Tag: side effects

Is This a Horrible Vaccine Reaction?

Why do some parents stop vaccinating and protecting their kids?

Many folks would describe what is going on in this video by Paul Thomas as horrible, everything except the common vaccine reaction.
Many folks would describe what is going on in this video by Paul Thomas as horrible, everything except the common vaccine reaction.

Sometimes it is because their pediatrician tells them to…

Is This a Horrible Vaccine Reaction?

Let’s take a look at Paul Thomas‘ “horrible vaccine reaction.”

This large, local reaction is not an allergic reaction to the vaccine.
This large, local reaction is not an allergic reaction to the vaccine.

Many of you are probably wondering, why did this young lady get a Tdap vaccine, which isn’t given to children under age 7 years?

And why did she get it in her leg?

For children between the ages of 3 to 10 years old, IM shots are now typically given in the deltoid muscle of the child’s upper arm. The anterolateral thigh muscle remains an option, although that is not where Dr. Paul is pointing...
For children between the ages of 3 to 10 years old, IM shots are typically given in the deltoid muscle of the child’s upper arm. The anterolateral thigh muscle remains an option, although that is not where Dr. Paul is pointing…

Especially that part of her leg???

Hopefully you are also wondering why Paul Thomas is making such a big deal about what looks like a relatively common vaccine reaction.

“Sometimes the 4th or 5th dose of DTaP vaccine is followed by swelling of the entire arm or leg in which the shot was given, lasting 1–7 days (up to about 1 child in 30).”

DTaP Vaccine Vaccine Information Statement

After all, although it is scary looking, this is a vaccine reaction that will go away without treatment, except maybe symptomatic care (cool compresses and pain medicines), and has no lasting effects.

“And I would not do this same vaccine again, because once you have had a large local reaction like this, you would be at greater risk for a really bad reaction.”

Paul Thomas on the Horrible Vaccine Reaction!

It is not an allergic reaction.

It is not caused by aluminum.

And it is a vaccine reaction that is typically not considered a contraindication to getting another dose, especially as skipping future doses of DTaP or Tdap would leave the child at risk to get tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis.

What to Know About Large Local Vaccine Reactions

Large local reactions to vaccines, although sometimes scary looking, are not dangerous, do go away, and are not a reason your pediatrician should typically tell you to skip or delay your child’s vaccines.

More on Vaccine Reactions

Do Flu Vaccines Cause RSV?

Why do some people think that getting a flu vaccine can cause them to get RSV?

Flu vaccines do not cause RSV.
Flu vaccines do not cause RSV.

The usual suspects…

Do Flu Vaccines Cause RSV?

Like the flu, RSV or respiratory syncytial virus, causes infections during cold and flu season.

Unlike the flu, we don’t yet have an RSV vaccine, but that hasn’t stopped anti-vax folks from trying to link them together.

Of course it is silly think that a flu shot could cause a child to develop RSV.

For one thing, you can just look at who gets RSV, especially severe RSV infections.

“The average seasonal RSV hospitalization rate in this study was 5.2 per 1000 children who were <24 months old, but the rate varied by season as much as fourfold. Nevertheless, 1-month-old infants consistently were most likely to be hospitalized, almost twice as often as the next 2 most at-risk groups: infants <1 month old and infants 2 months old. These youngest infants accounted for an important proportion of all children admitted with RSV infection in the first 2 years of life: 11% were infants <1 month old, 44% were ≤2 months old, and only 36% were >5 months old.”

Hall et al on Respiratory syncytial virus-associated hospitalizations among children less than 24 months of age

While anyone can get RSV, even adults, it is infants who are under 6 months old that typically are at the greatest risk to have severe infections. And of course, these kids are too young to even have a flu vaccine!

The other reason?

It is no surprise that the flu vaccine delays of 2015 didn’t affect RSV season…

RSV season not only starts before flu season, but often before the time when we are even giving flu vaccines!

Anyway, the whole idea that “RSV is an adverse reaction from flu vaccine” comes from the misuse of a study, Increased risk of noninfluenza respiratory virus infections associated with receipt of inactivated influenza vaccine, that doesn’t even mention RSV.

“Being protected against influenza, TIV recipients may lack temporary non-specific immunity that protected against other respiratory viruses.”

Cowling et al on Increased risk of noninfluenza respiratory virus infections associated with receipt of inactivated influenza vaccine

And it is very important to keep in mind that it was a small study about interference caused by non-specific immunity.

Another larger study that did include RSV, “Influenza vaccination is not associated with detection of noninfluenza respiratory viruses in seasonal studies of influenza vaccine effectiveness,” found that “influenza vaccination was not associated with detection of noninfluenza respiratory viruses.”

What to Know About Flu Vaccines Causing RSV

The bottom line is that flu vaccines do not cause RSV and do not increase your risk of getting RSV.

More on Flu Vaccine Side Effects

Is This Year’s Flu Shot Only 9% Effective?

Why do some people think that this year’s flu shot is only 9% effective?

A statement or tweet from the CDC?

The CDC has not released any information on the effectiveness of this year's flu shot yet.
The CDC has not released any information on the effectiveness of this year’s flu shot yet.

Not exactly…

Is This Year’s Flu Shot Only 9% Effective?

As the 2019-20 flu season is just getting started, we don’t actually know how effective this year’s flu vaccine will be…

She was tweeting an old story about last year's flu vaccine and the 9% number was just about one strain in the vaccine. The adjusted overall vaccine effectiveness for the 2018-19 flu vaccine was actually 47%.
Greta Van Susteren was tweeting an old story about last year’s flu vaccine and the 9% number was just about one strain in the vaccine. The adjusted overall vaccine effectiveness for the 2018-19 flu vaccine was actually 47%.

Early estimates are typically posted in mid-February.

Will we get this year’s flu vaccine effectiveness estimates early because flu season started early?

As some predicted, the circulating H3N2 strains are of a different clade than the ones in the vaccine though…

Will it help that all circulating strains are antigenically similar to the flu virus strains in this year’s flu vaccine?

Or that we are seeing more flu B this year?

During the 2017-18 flu season, the flu vaccine worked much better against flu B strains.

We don’t typically talk about flu vaccine effectiveness against flu B strains because they aren’t a big part of our flu seasons, but in general, flu vaccines work well against flu B.

“In general, current flu vaccines tend to work better against influenza B and influenza A(H1N1) viruses and offer lower protection against influenza A(H3N2) viruses.”

Vaccine Effectiveness: How Well Do the Flu Vaccines Work?

In fact, they often work better against flu B than against other strains, so maybe it will turn out to be a good thing if we see more flu B than H3N2 this year…

The flu vaccine has many benefits besides preventing you from getting the flu.
The flu vaccine has many benefits besides preventing you from getting the flu.

But most importantly, we know that the flu vaccine has many benefits and few side effects, so even when it isn’t a perfect match it makes sense to get vaccinated and protected.

And know that until we get a better, universal flu vaccine, folks should know that talk about flu vaccine effectiveness is largely academic, as a yearly flu vaccine remains the best way to protect yourself from getting the flu and developing serious complications from the flu.

More on Flu Vaccine Effectiveness

Do One Out of 39 Vaccinated Children Suffer Serious Injuries?

Why do some folks think that one out of 39 vaccinated children suffer serious injuries?

Serious injuries are not common after vaccines.
In addition to myths about serious injuries, these folks are getting hit with a lot of conspiracy theories about vaccines.

Because that’s what they are told in anti-vax Facebook groups

Do One Out of 39 Vaccinated Children Suffer Serious Injuries?

If they actually took the time to read the report cited in the post, the pilot study conducted by the Federal Agency for Health Care Research (AHCR) via the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) back in 2010, they would actually see that it doesn’t actually say anything about serious vaccine injuries.

The study actually looked at all possible reactions, not just "serious injuries."
They don’t mention this, but the study actually looked at all possible reactions, not just “serious injuries.”

The study, which look at VAERS reports, was actually talking about ALL possible reactions after a child was vaccinated, so would include more mild reactions, like fever, pain, and redness at the injection site.

“The same study found that typical clinicians see 1.3 vaccine injuries per month.”

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Chairman, Children’s Health Defense

In case you haven’t recognized it yet, they are talking about the infamous “Harvard study.”

Well, infamous in anti-vax circles…

They use it to scare parents into thinking that vaccine injuries are more common than they really are and that they are rarely reported.

Don’t let this kind of vaccine misinformation get in the way of your vaccinating and protecting your kids.

Vaccines are safe, with few risks.

More on Serious Vaccine Injuries