Leah Durant | Vaccine Attorney - Vaccine Blog

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Can the MMR Vaccine Cause Encephalitis?

The measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine is among the most-effective vaccines in use today. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that cases of measles have dropped by 99 percent since the introduction of the MMR vaccine; and overall, the MMR vaccine is 97 percent effective for individuals who receive both of the recommended doses.

But, like all vaccines, the MMR vaccine carries certain risks for individuals who receive immunizations – both as children and as adults. Although rare, one condition linked to the MMR vaccine (which is also a known side effect of measles) is encephalitis.

MMR Vaccine Linked to Some Cases of Encephalitis

Encephalitis, or inflammation of the brain, is a treatable but potentially-serious medical condition that can result from immune system disorders. This includes disorders triggered by the MMR vaccine. According to the CDC:

“Measles inclusion body encephalitis, or severe brain swelling caused by the measles virus, is a complication of getting infected with the wild-type measles virus.  While rare, this disorder almost always happens in patients with weakened immune systems. The illness usually develops within 1 year after initial measles infection and has a high death rate.”

Similarly, the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) reports that encephalitis and encephalopathy have been identified as “rare but serious complications” associated with MMR vaccine immunization.

Symptoms of Vaccine-Related Encephalitis

Most people who have contracted encephalitis initially experience flu-like symptoms, including muscle aches and pains, fatigue, loss of appetite, congestion, and dehydration. Signs that brain inflammation due to an MMR vaccination may be getting worse include:

  • Confusion
  • Drowsiness
  • Seizures
  • Severe headaches
  • Sudden fever
  • Vomiting

In most cases, individuals diagnosed with encephalitis can make a full recovery without medical intervention. However, in severe cases, inpatient treatment may be necessary. Common treatment methods for encephalitis include anti-inflammatory medications, intravenous fluids and respiratory assistance. Patients who experience prolonged cases of encephalitis may also need speech, physical and/or occupational therapy.

Financial Compensation for Encephalitis Resulting from an MMR Vaccination

Individuals who have been diagnosed with encephalitis following a measles, mumps and rubella vaccination should find out if they are eligible for compensation under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP). The VICP is a federal government program that pays for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering resulting from vaccine-related injuries and illnesses. If you qualify, you may be able to obtain a settlement, although it may be necessary to engage an attorney to argue your case before the U.S. Court of Federal Claims (also known as the “Vaccine Court”) in Washington, D.C. 

Learn more about seeking compensation for encephalitis under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP):

Speak with a Vaccine Injury Lawyer about Your Case for Free

If you or a family member has been diagnosed with encephalitis following an MMR vaccination, we encourage you to contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation about your rights under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP). To speak with an experienced vaccine injury lawyer about your case in confidence, please call (202) 800-1711 or tell us about your situation online today.

Leah Durant Bio

Experienced litigation attorney Leah Durant focuses on representing clients in complex vaccine litigation matters. Leah Durant is the owner and principal attorney of the Law Offices of Leah V. Durant, PLLC, a litigation firm based in Washington, DC. Leah Durant and her staff represent clients and their families who suffer from vaccine-related injuries, adverse vaccine reactions and vaccine-related deaths. The Law Offices of Leah V. Durant, PLLC is dedicated to assisting individuals in recovering the highest level of compensation as quickly and efficiently as possible. To learn more, contact vaccine attorney Leah Durant today.


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