What Are Vaccine Injuries?

There has been a great deal of talk about vaccine injuries in recent years. There have been situations that ended up leading to personal injury cases, where parents claim that a vaccine was responsible for their child’s autism diagnosis.

For example, there was a case all the way back in 2007 that went to court related to autism and vaccines. 

It went to court under the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, and at the time that case proceeded, there were thousands of other similar pending cases. The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program is a no-fault alternative to the traditional legal system. 

This was started in the 1980s after there were a growing number of lawsuits against vaccine companies and health care providers. 

There was fear that as a result of these cases, people could avoid getting vaccinations, and that would lead to a resurgence of otherwise preventable diseases. Case in point, the return of Measles and Whooping Cough.

While there is absolutely zero evidence linking autism to vaccines, other vaccine injuries are possible, and while incredibly rare, they do occur. 

Again, it’s important to stress that these vaccine related injuries are incredibly rare, and the risks associated with the diseases the vaccines are designed to prevent,  are often much greater. 

Here are some of the known vaccine related injuries. 

Guillain-Barre

The most common disorder that is linked to vaccines is called Guillain-Barre Syndrome. While this is incredibly rare,  it can be deadly. 

When someone develops Guillain-Barre, it leads their immune system to attack their nerves, and can cause paralysis.

Idiopathic Thrombocytopenia

Another incredibly rare condition that can occur following vaccination is called idiopathic thrombocytopenia. 

Also known as ITP, this disorder can lead to bleeding and bruising. ITP occurs because someone has very low levels of platelets. Platelets are the cells that help with blood clotting. 

Anaphylaxis

In rare instances, some people may experience a severe allergic reaction to a vaccine, and this can be known as anaphylaxis.

When someone gets a vaccine, they are usually monitored for any type of unusual response. 

Encephalitis

This is a very, very rare condition that causes swelling of the brain. It occurs more commonly after a bacterial or viral infection than it does following a vaccine. 

If someone has an infection that travels up the spinal cord or into the brain, it can cause inflammation. That inflammation then leads to symptoms of encephalitis.  

What About Autism?

Science has completely debunked the idea that vaccines cause autism. There was a small, fraudulent study in 1998 that linked the MMR vaccine to autism, but the study was proven to be a fraud and Andrew Wakefield, the doctor responsible for the study, was completely discredited and stripped of his medical license. 

There was a later study published in 2015 that looked at nearly 100,000 children’s medical records and found that the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine did not increase the risk of autism spectrum disorder. 

Vaccines are one of the most important medical advancements in human history. Vaccines are safe and effective ways of preventing deadly disease. Side effects are usually very mild and include things like, fever, swelling at the injection site, fatigue, and muscle soreness. These side effects are temporary and inconvenient. The life saving benefits of vaccines can’t be overstated.  

There is nothing wrong with having questions about a vaccine. It’s important that you speak with your doctor about these concerns because there is a great deal of misinformation floating around online. Talking to your doctor can be incredibly helpful, as you decide what is best for your family.

This is a contributed post and therefore may not reflect the views and opinions of this blog or its author.

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