Can vaccines cause autoimmune disorders?
Autoimmune disorders occur when your immune system mistakenly attacks healthy cells and tissues, affecting the nerves, skin, blood vessels, internal organs, and more. In rare cases, certain vaccines can cause autoimmune disorders.
While the connection between certain autoimmune diseases and vaccines remains unclear, the following list includes the autoimmune diseases that can occur after a vaccine:
- Brachial neuritis. Brachial neuritis affects nerves that control muscles in the shoulders, arms and hands.
- Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP). This rare disorder causes swelling of the nerve roots and destruction of their myelin sheaths.
- Encephalitis. This is an inflammation of the brain.
- Encephalopathy. This refers to a number of different conditions that affect the structure or function of the brain.
- Guillain-Barré syndrome. This disorder causes the immune system to attack the peripheral nerves that go from the spinal cord to the arms, hands, legs and feet.
- Immune thrombocytopenia purpura (ITP). ITP, usually happens when the immune system mistakenly attacks blood platelets, causing bleeding.
- Rheumatoid arthritis. This form of arthritis causes pain, swelling, stiffness and loss of function in the joints.
- Transverse myelitis. This condition causes the entire width of the spinal cord to become inflamed, resulting in weakness and numbness.
What vaccines are known to cause autoimmune disorders?
A number of vaccines can cause autoimmune disorders, including:
- Influenza (Flu)
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
- Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
- Meningococcal (MPSV4, MCV4)
- Varicella/Chickenpox (VAR)
Autoimmune disorders caused by a vaccine may be serious, and you might be eligible for compensation. Take our free quiz now to find out if you qualify.
Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS) and Vaccines
Guillain-Barré syndrome, or GBS, and also known as Acute Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy, is a rare disorder of the peripheral nerves that has been associated with certain vaccines.
GBS happens when the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks the protective myelin sheath that covers the nerves serving the arms, hands, legs and feet. Eventually, this can lead to:
- Abnormally high or low blood pressure
- Difficulty breathing
- Difficulty walking
- Loss of bladder or bowel control
- Loss of facial muscle control
If you have any of these symptoms after a vaccination, see a doctor immediately.
Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy (CDIP) and Vaccines
This rare autoimmune disorder damages myelin, which is the protective covering of the peripheral nerves. The peripheral nerves connect the spinal cord to the arms, hands, legs and feet.
CDIP can start with tingling or numbness in the toes and fingers and progress to the arms and legs. Other symptoms include:
- Loss of reflexes
- Sensory loss
- Uncoordinated movements
These symptoms often come on gradually, and eventually people with CDIP can have problems with breathing, slurred speech and difficulty walking.
If you or a loved one has symptoms of CDIP after a vaccine, see your doctor.
Am I eligible for vaccine injury compensation for an autoimmune disorder?
The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) includes autoimmune disorders as a covered injury.
If you or a loved one has developed symptoms of an autoimmune disorder, take our vaccine eligibility quiz to see if you qualify for compensation. Our experienced vaccine injury attorneys can file a claim for you with the VICP at no cost to you.