Vaccine Reactions

Have you or a family member suffered an Adverse Vaccine Reaction?

Most people who receive vaccines suffer no serious reaction. However, a very small percentage of vaccine recipients can suffer severe reactions and other injuries. In those rare cases, the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program provides compensation to people found to be injured by certain vaccines.

What injuries and/or conditions Have been linked to Vaccines?

The following injuries, illnesses and reactions have been linked to vaccines.

  • Guillain-Barre Syndrome
  • Acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM)
  • Intussusception (most commonly linked to the rotavirus vaccine).
  • Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP)
  • Brachial neuropathy
  • Anaphylactic shock or anaphylactic reaction
  • Transverse Myelitis
  • Parsonage-Turner syndrome
  • Encephalopathy or encephalitis
  • Thrombocytopenic purpura
  • Arthritis
  • Adhesive capsulitis (frozen shoulder)
  • Hearing loss
  • Other Reactions

What signs of a moderate or severe reaction should I look for?

After you or your child are vaccinated, look for any unusual conditions, such as a serious allergic reaction, high fever or behavior changes. Signs of a serious allergic reaction include difficulty breathing, hoarseness or wheezing, hives, paleness, weakness, a fast heart beat or dizziness, and swelling of the throat. Parents should look for is prolonged soreness (lasting more than 2 to 4 hours) around the site where the vaccine was given. Redness or bruising around the vaccine site in combination with fever can also be an early sign of a vaccine injury.

What should be done if someone has a reaction to a vaccine?

  • Call a doctor. If the person is having a severe reaction take him or her to a doctor right away.
  • After any reaction, tell your doctor what happened, the date and time it happened, and when the vaccination was given.
  • Ask your doctor, nurse, or health department to file a Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) form, or call VAERS yourself at 1-800-822-7967.
  • In the rare event that a vaccine injures a child, he or she may be compensated through the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP). For more information about VICP visit http://bhpr.hrsa.gov/vicp/ or call 1-800-338-2382.