The flu shot is possibly the most popular vaccine in the US, with many adults receiving it again and again with each passing year. Since the flu is extremely contagious — causing symptoms like fever, cough, sore throat, body ache and fatigue — vaccination is the best way to prevent the flu from spreading. Unfortunately, the vaccination designed to protect against sickness can actually cause side effects ranging from mild to deadly. For example, certain flu vaccines have been associated with life-threatening allergic reactions and Guillain-Barré syndrome, a rare disorder where the body’s own immune system damages the nerve cells, causing muscle weakness and sometimes paralysis.
Do I have a flu shot lawsuit? If you or a loved one has suffered from an adverse side effect after receiving the flu shot, you should contact us immediately. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries or loss and we can help.
Why You Should Choose Schmidt & Clark, LLP – Flu shot injury claims are not like traditional personal injury or product liability claims. Regardless of where you are located in America, your claim must be filed in the Federal Vaccine Court, which is located in Washington, DC and your lawyer must obtain a special license to be admitted into such court.
Michael E. Schmidt, Managing Partner of our law firm is one of only a number of lawyers in the United States who are licensed to practice in the complex Vaccine Court system. Our lawyers can help you to obtain the highest possible award for your vaccine injury through the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program and accept vaccine side effects, vaccination, and immunization side effect lawsuits in all 50 states. Contact us today to learn more about your legal rights.
The Flu Shot: An Overview
The flu shot is a vaccine that contains an inactivated vaccine (containing killed virus) that is given to a patient by a needle into the arm.
Each year the formula for the flu shot changes, depending on which three strains of the flu are predicted to be the most common and most dangerous during that year. During the 2011-2012 season, the flu vaccine will guard against H1N1, H3N2 and an influenza B virus.
About two weeks following the vaccination, the body develops antibodies that provide protection against the influenza viruses. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends receiving the vaccination before December and as early as August, so the antibodies are in place before flu activity is at its highest.
It has been used for decades and is approved for use in people 6 months of age or older.
Unfortunately, the flu vaccine also comes with a serious risk.
The CDC warns that the flu vaccine may cause mild symptoms including soreness, low grade fever and aching. In rare cases, the flu shot can also cause life-threatening allergic reactions, often in people who have a severe allergy to eggs. There has also been an association between a 1976 swine flu vaccination and Guillain-Barré syndrome, an illness characterized by fever, nerve damage and muscle weakness.
Flu Shot Side Effects
Mild side effects that may occur following a flu shot vaccine include:
- Soreness, redness or swelling at the injection site
- Low-grade fever
If these problems do occur, they usually last for 1 to 2 days.
Additionally, life-threatening allergic reaction to the flu shot can occur within a few minutes to a few hours after receiving the shot. These reactions are more likely to occur among persons with severe allergies to eggs because the vaccine virus is grown in hens’ eggs. Signs of a life-threatening allergic reaction may include:
- Hoarseness or wheezing
- Fast heartbeat
If you experienced a serious allergic reaction following a flu shot vaccine, you should contact Schmidt & Clark, LLP immediately to discuss your legal rights in filing a claim under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program.
What is Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS)?
Guillain-Barré syndrome is a rare disorder in which a person’s immune system damages the nerve cells, causing muscle weakness and sometimes paralysis. Usually GBS symptoms last for a few weeks to several months, but some people have permanent nerve damage. While extremely rare, GBS may cause death, often due to difficulty with breathing.
In 1976, a vaccination containing the swine flu vaccine was associated with contracting Guillain-Barré syndrome. Normally, about one person in 100,000 people per year will develop GBS. Following the 1976 flu shot, there was approximately 1 additional case per 100,000 people who received the swine flu vaccine.
Since 1976, several studies have been done to evaluate if other flu vaccines cause GBS. The association between the vaccines and GBS is still unclear, although two of the studies did show an association. These studies suggested that one person out of 1 million vaccinated may be at risk of GBS from the seasonal flu shot.
In general, GBS becomes more common with age, with people over the age of 50 being at the greatest risk of developing the disorder.
If you developed GBS following a flu vaccine, you should contact Schmidt & Clark, LLP immediately to discuss the potential for a claim under the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. You may be entitled to compensation under VICP for past and future medical expenses and care, pain and suffering, loss of income, and reimbursement for attorney’s fees and costs.
Types of Flu Shots
There are three types of flu shots available:
- The regular intramuscular flu shot (injected into the muscle)
- The high-dose intramuscular vaccine for people 65 and older
- The newly-released intradermal vaccine for people 18 to 64 (injected into the skin)
Who Should Get The Flu Shot Vaccination?
While experts voted in February 2010 that everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine, the following groups are especially encouraged to get vaccinated because they are at a higher risk, or because they live or care for people who are at a higher risk:
- Pregnant women
- Children younger than 5, especially children under 2 years old
- People 50 years of age or older
- People with chronic medical conditions (i.e. asthma, lung disease, heart disease, blood disorders, kidney disorders, liver disorders, weakened immune system)
- People who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility
- Health care workers
Who Should Not Get The Flu Shot Vaccination?
There are certain people who should not get the flu shot including:
- People with a severe allergy to chicken eggs
- People who have had a severe reaction to a flu shot before
- Children younger than 6 months old
- People who have a moderate-to-severe illness with a fever (they should wait until they recover)
- People with a history of Guillain-Barré syndrome after receiving a flu shot
Do I Have a Flu Shot Vaccine Lawsuit?
Again, our lawyers can help you to obtain the highest possible award for your vaccine injury through the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program and accept flu shot vaccine, vaccination, and immunization side effect lawsuits in all 50 states.
If you or a loved one has suffered from an adverse side effect after receiving the flu shot, you should contact us immediately. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries or loss and we can help.