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Flu Vaccine, Guillain-Barre Syndrome (Flu GBS), National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration or SIRVA

Is the Flu Vaccine Effective and What Are Common Side Effects of the Flu Shot?

Many people wonder whether the annual flu vaccination is effective in combatting flu. The simple answer is that effectiveness of the annual influenza vaccination depends on several factors. The most important factor in determining the vaccine’s effectiveness is how well scientists identify and match flu strains when developing a vaccine for that season. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 1 in 5 Americans will become sick with the flu this year. Research shows that when scientists are successful in matching the vaccine with the most common strains in circulation, vaccine effectiveness increases dramatically.

The effectiveness of the vaccination also varies upon the health and age of the person receiving the vaccination. Although flu vaccines tend to show better success in healthy adults and older children, flu vaccinations are less successful for some groups including those with certain preexisting medical conditions or individuals having compromised immune systems. According to the CDC, children younger than 6 months cannot get the flu shot, and individuals who have experienced a severe allergic reaction to a prior flu vaccine should not be vaccinated.

What Are Common Side Effects of the Flu Shot?

Mild side effects from the flu shot can include soreness at the site of injection, redness or swelling, aches and pains, low-grade fever and headaches or coughing. Although extremely rare more serious adverse reactions can sometimes occur including dizziness, allergic reactions, difficulty breathing and hives, racing heart, high fever and demyelinating disorders such as Guillain-Barre Syndrome or any of its derivatives.

Other possible side effects from the flu injection may include rotator cuff injury, severe shoulder pain, bursitis or frozen shoulder, limited range of motion, and pain in the subacrimonal bursa. These injuries are better known as Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration (or SIRVA), and can be avoided by taking certain precautions. SIRVA injuries generally result from incorrect administration of the vaccine and not from the vaccine’s contents.

The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program compensates individuals who have suffered injury following vaccination. The Department of Health and Human Services makes resources available to help individuals better understand the Program. The Vaccine Injury Compensation Program is a complicated legal process and provides lawyers to injured parties at no financial cost to them. If you have suffered a negative reaction following vaccination such as Guillain-Barre Syndrome, shoulder pain, frozen shoulder, lost range of motion in your shoulder or arm, or any other illness; you need a qualified vaccine attorney.

Vaccine attorney Leah Durant is available to provide you with a free telephone consultation to evaluate your claim. Costs and fees for your vaccine attorney’s legal representation are paid by the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program and come at no financial cost to you. To learn more, visit or contact the Law Offices of Leah V. Durant, PLLC at (202)775-9200 or today. Our vaccine attorney represents clients nationwide and is available to speak with you to help you navigate this complicated legal process.


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.


One thought on “Is the Flu Vaccine Effective and What Are Common Side Effects of the Flu Shot?

  1. That is interesting! I often wondered why the flu vaccine seemed to work for some people and just did nothing to help others. It was interesting to read about the association between the strain of the virus and the effectiveness of the vaccine. As for the side effects, that was another area of conflict. My kids have experienced mild effects – just a soreness at the injection site and low grade fever. However I have heard my colleagues talking about more serious adverse reactions and I often wondered about that. Your article cleared up my confusion about a lot of things regarding the flu shot. Flu Shots Vaccine

    Posted by Juanita | October 12, 2015, 7:27 am

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