Meningococcus is a potentially life-threatening bacterium. A meningococcal infection can damage the brain and spinal cord, leaving a person with permanent brain damage or disabilities. Like most bacteria, it spreads through saliva and close contact. Meningococcus is the leading cause of meningitis in teens and young children.
Although meningitis is most common in infants and people aged 16 to 21, anyone can catch it. Specific medical conditions, such as the absence of a spleen or problems with your immune system, can put you at greater risk.
Since there have been several outbreaks of meningitis throughout college campuses in the United States, the meningococcal vaccine has become increasingly popular among young Americans.
Meningococcal Vaccine Side Effects/Reactions
It’s not uncommon for people to experience adverse side effects after receiving a vaccination. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that roughly half the people who receive the meningococcal vaccine experience mild side effects. Some of the common side effects are fever, soreness, and redness around the injection area.
Since the effects of the meningococcal disease are so extreme, the vaccine’s side effects far outweigh becoming infected.
Some problems as a result of the meningococcal vaccine are:
- Inflammation and soreness around the injection site
- Fatigue/mental exhaustion
- Muscle pain
- Mild fever
In rare cases, patients might experience severe side effects from the vaccine. A small percentage of patients develop Guillain-Barré syndrome, a disorder that causes your immune system to attack your nerves. Also, if a doctor administers the injection incorrectly, you could experience ongoing shoulder pain.
History of the Meningococcal Vaccine
The first version of the vaccine was available in the United States in 1974. However, the initial versions of the vaccine were only useful in certain age groups. It wasn’t until 2005 that the conjugate meningococcal vaccine was licensed in the United States. This has been the most favorable version of the vaccine for people aged 2 to 55.
Who Should Not Get the Meningococcal Vaccine?
There are a few things to consider before getting a meningococcal vaccine. According to the CDC, you shouldn’t get the meningococcal vaccine if you:
- Have had an allergic reaction to a previous meningococcal vaccine or have any severe allergies
- Are pregnant
- Are breastfeeding
- Are currently sick with a moderate or severe condition
- Have previously had Guillain-Barré syndrome
When Do People Normally Receive the Meningococcal Vaccine?
There are currently two kinds of meningococcal vaccines: MenACWY and MenB. The MenACWY vaccine is for teens and pre-teens. MenB is specifically for children ages 16 to 18.
Any children under 10 might receive a MenACWY vaccine if they pose any risk factors. Also, children over 10 and adults can get a MenB vaccine if they are more susceptible to meningitis.
Can the Meningococcal Vaccines Make You Sick?
Yes, a small number of patients who receive one of the meningococcal vaccines experience side effects, including fever, nausea, headaches, fatigue, and even diarrhea. Studies show that those who get the MenB vaccine have a higher chance of developing side effects.
However, symptoms should only last a few days. If the symptoms don’t go away, seek medical attention right away.
How Long Does the Meningococcal Vaccine Last?
Depending on the patient’s overall health, the vaccine should last roughly five years. Doctors usually recommend children get a booster shot every five years, especially if they are at an increased risk of becoming infected with meningitis.
Can You Get Meningitis From the Meningococcal Vaccine?
No, because neither version of the meningococcal vaccine contains live bacteria, you cannot get meningitis. Instead, the vaccine comprises different proteins that mimic infectious bacteria, which helps your body create an immune response.
Can I Get Legal Help After a Meningococcal Vaccine Injury?
If you or a loved one is experiencing meningococcal vaccine side effects, you can file a claim with the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP). For those whose administering institution isn’t covered by the VICP, you can pursue a civil lawsuit. A vaccine injury lawyer can help you organize all of the required documentation for the legal process.
What Does the VICP Cover?
Although it’s rare, vaccines can cause severe injuries or even death. The federal government created the VICP to protect American families from financial despair and help them recover. If your case is eligible, the VICP can help with:
- Medical costs
- Future medical costs
- Legal fees
How Do I Know Whether I Have a Case?
If you or a family member experiences adverse side effects from the meningococcal vaccine, you must keep records and proper documentation of your symptoms. Your attorney can use medical records and other documents as evidence during your case.
First, gather all of your medical bills and recent hospital records and make copies. Then, present them to an attorney to review your evidence and determine whether or not you have a claim. If you do have a claim, your attorney can help you file everything correctly.
Without a doubt, dealing with a vaccine injury is stressful for you and your family, so having a trusted attorney working for you will ensure you make progress. Also, an experienced vaccine attorney knows all of the ins and outs of the legal process.
Support for Vaccine Injuries
Side effects from vaccines might appear minor at first, but some can lead to life-threatening conditions. If you or a family member starts to experience any adverse effects from the meningococcal vaccine, seek medical help before reaching out to a lawyer.
The Sadaka Associates vaccine injury help center offers valuable resources and information about dealing with vaccine-related injuries. Our vaccine lawyers have represented several people throughout the country in complex cases related to vaccines.
With your claim, the VICP will cover your legal expenses, and you won’t be required to pay out any of your awarded compensation.
If you or a loved one is experiencing an injury due to the meningococcal vaccine, we recommend you reach out to our team to schedule a free case review. During the case review, one of our attorneys can determine the best path to take for your situation.
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