Photo of person getting vaccinatedVaccines can be life-saving for both children and adults. However, in rare cases, people may experience anaphylaxis or anaphylactic shock after vaccination, which is a potentially fatal allergic reaction to a vaccine or one of the ingredients used to create it.

What You Need to Know About Anaphylaxis and Anaphylactic Shock After Vaccine Administration

According to an analysis of the Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD), anaphylactic shock after vaccination is rare, occurring in one or two people per million vaccine administrations.

Vaccines contain many additives other than just the active ingredient. Preservatives, stabilizers, emulsifiers, and diluents can contain compounds that cause allergic reactions. These additives may include common food allergens such as eggs, beef, wheat, or gelatin. Patients should always be given a full list of the vaccine’s ingredients before injection.

Although it is not common, the allergic reaction can happen within minutes and requires immediate intervention. Symptoms of anaphylaxis have been recorded anywhere from a few minutes to several hours after injection.

Here’s what you need to know to protect themselves from these reactions:

Which vaccines have been linked to anaphylactic shock?

The following vaccines have been known to cause allergic reactions in some:

Any vaccine has the potential to cause anaphylactic shock. That’s why it’s important to monitor people after receiving a vaccination.

What are the symptoms of anaphylactic shock?

Anaphylaxis usually happens 5-30 minutes after being exposed to an allergen. Cases of anaphylactic shock can be mild, moderate, or life-threatening.  Anaphylaxis is different from other allergic reactions because it typically involves more than one system in the body. It can create respiratory problems, skin reactions, cardiovascular effects, or gastrointestinal problems.

The most common symptoms include:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Swelling of the tongue
  • Coughing or wheezing
  • Sudden rash
  • Tightening of the throat
  • Inability to talk
  • Increased heart rate
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Fainting or loss of consciousness (in rare cases)

Children and infants who cannot communicate may become pale or have floppy limbs, and may quickly lose consciousness.

There’s also a risk of injury associated with anaphylactic shock, especially if the patient faints suddenly (vasovagal syncope). They may hit their hit while collapsing.

How is anaphylaxis treated?

The type of treatment given for anaphylactic shock depends on the severity of the reaction. In rare cases, a person may need CPR and supportive care. Other emergency treatments may be given, including:

  • Intravenous (IV) fluids
  • Corticosteroids
  • Antihistamines
  • Oxygen
  • Beta-agonists
  • Epinephrine

People suffering from anaphylactic shock are typically given epinephrine, which reverses the effect of severe allergic reactions quickly. If a patient has a mild reaction that is not immediately life-threatening, he or she may be given antihistamines or corticosteroids to reverse the effects gradually.

If the patient is carrying an EpiPen or epinephrine autoinjector, using this device immediately may help them recover faster.

How can victims get compensation after a vaccine injury?

A severe reaction to a vaccine can have high costs. In some cases, it may result in permanent side effects or even death. Victims and their families may struggle with increased medical care, hospital stays, doctor’s visits, and lost income. Patients who have suffered from anaphylactic shock from a vaccine may be eligible for compensation through the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP). This program is a no-fault alternative to filing a personal injury or medical malpractice lawsuit. Patients submit a petition to VICP for compensation for their vaccine injuries. 

Even a minor reaction can have long-lasting consequences and can affect a person’s ability to earn a living, go out in public, or have a normal life. Patients who made every attempt to safeguard their health and protect the lives of others through vaccination should not be forced to suffer their injuries alone.

Suffering from an anaphylaxis vaccine injury? Our attorneys can help

If you or someone you love has suffered an injury related to vaccine administration, the vaccine injury attorneys at Shannon Law Group can help you get the compensation you deserve. Call us today at (312) 578-9501 to learn more about your options and schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. If you prefer, take a moment to fill out our online contact form, and you’ll receive a prompt response from one of our attorneys who can help answer your questions.

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