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Flu Shot Injury

Injuries, Dangers, Side Effects & Reactions

An injury from an influenza vaccination is the most common in the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program.


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Injured by a flu shot?

Over 80% of vaccine injuries are from flu shots.

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What is a Flu Shot injury?

Have you been injured from the flu shot? Learn what you can do to receive compensation for your condition.

Flu shot injuries following a vaccine administration can and do happen. Every year, thousands of people receive a flu shot to prevent them from getting the influenza virus. Unfortunately, as the number of flu shot recipients rises each year in the United States, so do the number of vaccine injury claims.

At My Vaccine Lawyer, we understand the stress and burden flu vaccine injury symptoms like SIRVA or GBS can cause. If you experienced one, we're here to help you take your next steps.

How does an injury from the flu shot occur?

Every flu vaccination goes through rigorous testing by the vaccine manufacturer. But in rare cases, adverse reactions to the injectable flu vaccine or an injury from improper administration can still happen. There are 3 main causes for a flu shot injury:

Vaccine composition: The composition of flu vaccines can vary from year to year, affecting individuals' reactions. Differences in vaccine formulations, including the strains of flu virus and additional additives, can impact how individuals respond to the vaccine.

Individual health conditions: Pre-existing health conditions can influence how individuals react to flu shots. Those with certain medical conditions may be at a higher risk of experiencing adverse reactions and should consult with their healthcare provider before getting vaccinated.

Administration errors: Errors in vaccine administration, such as incorrect injection technique or dosage, can contribute to flu shot injuries. Improper sterilization procedures or handling of the vaccine can also increase the risk of an adverse reaction.

Seasonal flu vaccines are generally a safe and effective way to prevent the spread of the influenza virus. We all rely on the flu shot to keep us and our families safe and healthy throughout the flu season.

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Flu Shot Injury Symptoms

An increasing amount of people rely on the flu vaccine to keep themselves and their loved ones healthy and virus free during the flu season.

Each year, vaccine manufacturers create a new flu vaccine that fights the most common flu strains for the upcoming season. These vaccines go through meticulous testing, but, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warns, the influenza vaccine still has risks. 

It's normal to experience minor flu vaccine side effects like a headache or some soreness at the injection site. There are ways to relieve the flu shot side effects and get back to feeling like yourself, but if your symptoms worsen or linger, it could be a sign of a more severe injury.

Mild flu shot side effects include:

  • Swelling at the injection site such as the deltoid muscle
  • Strong aches and pains
  • Hoarseness and coughing
  • Fatigue and other flu-like symptoms

When a more severe flu vaccine injury like SIRVA or GBS occurs, it could require long-term treatment and care.

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Flu Vaccine Injury Symptoms, Injury from Flu Shot | My Vaccine Lawyer

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If you or a loved one has experienced an injury from lingering flu vaccine side effects or a severe allergic reaction to the influenza vaccination this season, we will help you get compensated.

Flu vaccine long-term and serious side effects

The flu vaccine has been considered safe for many years with low risk for the average recipient. However, more serious side effects have been witnessed and those can unfortunately lead to some of the following syndromes and disorders:

  • Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS)
  • Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis (ADEM)
  • Brachial Neuritis
  • Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy (CIDP)
  • Anaphylaxis or severe allergic reaction
  • Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration (SIRVA)
  • Vasovagal syncope resulting in significant injury
  • Vaccine-Strain Varicella-Zoster Virus Infection (Herpes Zoster)
  • Paralytic Polio (From Oral Poliovirus Vaccine)
  • Intussusception (From Rotavirus Vaccine)

Long-term side effects of the flu vaccine can also include a decrease in vaccine effectiveness in consecutive years, lasting impacts on the immune system for up to six months, and a small association with neurological and autoimmune disorders like Guillain-Barré Syndrome. These flu shot side effects have been observed in various studies and are the primary reason why there are established legal systems in place to compensate for these unfortunate incidents. 

How to Report Flu Shot Injuries

If you suspect you have a flu vaccine injury, immediately notify your doctor's office. Take these four steps to properly document your injury to use as evidence in your vaccine injury case:

  1. Call a doctor immediately to receive treatment for your injury and symptoms.
  2. Explain what happened to your doctor. Be sure to provide the date of vaccination, the vaccine administrator's information, and the injection site (i.e., left or right arm.)
  3. Ask your doctor to file a Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System ("VAERS") form or call at 1 (800) 822 - 7967.
  4. Contact us for help filing a vaccine injury claim in the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program ("VICP")

What is a VAERS form? The VAERS program collects data about adverse reactions to vaccines. The program aims to help the CDC and Food and Drug Administration improve vaccine safety measures in the future. Filing a VAERS report is separate from filing a vaccine injury claim for compensation. But the VAERs report can offer additional evidence in your vaccine case, so it's an important step. If you experience a flu vaccine related injury or an adverse reaction, ask your doctor to file a VAERS report. This report documents the onset of your injury and symptoms. After you or your doctor files your VAERS form, contact us to start the compensation process.

We guide you through how to submit a vaccine injury claim and how cases involve the Department of Health and Human Services. If you've already seen a doctor and didn't submit a VAERS report, don't worry. Our vaccine lawyers can help with this step. Once you submit your vaccine injury claim, your case will either be settled, or it will go to the vaccine court. Seasonal influenza vaccines are found in the Vaccine Injury Table. Therefore the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) is able to compensate you for your injury if it can be established, that's our job.

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What is the prognosis for these serious injuries?

The extent and severity of the prognosis and potential treatment vary across the wide spectrum of flu shot injuries. The following shows us why it is so important to be aware and knowledgeable of the symptoms and outcomes as they can differ so much.

Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS):

  • Recovery: Varies widely, but many individuals recover fully or with minor residual effects.
  • Time Frame: Recovery can occur over weeks to months.
  • Long-Term Complications: Some individuals may experience long-term complications or require ongoing medical care and rehabilitation.

Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis (ADEM):

  • Recovery: Recovery may occur within weeks to months with appropriate medical treatment.
  • Time Frame: Improvement typically begins within weeks of treatment initiation.
  • Long-Term Complications: Some individuals may experience long-term neurological deficits or complications.

Brachial Neuritis:

  • Recovery: Generally favorable, with spontaneous recovery within months for most individuals.
  • Time Frame: Improvement typically occurs within months of onset.
  • Residual Effects: Some individuals may experience residual weakness or pain in the affected arm.

Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy (CIDP):

  • Recovery: Varies depending on severity and treatment response.
  • Time Frame: Improvement may be gradual over months to years.
  • Long-Term Management: Some individuals may require long-term treatment and symptom management.

Anaphylaxis or severe allergic reactions:

  • Recovery: Most individuals recover fully with prompt medical treatment.
  • Time Frame: Immediate administration of epinephrine and supportive care is crucial.
  • Life-Threatening Complications: Severe allergic reactions can be life-threatening if not treated promptly.

Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration (SIRVA):

  • Recovery: Varies depending on injury severity and treatment response.
  • Time Frame: Improvement may occur with conservative measures over weeks to months.
  • Long-Term Effects: Some individuals may require surgical intervention or experience long-term shoulder dysfunction.

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Experiencing Excessive Pain After Flu Shots: Could It Be More Than Just a Side Effect?

Excessive pain after flu shots may indicate a more serious problem than a typical side effect. It could be a sign of inflammation, infection, nerve damage, SIRVA, or an allergic reaction to the vaccine. In rare cases, it has been associated with Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), a serious autoimmune disorder that can cause muscle weakness and paralysis.

If you experience excessive pain after receiving the flu vaccine, contacting your healthcare provider is important. They can evaluate your symptoms and determine if further treatment is necessary, which may include pain relievers or other medications to manage pain and inflammation.

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Data on Compensation for Flu Shot Injuries

Each month, the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program publishes a Data and Statistics Report. This report outlines the latest number of flu vaccine injuries and compensation awarded. The influenza vaccine was considered eligible under the VICP on January 1, 2006. Since then, the flu shot has become the most compensated vaccine for injuries and adverse reactions.

These numbers will continue to fluctuate as cases are settled. This data sheds a light on the frequency of vaccine side effects and allergic reactions. If you suffered arm pain, an adverse reaction, illness, or another injury after receiving a flu shot, you're not alone. Speak directly with one of our vaccine injury lawyers today to see if you're eligible for compensation. My Vaccine Lawyer has represented thousands of clients across the country in the VICP.


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