Vaccines provide many benefits to society and allow children and adults alike to escape the suffering of potentially deadly diseases, like measles, mumps, and rubella. However, some people who receive vaccines suffer adverse side effects to the injections—and the effects of these reactions can cause permanent injuries.
One known side effect of the rubella vaccine is the development of chronic arthritis. Oftentimes, rubella is included in combined vaccines like the Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR) or the Measles-Mumps-Rubella-Varicella (MMRV) vaccination.
How Does the MMR Vaccination Cause Arthritis?
Researchers are unsure as to exactly why some patients are likely to suffer arthritis after receiving the MMR vaccine. One theory is live vaccines and other vaccine preparations can be molecularly similar to the disease that they protect against.
As a result, the body responds to the vaccine in the same way it would to the condition. Others suggest that people may be suffering from mild arthritis and chronic arthritis that does not show symptoms until after the vaccine is administered.
What are the symptoms of Arthritis from the MMR Vaccine?
Arthritis symptoms after vaccination are often called reactive arthritis. These symptoms may disappear within a few days.
However, patients who continue to suffer these symptoms for weeks or longer may have developed them due to a systemic autoimmune disease such as arthritis, and the MMR vaccination triggered the initial reaction.
Common complications of chronic arthritis include:
- Joint pain (commonly in the fingers, hands, knees, or feet)
- Swelling, tenderness, stiffness, or redness in the joints
- Lost range of motion in the hands, wrists, hips, and knees
- Deformity in the knuckles of the fingers and toes
- Loss of the ability to bend fingers and toes
- Lost grip strength
What are my treatment options for chronic arthritis?
If you suspect you have chronic arthritis from an MMR vaccination, we recommend seeing your primary care physician as soon as possible.
According to the Mayo Clinic, your doctor may prescribe any of the following treatment options:
- NSAIDs. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may relieve pain and reduce inflammation in your joints.
- Steriods. Corticosteroid medications reduce inflammation and pain, as well as slow joint damage.
- Physical and Occupational Therapy. Your doctor may prescribe physical or occupational therapy to keep your joints healthy and flexible.
Federal Compensation for Arthritis After Vaccination
The Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) in Washington, D.C. offers payments to victims and families who suffered injuries after vaccine injections. This federal program has recognized that the MMR and MMRV vaccines can cause chronic arthritis in adults and children alike.
The VICP defines chronic arthritis as persistent joint swelling with at least two of the following symptoms:
- Pain with movement
- Limited range of motion
You must meet the following criteria for the vaccine court to presume that the MMR vaccine caused the onset of your chronic arthritis:
- Your symptoms begin between 7 and 42 days after receiving a rubella vaccine;
- Your arthritic symptoms must also last 6 months before you can file a petition for vaccine injury compensation;
- You didn’t have a history of chronic arthritis three (3) years before receiving the MMR vaccine.
If you don’t meet the above criteria, you can still obtain compensation for your vaccine. You will just have to prove the MMR or MMRV vaccine caused your arthritis. Your medical records need to show a direct correlation between the rubella vaccination and your symptoms.
Injured by the MMR vaccine? Contact us today. We can help.
The Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) was created as a way for patients to get compensation without the need to file a lawsuit against their doctor or the vaccine manufacturers.
Our vaccine injury lawyers at Shannon Law Group, P.C. help people nationwide get justice and compensation for their medical bills, lost income, and unnecessary suffering due to a vaccine reaction.
No matter where you are in the United States, we can help you get the recognition and damages you deserve. Fill out our online contact form today to tell us your story and schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our attorneys. You can also call us at (312) 578-9501 to get started.