As more and more people begin to question whether receiving a vaccination for the flu, hepatitis, measles, or other common illnesses can in fact lead to the onset of unexpected illnesses, two conditions that come up frequently are vasculitis and polyarteritis nodosa. What are theses conditions? In the case of polyarteritis nodosa, more commonly referred to as PAN, a person’s blood vessels swell. When this happens, the vessels are unable to provide enough blood throughout the body, especially to a person’s heart, kidneys, and intestines. While potentially very serious and life-threatening, if caught early it can be easily treated. Considered a rare complication of being infected with the hepatitis-B virus, it is not thought to be caused or exacerbated as a result of receiving a hepatitis-B vaccine. However, there is some research that may suggest otherwise.
Based on a 2012 report from the National Academy of Medicine, researchers conducted a study of individuals who had developed vasculitis or PAN shortly after receiving a vaccine for hepatitis-B or influenza. While the onset of these conditions did occur within several weeks of being vaccinated, researchers concluded there was not enough convincing evidence to assert these conditions were in fact caused by the vaccines.
However, while this study concluded no link existed, an Italian study of children who had these conditions had different results. In this study, case-control methods were used on the subjects, with researchers concluding that there was a 95% increased risk of developing vasculitis or PAN in children who had received a Measles, Mumps, and Rubella vaccine within the past 12 weeks.
Since PAN is known to be a rare natural complication for those infected with Hepatitis-B, some medical researchers believe the answer lies not in blaming the various vaccines, but in a person’s own genetic makeup. As an example, the formation of immune complexes has often been suggested as a reason for the onset of these conditions in various patients. Another suggestion by researchers has been that once the vaccine is given, the immune system is activated so that it can release cytokines. In doing so, the immune response of the body is amplified, but along the way host cells can often become damaged. Once this happens, a person’s immune system is compromised, thus making them more vulnerable to vasculitis and PAN.
In studies that looked into whether vaccines for Hepatitis-B, Influenza, and Measles, Mumps, and Rubella exacerbated these conditions in patients, the data is also inconclusive. In the 2012 study from the National Academy of Medicine, some data did appear to show an exacerbation of symptoms once a patient received a vaccine. With the influenza vaccine, two cases appeared to show a direct correlation between receiving the vaccine and worsening of symptoms, and there were three cases of those who experienced worsening symptoms after receiving a hepatitis-B vaccine. Yet in both studies, researchers ultimately concluded that while the link was somewhat hard to explain, they did not feel there was enough strong evidence to conclude the vaccines did in fact cause the exacerbation of these conditions.
Based on the above-mentioned studies, most medical doctors and researchers have concluded that vaccines for influenza, hepatitis-B, and measles, mumps, and rubella are generally safe for most people. However, there is some evidence suggesting a possible link between receiving these vaccines and later being diagnosed with vasculitis or PAN. Currently, it appears to many as if not enough credible evidence exists as of yet to make a final determination. No vaccine is without risk, though further research will be needed to determine the degree to which one is susceptible to vasculitis or PAN from the hepatitis-B or measles, mumps, and rubella vaccines. If you or a loved one have been injured by a vaccine, contact The Law Offices of Sadaka Associates today for a free evaluation of your case.