What is the HiB Vaccine? Are there Side Effects of the HiB Vaccine?

hib-vaccine-side-effects

HiB, or Haemophilus influenzae type B, is a rare virus that can impact anyone at any age. It is a bacterial illness that can lead to potentially more serious conditions. Young children under five are particularly vulnerable to HiB as it can cause a deadly brain infection. HiB is also the cause of several other severe illnesses including meningitis, arthritis and bloodstream infections.

HiB is caused by a certain bacteria that is commonly found in people’s noses and throats. When they remain there, the bacteria are harmless. However, they can pose a danger when they move to other parts of the body. It is also dangerous when this bacteria is spread outside the body to other people through sneezing and coughing. Generally, young children and adults over 65 are at the most risk from this bacteria.

Symptoms of this virus are varied because the illness can take on many different forms. HiB can cause anything from minor virus symptoms to severe illness when it becomes a blood infection or meningitis.

In 2000, the number of cases of HiB in the world exceeded eight million and there were nearly 400,000 fatalities. However, the number of fatalities has dropped as more people are vaccinated.

HiB vaccines were first approved in 1988. Over time, additional versions of the vaccine have gained FDA approval and have come onto the market. HiB vaccine comes in various different forms. There are injections that contain only HiB vaccine as well as combination injections that vaccinate against HiB and other diseases. For example, there is a combined diphtheria tetanus and pertussis vaccine (DTP) and HiB combination vaccine.

HiB vaccine is given to babies as young as the age of two months old. Then, babies receive additional vaccinations at four months and six months before receiving another booster shot after they turn one year old. In general, children do not need another vaccination after that unless something happens that weakens their immune system.

Currently, there are two different side effects of the HiB vaccine that are recognized as compensable on the Vaccine Injury Table. Conditions need to be on the Vaccine Injury Table in order for the VICP to award compensation for injury. Below is some more information about the recognized side effects.

First, there are some minor side effects of the HiB vaccine. There can be some swelling and redness at the site of the injection that can cause discomfort. In addition, children can experience allergic reactions after the injection. These can normally be treated with acetaminophen, but the occurrences can be more severe. Most of these side effects recede after several days. However, there are some side effects that are more lasting.

SIRVA

SIRVA stands for Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration. It is a common complication of many different vaccinations that can be debilitating and impact the quality of life for patients. SIRVA is most common in flu vaccines where the person administering the injection is not properly trained.

SIRVA results from an error in injecting the vaccine into the shoulder. Specifically, the vaccine is injected too high on the shoulder and the needle goes directly into the deltoid muscle or the joint space. This results from an error in the method of injection. SIRVA can result from the fact that people simply do not know how to properly give an injection.

When the injection is given incorrectly, the pain will begin to develop shortly after the injection. Generally, this will occur within 48 hours of the injection. The pain will start as dull pain and will quickly degenerate from there. Once SIRVA fully takes hold, the patient will lose some of the range of motion in their shoulder. In some cases, this is temporary and the side effects can be reversed after an intensive regiment of physical therapy. However, some cases will lead to permanent damage. In any event, the pain associated with the condition can impact the quality of life between loss of hobbies and the inability to work if SIRVA occurs in adults. For children, it can mean developmental challenges and extreme pain when their shoulder joint is impacted.

While the rate of side effects from the HiB vaccine is relatively low, there have been compensable cases of vaccine complications. There have been over 128 million doses of the vaccine that were administered from 2016 to 2018. These resulted in 22 claims for compensation that were filed with the VICP. Claimants prevailed in slightly over half of these cases with nine of them resulting in a settlement.

Vasovagal Syncope

This is a side effect that will begin to develop within an hour after the initial injection. This occurs when your body has an extreme reaction to a stimulus. For example, the sight of blood or some other severe trigger can cause a dangerous condition.

When a patient experiences Vasovagal syncope, their heart rate and blood pressure can drop very rapidly, causing a reduction of blood flow to the brain. This can cause fainting or even a loss of consciousness. While this will not cause lasting damage on its own in most cases, patients can become injured during an incident perhaps by falling. For example, a patient can faint and hit their head when they are falling to the ground. This is not a danger that is unique to the HiB vaccination and can occur after any injection. Nonetheless, it is one of the two recognized side effects that can lead to VICP compensation.

Children may be even more susceptible to suffering this side effect since their muscles and balance are not as developed and they may be more likely to fall.  If your child received the HiB vaccination and experienced any type of complications, they may be entitled to compensation.  The attorneys at The Law Offices of Sadaka Associates can guide you through the process.  Contact them for a free evaluation of your case today.

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