weakness
  • Pain that extends beyond the injection site

Some of the most common flu shot injuries are known as shoulder injuries related to vaccine administration (SIRVA). These injuries are caused by errors during the injection, such as inserting the needle at the wrong angle or in the wrong part of the arm. There are several different forms of SIRVA, each with their own unique set of symptoms, but radiating pain, muscle weakness and limited range of motion are common to most forms.

Can Getting a Flu Shot Cause Me to Get Sick?

Getting a flu shot can cause you to get sick—but not from the flu. As the CDC explains, flu shots “either contain inactivated virus, meaning the viruses are no longer infectious, or a particle designed to look like a flu virus to your immune system.”

In a very small percentage of cases, individuals who received a flu shot were subsequently diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS). This is an autoimmune disorder that can have painful, debilitating and potentially long-term effects. Unfortunately, there is currently no known cure for GBS. While some individuals will recover with treatment, others may experience relapses, and others may still develop a chronic variant of the disease known as chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP).

What Should I Do if I Have Concerns about a Flu Shot Injury?

If you have concerns about a flu shot injury, you should see your doctor promptly. Many injuries – including most forms of SIRVA – can worsen without treatment, and some conditions may need to be treated as medical emergencies. Seeking prompt treatment will generally improve your chances of making a speedy recovery.

Tell your doctor about your recent flu shot and explain your symptoms in as much detail as possible.

What Should I Do if I Have Been Diagnosed with a Flu Shot Injury?

If you have been diagnosed with a flu shot injury, you should follow your doctor’s treatment advice (or seek a second opinion if necessary). You should also talk to a North Carolina flu shot injury lawyer about your legal rights.

A North Carolina flu shot injury lawyer may be able to help you file a claim under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP). This federal government program has paid more than $4 billion to vaccine recipients and their families since 1988. The NVICP pays compensation for most vaccine injuries on a “no-fault” basis—which means that you do not have to prove negligence on the part of your vaccine provider or your flu shot’s manufacturer. You can hire a lawyer to handle your NVICP claim at no cost to you.

Schedule a Free Consultation with a North Carolina Flu Shot Injury Lawyer

Do you have questions about filing an NVICP claim for a flu shot injury? For a free, no-obligation consultation with a North Carolina flu shot injury lawyer, call 800-662-1234 or request an appointment online now.

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The law firm you choose makes a difference. If you are the victim of an accident or an illness that someone else caused, the North Carolina personal injury law firm of Martin & Jones has the depth of experience, skills and sensitivity to make your road to recovery as smooth as possible. Whether you have experience with the legal system or have never hired a medical malpractice or personal injury lawyer before, our attorneys and staff will do our best to answer your questions, provide clear advice and prepare you and your family for what to expect. If you would like more information or to meet with one of our attorneys, please fill out the form below or call us at 800.662.1234.