You do everything right. You follow your doctor’s recommendation and get your flu shot every year. But this time, something seems off. Shortly after getting the vaccine, you feel weak. Your muscles seem fatigued, and something just doesn’t seem right. At first you ignore it, thinking it is a common reaction and expect to feel better after some rest.
But the issue continues. It doesn’t clear in a couple of days. It continues to get worse. After a couple of weeks or maybe a month you end up in the hospital.
The diagnosis: Guillain-Barre syndrome.
What is Guillain-Barre Syndrome?
Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS) is a disorder where the victim’s immune system damages their nerve cells. This can result in muscle weakness and paralysis. The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that there are approximately 3,000 to 6,000 individuals who develop GBS in the United States every year.
Common symptoms can include:
- Tingling in hands and feet,
- Weakness in legs that spreads to upper body,
- Unsteady walking,
- Double vision, and
- Severe pain.
It is imperative to seek medical care because these symptoms can progress and impact the heart and lungs. In serious cases, GBS can lead to long-term damage and may be fatal.
Is there a connection between the flu vaccine and GBS?
Studies support the connection between GBS and flu vaccines. This connection can be present in adults and children. One such study, published in the National Library of Medicine, found that those with a connection between GBS and the flu vaccine generally developed the disorder within a month of vaccine administration. The Vaccine Injury Compensation Program recognizes that GBS can occur up to six weeks after a flu shot. When symptoms begin within six weeks of receiving the flu shot, the Vaccine Program will agree that it was the vaccination that likely was the cause of this dangerous autoimmune disease and you would be entitled to compensation.
What are my options?
Legal remedies may be available for those who develop GBS shortly after getting the flu vaccine. It is important to contact legal counsel to discuss your options. The attorneys at Downing, Allison & Jorgenson National Vaccine Injury Lawyers are experienced with these claims. They can review your case and discuss your options, giving you the information you need to make the right decision for your family.