Every twenty seconds a child dies of pneumonia. In order to prevent the lung infection, there are two vaccines currently available in the US that protect against pneumococcal disease: PCV13 and PPSV. The PCV13 shot is routinely given to infants and young children, who are among those most at risk of the disease. PPSV protects at-risk adolescents and adults from pneumonia and other pneumococcal diseases like meningitis. Unfortunately, both vaccines are tied to severe side effects, especially a life-threatening allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis.
Do I have a pneumonia vaccine lawsuit? If you or a loved one has suffered from an adverse side effect after receiving the pneumonia vaccine, 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 – Pneumonia vaccine 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, vaccination, and immunization side effect lawsuits in all 50 states. Contact us today to learn more about your legal rights.
Pneumonia Vaccine: An Overview
Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs caused by bacteria or viruses. While it can cause mild to severe illness in people of all ages, it is the cause of more deaths globally than any other infectious disease — including AIDS, malaria or tuberculosis.
Signs of pneumonia can include coughing, fever, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, rapid breathing, shortness of breath, chills and chest pain.
Pneumonia occurs when bacteria, viruses or fungi living in the nose, mouth or sinuses spread to the lungs. It is spread by coughing and sneezing.
Pneumococcal disease is an infection caused by a type of bacteria called Streptococcus pneumoniae, or pneumococcus. The most common types of pneumococcal infections include middle ear infections, sinus infections, pneumonia, and meningitis. Pneumococcal pneumonia is the most common serious form of pneumococcal disease.
In the US, there are currently 2 types of pneumococcal vaccines, or pneumonia vaccines: pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) and pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV). PCV13 protects against 13 types of bacteria that cause pneumococcal disease and is recommended for use in infants and young children under 5 years of age. PSV13 replaced the previous vaccine (PCV7), which protected against 7 types of pneumococcal bacterial.
PPSV is recommended for adults over 65 and for persons who are 2 years and older and at high risk for disease. It is also recommended for use in adults 19 – 64 who smoke cigarettes or who have asthma. It protects against 23 types of pneumococcal bacteria.
Unfortunately, these shots may also cause serious side effects.
Pneumonia Vaccine Side Effects
PCV13 and PPSV cause mild symptoms, like most other vaccines. These mild pneumonia vaccine side effects may include:
- Loss of appetite
- Redness, swelling or tenderness at the injection site
- Fussiness or irritability
However, both PCV13 and PPSV have also been associated with a life-threatening allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis, which can occur within a few minutes to within a few hours after the vaccination. Signs of a life-threatening allergic reaction include:
- Difficulty breathing
- Fast heart beat
Additionally, monitoring that’s been done during the 2010-11 flu season suggest that when the flu vaccine and pneumonia vaccines are given on the same day, there may be an association with fever-related seizures in children 12 – 23 months old. However, the exact connection between the vaccines and the seizures is unknown.
If you, your child or a loved one experienced a life-threatening allergic reaction — or any other serious side effect — following a pneumonia shot, you should contact an attorney with Schmidt & Clark, LLP to discuss the potential of your claim. You may be entitled to monetary compensation for your pain and suffering.
Who Should Get The Pneumonia Vaccination?
PCV13 is recommended for all infants, children and adolescents through the age of 5. While PCV13 is routinely given to infants in a series of 4 doses by the time the child is 15 months old, older children may still receive the vaccine to protect against pneumonia.
Because they are more likely to become ill with pneumonia or other pneumococcal diseases, the following groups are recommended to receive the PPSV pneumonia vaccine:
- All adults 65 years of age or older
- Anyone 2 – 64 years old who has a long-term health problem such as heart disease, lung disease, sickle cell disease, diabetes, alcoholism, or cirrhosis
- Anyone 2 – 64 years old who has a disease or condition that lowers the body’s resistance to infection, such as HIV/AIDS, Hodgkin’s disease or kidney failure
- Anyone 2 – 64 years old who is taking a drug or treatment to lower the body’s resistance to infection, such as long-term steroids, certain cancer drugs or radiation therapy
- Any adult 19 – 64 years old who is a smoker or has asthma
- Residents of nursing homes or long-term care facilities
Who Should Not Get The Pneumonia Vaccination?
Some people should not get the pneumonia vaccine because they may be at an increased risk of developing side effects. These people include:
- Any person who had a serious allergic reaction to a previous dose of PCV13, PCV7, PPSV or to any vaccine containing diphtheria toxoid should not get another dose
- Any person with a severe allergy to any component of PCV7, PCV13 or PPSV should not get the vaccine
Additionally, any person with a moderate to severe illness should wait until they recover before getting vaccinated.
Pneumonia Vaccination Schedule
Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) is routinely given to infants in a series of 4 shots, one dose at each of the following ages:
- 2 months
- 4 months
- 6 months
- 12-15 months
Any child who misses their shots or starts the series late are still recommended to get the vaccine. Healthy children 24 months – 4 years old only need to receive one dose of the vaccine. However, additional doses may be recommended in specific cases. A single dose of PCV13 may be given to children 6 – 18 years old with certain medical conditions.
Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV) is recommended for use in all adults who are 65 years and older and for persons who are 2 years and older and at high risk for disease. It may also be used in some adults who smoke cigarettes, have asthma or live in long-term care facilities. Usually only one dose of PPSV is needed, but a second dose may be given under some circumstances.
Do I Have a Pneumonia 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 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 pneumonia vaccine, you should contact us immediately. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries or loss and we can help.