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Covid vaccine injury claim

The following article looks at some of the more common Covid-19 vaccine injuries and adverse side effects including explanations of the conditions, common symptoms and when they typically first appear after the vaccination (some are more immediate while others take longer to show up).

Murphy’s Law Accident Lawyers are experts in Covid-19 vaccine injury claims. Our site contains further resources such as a step by step guide to making a Covid-19 injury claim via the government scheme and we can offer free advice specific to your individual situation.

Conditions covered in this article:

  1. Anaphylactic reactions (allergic reactions)
  2. Thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome (blood clots)
  3. Myocarditis (heart muscle inflammation)
  4. Pericarditis (heart lining inflammation)
  5. Capillary Leak Syndrome (blood plasma leaking from capillaries) 
  6. Demyelinating disorders such as MS (nerve damage)
  7. Guillain Barre Syndrome/GBS (immune system attacking the nervous system)
  8. Thrombocytopenia (low level of blood platelets)
  9. Shoulder injuries
  10. Other injuries

1: Anaphylactic reactions (allergic reactions)

What is an anaphylactic reaction?

An anaphylactic reaction:

  • is a severe (and potentially life threatening) allergic reaction.
  • is also known as anaphylaxis.  

What are the common symptoms of an anaphylactic reaction?

Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction to something.

It can involve symptoms such as:

  • difficulty breathing
  • swelling of the tongue
  • swelling or tightness of the throat
  • problems talking or a hoarse voice
  • a wheeze or ongoing cough
  • persistent dizziness or looking pale etc.

Sometimes you can feel other symptoms before those: such as rashes, fainting, swelling of the face or lips, stomach pain or vomiting.

Your doctor will help carry out tests to try to determine what medicines (including vaccines), food or other things (like insects) you might have been exposed to try to work out the cause.

When do anaphylactic symptoms usually first appear after a vaccine?

According to the Australian Society of Clinical Immunology & Allergy (ASCIA) an anaphylactic reaction to a vaccine will typically occur within about 20-30 minutes of you receiving it. 

In saying that, this is an evolving area of understanding in science and medicine.  We would not recommend ruling out a connection simply because a condition developed outside this type of timeframe.  The development of further studies and research over time will help reveal when the onset can occur.

2: Thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome (blood clots)

What is Thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome (TTS)?

Thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome:

  • thrombosis occurs when blood clots form in the arteries or veins.  Thrombocytopenia is a condition where there aren’t enough blood platelets in your bloodstream.  We all need the right level of platelets to allow the blood to clot (to stop excessive bleeding). 
  • Thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome (or TTS) is a rare condition which occurs when a person has both blood clots (thrombosis) and low blood platelet levels (thrombocytopenia).
  • ‘Thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome’ is also known as ‘Vaccine-induced Thrombotic Thrombocytopenia’.  

It has been found that the majority of cases have detectable pathological antibodies directed against Platelet Factor 4 (PF4).

Click here for a more detailed explanation of this condition (in a video presentation given to Australian Doctors).

What are the common symptoms of Thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome (TTS)?

Thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome (or TTS) is a syndrome which occurs when a person has both blood clots (thrombosis) and low blood platelet levels (thrombocytopenia).

Symptoms will often involve:

  • severe headache
  • blurred vision
  • chest pain
  • seizures or confusion
  • stomach pain, nausea and vomiting
  • back pain
  • shortness of breath
  • small blood spots under the skin
  • leg pain or swelling
  • becoming easily bruised or bleeding.

When do Thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome (TTS) symptoms usually first appear after a vaccine?

The European Medicines Agency has noted that most cases present with symptoms within the first two weeks of vaccination.

A January 2022 study published in American Society of Hematology website (hematology.org) found that the diagnosis could involve a longer period – of between 4 to 42 days from vaccination to the onset of symptoms:

  • blood clots in the veins or arteries (commonly in the brain or abdomen)
  • a low platelet count
  • elevated D-dimer; or 
  • a positive  PF4 “HIT” result.

Having said that, this remains an evolving area of understanding in science and medicine.  We would not recommend ruling out a connection simply because a condition developed outside this type of timeframe.  The development of further studies and research over time will help reveal when the onset can occur.

3: Myocarditis (heart muscle inflammation)

What is Myocarditis?

Icon of man with heart pain from myocarditis

Myocarditis is:

  • an inflammation of the heart muscle caused by a reaction in the body’s immune system.
  • more commonly associated with MRNA vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna).
  • seems to occur more often after the second dose of a vaccine
  • said to be more prevalent in adolescent males and young men (aged 12-24 years)

What are the common symptoms of Myocarditis?

The symptoms of myocarditis (an inflammation of the heart muscle) can include:

  • chest pain
  • chest discomfort or pressure
  • fatigue
  • an irregular heart beat
  • fainting or shortness of breath.

When do Myocarditis symptoms usually first appear after a vaccine?

The CDCD (the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention) reports that myocarditis symptoms usually start  within a week of vaccination.

That does not mean it is not possible to develop such a condition outside that type of timeframe.  That is simply the reported norm based on that organisation’s findings.  

This is an evolving area of understanding in science and medicine.  We would not recommend ruling out a connection simply because a condition developed outside this type of timeframe.  The development of further studies and research over time will help reveal when the onset can occur.

4: Pericarditis (heart lining inflammation)

What is Pericarditis?

Pericarditis:

  • is an inflammation of the outer lining of the heart.
  • otherwise very similar in cause and effect to myocarditis.
  • more commonly associated with MRNA vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna).
  • occurs more often after the second dose of a vaccine.
  • is said to be more prevalent in adolescent males and young men (aged 12-24 years).

What are the common symptoms of Pericarditis?

Pericarditis (inflammation of the outer lining of the heart) symptoms can include:

  • sharp chest pain (sometimes worse when lying down and alleviated when sitting up)
  • pain when breathing in deeply
  • an irregular heart beat
  • shortness of breath.

When do Pericarditis symptoms usually first appear after a vaccine?

The CDCD (the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention) reports that myocarditis symptoms usually start within a week of vaccination.

That does not mean it is not possible to develop such a condition outside that type of timeframe.  That is simply the reported norm based on that organisation’s findings.  

This is an evolving area of understanding in science and medicine.  We would not recommend ruling out a connection simply because a condition developed outside this type of timeframe.  The development of further studies and research over time will help reveal when the onset can occur.

5: Capillary Leak Syndrome (blood plasma leaking from capillaries)

What is Capillary Leak Syndrome?

Capillary Leak Syndrome:

  • is a condition where the blood plasma leaks out from small blood vessels (the capillaries) and into the surrounding body tissue.  It can lead to rapid and multiple organ failure and sometimes death.
  • is also called Systemic Capillary Leak Syndrome (SCLS) or Clarkson’s disease.
  • is often intermittent in nature – making it difficult to diagnose.
  • Because of its similarity to other conditions (such as sepsis) it is also often misdiagnosed.
  • has been associated with the AstraZeneca vaccine (which experts have said should be avoided being taken if there is a prior history of SCLS).  Other experts suggest that such people could take the vaccine but should do so with intravenous immunoglobulin prophylaxis before having the vaccination. 
  • often the condition is triggered by viral lung infections.

What are the common symptoms of Capillary Leak Syndrome?

According to experts symptoms of Capillary Leak Syndrome can include:

a general feeling of illness or unease that is difficult to identify (malaise)

  • fatigue
  • fainting
  • swelling caused by fluid being trapped in the body (oedema)
  • dizziness
  • increased thirst or decreased urination
  • low blood pressure (hypotension)
  • low levels of the a blood protein ‘albumin’ (hypoalbuminemia)
  • a high red blood cell concentration (hemoconcentration)
  • the presence of M protein (an abnormal immune protein) has also been found in 85% of patients.

It is often also:

When do Capillary Leak Syndrome symptoms usually first appear after a vaccine?

Because CLS is a rare and not well understood condition it makes diagnosis more problematic. 

As a result, there is little available data on when symptoms might first appear.

In one recent Canadian study of a patient who experienced Capillary Leak Syndrome, the experts noted he began to experience symptoms within  two days of having his first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine.   There is nothing definitive yet to suggest it could not occur some time afterwards (as with other vaccine related conditions).

The difficult nature of diagnosing and understanding the condition (often mistaking it for other conditions) means that many people will likely not realise they have CLS for some time.

6: Demyelinating disorders such as MS (nerve damage)

What are Demyelinating Disorders?

Demyelinating disorders are diseases related to the damage of the myelin (the insulating material that surrounds the nerves) in the body’s nervous system.

The Scheme does not limit the type of such conditions although it does specifically state that it includes Guillain Barre Syndrome.

An important step will be ensuring your doctor is able to confirm that the condition was caused by the COVID vaccine and not from other causes.

Multiple sclerosis (MS)) is the most common demyelinating disease.  It attacks the central nervous system (the brain, the spine and the optic (eye) nerves). The loss of myelin means the nerves have problems sending electrical signals to and from the brain.   The symptoms differ from person to person. 

Others include :

  • Guillain Barre Syndrome – it attacks and damages the nerve insulation (myelin) in nerves that go out beyond the brainstem and spinal cord to other parts of the body (these are called the peripheral nerves).  It differs to MS because that condition instead relates only to the nerves of the brain and spinal chord.      
  • Optic neuritis – inflammation of the optic nerve in your eye.
  • Transverse myeltits– inflammation of your spinal cord.
  • Neuromyelitis Optica (NMO) (also called Devic’s disease) – a combination of both inflammation of the optic nerve (optic neuritis) and inflammation of the spinal cord (myelitis).
  • Acute disseminated encephalomyelitis – inflammation of the brain and spinal cord.
  • Bell’s Palsy – an auto-immune reaction that attacks the peripheral nerve myelin. It is a palsy involving the facial nerve

What are the common symptoms of Demyelinating Disorders?

Demyelinating disorders cover a range of diseases which result in the myelin (the insulating material that surrounds the axons of neurons in the central nervous system) being damaged.

Because of that the symptoms can vary for each type of disease.

Typically though the most common symptoms of a demyelinating disorder are:

  • blurred or double vision
  • muscle weakness
  • muscle stiffness
  • muscle spasms or tremors
  • change in bladder and bowel control
  • sensory changes
  • changes in memory
  • slurring or slowing of speech
  • extreme fatigue
  • tingling, numbness or pins and needles
  • difficulties with balance, walking or coordination
  • sensitivity to heat and cold

What are the common symptoms of Guillain Barre Syndrome (GBS)?

This disease involves the body’s own immune system attacking the nervous system (the myelin which surrounds the nerves).

Common symptoms of Guillain Barre Syndrome (GBS) include:

  • muscle weakness
  • paralysis of the body
  • difficulty swallowing
  • difficulty speaking or chewing
  • pain that can be severe (often at night)
  • an abnormal heartbeat or heart rate
  • problems with digestion or bladder control
  • a lack of coordination or jerky movements
  • unusual sensations such as vibrating, buzzing or a feeling of insects crawling under the skin
  • blurred vision
  • dizziness
  • muscle aches
  • pains or cramps or breathing problems

Symptoms often start in the feet or legs and progress up the body over a number of days or weeks.

Every person experiences their own range of symptoms which makes diagnosis of the condition more difficult.

7: Thrombocytopenia (low level of blood platelets)

What is Thrombocytopenia?

Thrombocytopenia (including immune Thrombocytopenia) is a condition which results in a low level of blood platelets (also called thrombocytes).  If there are a low number of blood platelets then it makes it difficult for the blood to clot when you cut yourself and can lead to bleeding problems.

Immune Thrombocytopenia (which is also known as ‘Idiopathic Thrombocytopenia  Purpura’ (ITP)) is a disease where the body’s own immune system attacks its blood platelets reducing their levels and making it more difficult for the blood to clot.   A study in Scotland noted the link between the AstraZeneca vaccine and immune Thrombocytopenia/ITP.

What are the common symptoms of Thrombocytopenia?

The most common symptoms of Thrombocytopenia include:

  • bruising easily
  • nosebleeds
  • bleeding gums
  • heavy periods
  • pinpoint blood spots in the skin
  • blood in faeces or urine
  • cuts that continue to bleed
  • feeling fatigued  

It is a condition which results in a low level of blood platelets (also called thrombocytes).  If there are a low number of blood platelets then it makes it difficult for the blood to clot when you cut yourself and can lead to bleeding problems.

8: Shoulder Injuries

Shoulder injuries caused by a COVID-19 approved vaccine injection:

  • are covered by the scheme.
  • are so common with vaccine injections that they form part of a worldwide phenomena called ‘Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration (SIRVA)’.
  • typically occur when the needle is injected either too high or too low on the arm (the needle is supposed to be inserted into the deltoid muscle of the arm and not in the shoulder joint).
  • are typically greater than would be expected from a simple needle injury because an immune triggered response to the ingredients of the vaccine can be involved.
  • include shoulder bursitis, tendonitis, frozen shoulder, nerve damage, rotator cuff tears and fluid retention in the deltoid or rotator cuff. 

What are the common symptoms of Shoulder Injuries caused by Vaccine-injections?

Symptoms from injection-caused shoulder injury will often include:

  • arm or shoulder pain
  • restricted movement
  • inflammation or swelling near the injection site
  • stiffness
  • increased pain at night  

They can lead on to become shoulder conditions such as: 

  • shoulder bursitis
  • tendonitis
  • frozen shoulder
  • nerve damage
  • rotator cuff tears
  • fluid retention in the deltoid or rotator cuff

9: Other Injuries

Can any other injuries caused by the insertion of the Vaccination Needle fall within the COVID-19 Vaccination Scheme??

Yes. Any other moderate to significant physical injury caused by the administration of the injection can fall within the scheme.  But that injury:

  • must have led to a permanent impairment or a need for an extended period of medical treatment (see the Scheme definition of ‘COVID-19 Vaccine Administration Related Harm’)
  • needs to be clinically diagnosed (ie having a doctor confirm the injury)
  • does not include psychological distress
  • needs to be found to be ‘most likely caused’ by the vaccine injection and ‘less likely’ caused by other circumstances.

Getting evidence to prove a Covid vaccine injury and it's financial impacts can be complex. Our expert injury lawyers can help through the whole process.

For more information, see our main Covid-19 vaccine injury claim page or get in touch with our team by giving us a call for free advice on 1800 094 603 or start a live chat to request a call back at a time that suits you.

Posted by Chris McManus Principal

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Disclaimer: Please note, this content is designed as general information only and does not constitute legal advice. While we make every effort to fact check and keep items up to date, legislation may change from time to time. For advice on your specific situation then please contact us.
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