Do You Have a Vaccine-related Injury?

Unless you’re counting some mild pain at the injection site, the answer is probably “no.”

There’s always the risk of an allergic reaction from gelatin, antibiotics, or other ingredients; however, you should be asked about these allergies before receiving a shot. With all the talk about vaccine injuries you may see on social media, is it worth the risk to get a flu shot?

Consider this: Between 3,000 and 49,000 people die annually in the United States attributable to the flu or complications. Source: CDC.gov

Compared to the risk of flu, complications from the flu vaccine are extremely rare and almost always within 15 minutes of vaccination. In the overwhelming majority of cases, these complications can be treated immediately. This is why you are usually recommended to stay in the clinic after being vaccinated. Some studies have found a less than 1 in a million chance of a severe reaction called Guillain-Barre syndrome. If you are susceptible to this, you should receive only nasal flu vaccines.
Source: CDC.gov again

What about the stories you see online about vaccine injuries?

Here are some anecdotes for their anecdotes: I have heard of people consulting WebMB and self-diagnosing themselves with vaccine-related injuries. People claim that a chiropractor waving a crystal at them was a diagnosis. People claim that an acupuncturist could see it in their energy lines. I have had many claims that they “just know” from their mother’s intuition or something similar.

Oddly enough, the gross majority of times where I have discussed this with an individual, they have been unable to cite any actual medical professional’s diagnosis.

One old favorite of those inaccurately discussing the risks of vaccines to cite is the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System. This system allows anyone to submit a report of a vaccine-related injury with no burden of proof required. What was initially intended to be a post-treatment survey has become much different. Since anyone can submit anything at any time, the system is prone to inaccurate reporting.

All that being said, vaccine injuries do exist. They are extraordinarily rare and far less than one-in-a-million situations. I’m in no way denying that nor minimizing the pain felt by those affected.

However, vaccines are one of the most extraordinary life-saving medical interventions created by the human race. Posting antivaxxer rhetoric discourages the use of a process that maintains our society at the high quality of life we enjoy today. It also reduces our societal immunity such that those at risk of vaccine injury (such as the immunocompromised) have a much greater chance of infection.

That is why I argue this point every time it comes up.

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