As the 2017-2018 flu season drags on, a record number of people are seeking treatment for the flu and related medical conditions. According to Bloomberg.com:
“A historically bad flu season has sent Americans to the doctor in droves . . . . Hospitalization rates for flu have reached record levels, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The rapid spread of the illness is worrisome, with a higher-than-normal number of deaths related to flu and pneumonia, including 53 children.”
One reason for the unusually-high rate of infection is the limited effectiveness of this year’s flu vaccine. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are currently reporting that the flu shot has an overall effectiveness rating of 36 percent, which is the lowest rate in four years and the second-lowest rating in more than a decade.
With the flu shot only working for approximately one out of three individuals who receive immunizations, is it still worth it to get vaccinated?
Despite its limited effectiveness, health officials at the CDC and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) still recommend getting the flu shot. According to DHHS Secretary Alex Azar, as quoted by CNN:
“You’re 36% less likely to get the flu and see the doctor if you get a flu shot. . . . If a young child gets a flu shot, he or she is 59% less likely to get the virus and have to go to the doctor. Getting the flu shot is the same kind of sensible precaution as buckling your seat belt. If you got the flu shot but you end up catching the flu, it could be less severe and less likely to land you in the hospital.”
Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams echoed this sentiment, saying that the flu shot is, “still your best defense,” against the risk of infection. The CDC’s website regularly advises that the potential benefits of the flu shot outweigh the potential risks; and, while some people experience injuries and illnesses from the flu shot, more suffer complications from contracting influenza.
If you experience pain after a flu shot, what should you do? While a modest amount of pain is normal, severe or lasting pain could be a sign of a potentially-serious vaccine-related injury or illness. Although the flu shot is generally considered safe, these injuries and illnesses happen; and, if not treated promptly, some can lead to long-term (or permanent) painful and debilitating medical conditions. As a result, anyone who is concerned about a potential flu shot injury or illness should see their doctor as soon as possible.
In addition to seeing your doctor, if you have experienced pain after a flu shot, you should also discuss your rights with an experienced vaccine attorney. You may be entitled to recover your medical expenses and other losses through the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP). To find out if you are eligible for compensation under the VICP, call the Law Offices of Leah V. Durant, PLLC at (202) 800-1711 or request a free case assessment online.
Experienced vaccine attorney Leah Durant represents clients in complex vaccine litigation matters. Leah Durant is the owner and principal attorney of the Law Offices of Leah V. Durant, PLLC, a litigation firm based in Washington, DC. Leah Durant and her staff represent clients and their families who suffer from vaccine-related injuries, adverse vaccine reactions and vaccine-related deaths. The Law Offices of Leah V. Durant, PLLC is dedicated to assisting individuals in recovering the highest level of compensation as quickly and efficiently as possible. To learn more, contact vaccine attorney Leah Durant today.
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