Pneumonia Vaccine Reaction
and Side Effects

Which pneumonia vaccine did you receive?

The pneumonia vaccine, also known as Prevnar 13, is administered to both children and adults to help protect against the 13 types of pneumococcal bacteria.

What is a vaccine injury?

It's an adverse event caused by vaccination.

These can happen to any age individual. Want to learn more?

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Have you experienced a pneumonia vaccine reaction? 

Proper technique is critical for intramuscular vaccines such as the pneumococcal vaccine. Specifically, the Center for Disease Control advises that the needle should be inserted at a 90-degree angle to the skin, as close to the deltoid muscle as possible. While this may seem fool-proof, mistakes are common and can lead to tendonitis and other musculoskeletal injuries in the shoulder and arm. Improper vaccine administration can allow for the needle to cause damage to the nerves, muscles and other subcutaneous soft tissue.

Additionally, many inactivated vaccines (including the pneumococcal vaccine) contain an adjuvant. Adjuvants are vaccine components that enhance the immune response to an antigen. These components can cause a local reaction to an improperly placed needle, causing pain, redness and swelling.

The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) has received reports of people fainting after nearly all vaccines, including the pneumococcal vaccines. Although many episodes of vasovagal syncope occur due to the vaccination process rather than the vaccine itself, there is not yet a definitive answer as to whether an ingredient in the vaccine is responsible for the reaction. Syncope is most commonly seen among adolescents who have certain prior medical conditions and can result in hospitalizations for either evaluation or because of an injury after the episode.

 

What is the pneumonia vaccine?

The most common pneumonia vaccine is PCV13, also known as Prevnar or Prevnar 13, protects against 13 types of pneumococcal bacteria, pneumococcal pneumonia and was designed primarily for children. Additionally, there is PPSV23, also known as Pneumovax or Pneumovax 23, protects against 23 types of pneumococcal bacteria and is most often used for older adults.

 

Who should get the pneumonia vaccine?

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends pneumococcal vaccination for all children younger than 2 years of age and all healthy adults over the age of 65. In certain situations, older children and other adults should also receive this vaccine.

 

Pneumonia vaccine side effects

Prevnar vaccine side effects consist of redness, swelling and pain or tenderness at the injection site, fever, loss of appetite, fussiness or irritability, fatigue, headache, and in some cases a serious allergic reaction. Pneumovax side effects consist of redness and pain at the site of injection, fever, and muscle aches, similar to that of the influenza vaccine.

Recently, My Vaccine Lawyer's founding partner Max Muller was interviewed by NBC Philadelphia about Pneumonia shot injuries from vaccines along with the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, a federal compensation program for vaccine injuries in the United States.

NBC 10 Investigators - Max Muller of My Vaccine Lawyer-1

 

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Types of pneumonia vaccine injuries

Proper technique is critical for intramuscular vaccines such as the pneumococcal vaccine. Specifically, the Center for Disease Control advises that the needle should be inserted at a 90-degree angle to the skin, as close to the deltoid muscle as possible. While this may seem fool-proof, mistakes are common and can lead to tendonitis and other musculoskeletal injuries in the shoulder and arm. Improper vaccine administration can allow for the needle to cause damage to the nerves, muscles and other subcutaneous soft tissue. Additionally, many inactivated vaccines (including the pneumococcal vaccine) contain an adjuvant. Adjuvants are vaccine components that enhance the immune response to an antigen, particularly to protect against the pneumococcal disease. These components can cause a local reaction to an improperly placed needle, causing pain, redness and swelling.

The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) has received reports of people fainting after nearly all vaccines, including the pneumococcal vaccines. Although many episodes of vasovagal syncope occur during immunization practices rather than from the vaccine itself, there is not yet a definitive answer as to whether an ingredient in the vaccine is responsible for the reaction. One of the more common adverse reactions is Syncope. This is commonly seen among young children and adolescents and can result in hospitalizations for either evaluation or because of an injury after the episode.

 

How to report a pneumonia vaccine injury

In the wake of suffering damaging side effects such as difficulty breathing, rheumatoid arthritis, an anaphylactic reaction, development of a severe allergy, immune system failure, or a serious infection from the PPSV23 vaccine, PCV13, or the flu vaccine, you should immediately notify your doctor's office. Be sure to provide the date of vaccination, the vaccine administrator’s information and the site of injection (i.e., left or right arm.) Your medical provider will ensure that you begin a course of treatment to best address your symptoms. Additionally, you should:

  • Call your doctor as some vaccine injuries such as a severe allergic reaction can be life-threatening if left untreated;
  • Tell your doctor exactly what happened, the date and time of your vaccine, and shoulder it was given;
  • Ask your doctor to file a Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System ("VAERS") form.

VAERS stands for the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, which is a program managed by the CDC. The program processes submitted reports of vaccine injuries and adverse events from those who have been injured. It is important to note that VAERS does not diagnose those who have been injured with a vaccine injury, but rather compile data about reported adverse reactions for the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration in hopes of improving vaccine safety measures in the future. There are no restrictions to who can file a VAERS report and it is often used as supplemental evidence in vaccine cases when determining the onset of an injury or symptoms.

 

Pneumonia vaccine injury compensation

If you or a loved one has suffered an adverse reaction, illness, severe or mild side effects, and/or a shoulder injury after receiving the pneumonia vaccine, you may qualify for compensation from a federal program called the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. Call the national vaccine injury attorneys at My Vaccine Lawyer for more information. Not only is the phone call free, but our representation comes at no cost to you.

 

 

Page last reviewed and updated: January 5, 2021

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