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Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy (CIDP), Flu Vaccine, Guillain-Barre Syndrome (Flu GBS), National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, Vaccine News

Pediatric Medical Journal Weighs in on the Safety of Vaccines

For parents whose children hate the sight of needles, the yearly trip to the doctor for a flu shot can be a struggle. But there’s now an easier, more effective way.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that children between 2 and 8 years of age receive the nasal spray vaccine. The spray is 50 percent more effective at reducing cases of the flu compared to the conventional flu shot.

Swapping a shot for a spray might increase the current vaccination rate among children. According to the CDC, almost 40 percent of all children aged 6 months to 17 years did not get a flu shot during the 2013-2014 flu season.

Some of those kids’ parents may have had concerns about the safety of the flu vaccine. A recent study published in the medical journal Pediatrics sought to address those concerns.

The study examined more than 20,000 scientific papers on vaccine safety and found “high-quality evidence” that vaccines are safe for a majority of people. In addition to these findings, however, the study in Pediatrics noted the existence of adverse events associated with vaccines. Fortunately the study reported that the adverse vaccine events identified by the authors were rare. In particular, the study found that the MMR vaccine can lead to seizures and that the chicken pox vaccine can lead to complications in patients with weak immune systems.

Other research has revealed serious side effects from the flu vaccine, including the paralytic illness Guillain-Barre Syndrome.

For about 10 percent of people with GBS, symptoms of the disorder begin in the arms or face. Afflicted individuals can also experience trouble walking, labored breathing, and difficulty controlling bladder and bowel functions. The most intense weakness comes within two to four weeks of the initial symptoms.

Another rare but possible side effect of the flu vaccine is Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy, which arises because of damage to peripheral nerves. CIDP’s symptoms are similar to Guillain-Barre’s but develop more slowly.

Fortunately, for the small number of people who suffer harm because of vaccines, help is available. The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program was created by Congress in 1988 to offer financial recovery to those who experience negative side effects from a vaccine.

In order to receive compensation, a patient must have experienced an injury from a vaccine that has lasted for at least six months or required hospitalization and medical intervention. Second, the Program only covers certain vaccines. To see a full list, check out this table.

For most of the population, vaccines are safe ways to guard against diseases, including the flu. But for those individuals who experience side effects, relief is available — in the form of the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program.


If you have suffered from a negative shot reaction, Guillain-Barre Syndrome, shoulder pain, or any other illness subsequent to receiving a flu vaccination, please contact us today. Vaccine attorney Leah Durant is available to provide you with a free telephone consultation. This vaccine attorney is a seasoned litigator whose practice is dedicated to serving those injured by vaccines.

About Leah Durant

Leah Durant is a former U.S. Department of Justice trial attorney who specializes in vaccine injury claims covered by the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. These cases are filed before the U.S. Court of Federal Claims (more commonly known as the “vaccine court”) in Washington, DC, where she has been admitted to practice since 2008. Originally from the Pacific Northwest, Leah Durant is a graduate of the University of Maryland College Park and received her law degree from the University of Maryland School of Law. Leah Durant’s legal practice concentrates on litigating complex vaccine injury and medical related cases. She has an extensive legal background and has experience representing individuals with complex medical claims.


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