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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Flu Vaccine

Is it Possible to Get Sick from the Flu Shot?

If you have heard of people getting sick shortly after getting the flu shot, you are not alone. It is a common misconception that the flu shot can cause influenza – so common, in fact, that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has found it necessary to dispel the rumor on its website:

“[A] flu shot cannot cause flu illness. Flu vaccines given with a needle are currently made in two ways: the vaccine is made either with a) flu vaccine viruses that have been ‘inactivated’ and are therefore not infectious, or b) with no flu vaccine viruses at all (which is the case for recombinant influenza vaccine).”

If a person gets the flu after getting the flu shot, this is typically a result of the fact that it can take a couple of weeks for the body to build up immunity following a vaccination. The flu shot is not causing the flu; instead, it simply has not had a chance do its job. Or, it could also be the case that the flu shot is ineffective to prevent the specific strain of the flu with which the person has become infected. This issue is the reason why the flu shot has only been 19 to 48 percent effective in recent years.

Vaccine-Related Illnesses and Injuries Linked to the Annual Flu Shot

But, while the flu shot cannot cause influenza, it can cause other injuries and illnesses. Some of the most-common serious side effects associated with the annual flu shot are:

  • Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration (SIRVA) – Injuries to the shoulder are a risk with all vaccines that are administered via shoulder injection. This includes the annual flu shot. Errors during vaccine administration (such as inserting the needle too deep or in the wrong location) can cause several different types of painful and disabling shoulder injuries.
  • GuillainBarre Syndrome (GBS)Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS) is an autoimmune disorder that has been linked to the annual flu shot. Initial symptoms include muscle pain, muscle weakness, fatigue and loss of coordination, and individuals who have been diagnosed with GBS may be more likely to contract GBS again in the future.
  •  Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy (CIDP) – Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy (CIDP) is one of the most-severe variants of GBS. As its name suggests, it is a chronic medical condition that can result in a lifetime of physical pain, abnormal blood pressure, difficulty with bladder and bowel control, and various other debilitating effects.
  • AnaphylaxisAnaphylaxis is a potentially life-threating complication that is most commonly the result of an allergic reaction to egg protein in a flu vaccine. Not all flu vaccines contain egg protein, and flu vaccines can contain other allergens as well, so it is important to consult your physician before getting vaccinated if you have any type of allergy.

Pain After a Flu Shot Could Be a Sign of a Potentially Serious Illness or Injury

If you have been diagnosed with flu shot-related illness or injury, you may be eligible for financial compensation under the federal government’s National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP). To learn more in a free and confidential consultation, call (202) 775-9200 or inquire online today.

Leah Durant Bio

Experienced litigation attorney Leah Durant focuses on representing 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 the other attorneys in her firm 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.

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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