Vaccine Reactions

One of the NJ Coalition leaders, who is also a mom to two vaccine-injured children, researched all of the known vaccine side effects and provided definitions for each. All parents should have the right to make an informed vaccine choice for their children, but first we need to know the risks versus the benefits and be familiar with the side effect “terminology” used on package inserts and in the Physicians Desk Reference. Also, if a child is suffering from chronic or acute illness, it may be helpful to look up the symptoms on this list to see if it is related to vaccines. This information was presented to the vice-chair of the NJ Senate Health Committee to support the Conscientious Exemption bill (A260/S1071).


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THE PHYSICIAN’S DESK REFERENCE (PDR) and VACCINES The Physician’s Desk Reference is commonly referred to as “the Doctor’s Bible.” The PDR is a compilation of drug manufacturers’ information for prescription and over the counter drugs, critical to doctors for safe prescribing. The information commonly emphasizes warnings, contraindications and the known adverse reactions related to specific pharmaceuticals. The Physician’s Desk Reference lists these causes of death associated with vaccines:

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS); anaphylactic shock resulting from an allergic reaction to vaccine components; encephalitis (inflammation of the brain); thrombocytopenia (hemorrhaging to death) and “death” (cause unknown). The Physician’s Desk Reference lists these known adverse reactions resulting from vaccination. Manufacturers state that widespread use of vaccines can reveal adverse reactions not noted in clinical trials.

Abscess: A localized collection of pus anywhere in the body surrounded and walled off by damaged and inflamed tissues, usually caused by a local bacterial infection which the body has failed to overcome. Agammaglobulinemia: A total deficiency of the plasma protein gamma globulin.

Anaphylaxis: An abnormal reaction to a particular antigen in which histamine is released from tissues and causes either local or systemic symptoms.

Anaphylactic Shock: An extremely serious, generalized allergic reaction in which the widespread release of histamine causes swelling, constriction of the bronchioles, heart failure, circulatory collapse and sometimes death.

Angioedema: An allergic condition producing transient or persistent swelling of areas of the skin accompanied by itching and usually produced by allergies to food, drugs, substances or other allergens.

Apnea: Temporary cessation of breathing from any cause. Common in newborns, it is related to crib death/ SIDS.

Arrhythmia: Irregularity or loss of rhythm of the heartbeat.

Aseptic Meningitis: A non-purulent form of meningitis usually caused by viral infection.

Arthralgia: Pain in the joints without swelling or any other sign of arthritis.

Arthritis: Inflammatory disease affecting the muscular walls of the arteries due to connective tissue disease or infection such as syphilis.

Atrophy: The wasting away of a normally developed organ or tissue due to the degeneration of cells.

Bell’s Palsy: Paralysis of the facial nerve causing weakness of the muscles of one side of the face and an inability to close the eye.

Conjunctivitis: Inflammation of the delicate mucus membrane that covers the front of the eye and lines the inside of the eyelids, causing a pus-containing or watery discharge usually caused by viral or bacterial infection.

Convulsions: An involuntary contraction of the muscles producing contortion of the body and limbs. Febrile convulsions are provoked by a fever in otherwise healthy infants and children.

Deafness: partial or total loss of hearing in one or both ears.

Diabetes Mellitus: A chronic disorder of carbohydrate metabolism, characterized by hyperglycemia and glycosuria, resulting from inadequate production or utilization of insulin.

Dyspepsia: Disordered digestion, usually applied to pain or discomfort in the lower chest or abdomen occurring after eating.

Dyspnea: Labored or difficult breathing due to the obstruction of the flow of air into and out of the lungs; various diseases affecting the tissues of the lungs.

Dysuria: Difficult or painful urination.

Ecchymosis: A bluish-black mark on the skin resulting from the release of blood into the tissues either through injury or through the spontaneous leaking of blood from the vessels. Edema: Excessive accumulation of fluid in the body tissues.

Encephalitis: Inflammation of the brain caused by a viral or bacterial infection; may also result from an allergic response to a systemic viral illness or vaccination.

Encephalomyelitis: An acute inflammatory disease affecting the brain and spinal cord. Acute disseminated encephalomyelitis is a form of delayed tissue hypersensitivity provoked by a mild infection or vaccination.

Encephalopathy: Any of various diseases that affect the functioning of the brain.

Erythema: Abnormal flushing of the skin caused by dilation of the blood capillaries, often a sign of inflammation and infection. Also; erythema nodosum; erythema multiform; erythema infectiosum.

Gastroenteritis: Inflammation of the stomach and intestine usually due to acute infection by viruses or bacteria.

Guillain-Barre Syndrome: A disease of the peripheral nerves in which there is numbness and weakness in the limbs. Usually develops following a respiratory or gastrointestinal infection that provokes an allergic response in the peripheral nerves.

Meningitis: An inflammation of the meninges of the brain resulting from infection by viruses or bacteria.

Myalgia: Muscle pain.

Necrosis: The death of areas of tissues or bone surrounded by healthy parts.

Neuralgia: Severe burning or stabbing pain often following the course of a nerve.

Neuritis: Disease of the peripheral nerves showing the pathological changes of inflammation.

Neuropathy: Any disease of the peripheral nerves usually causing numbness or weakness. In polyneuropathy, many or all of the nerves are involved and the symptoms are most profound at the extremities of the limbs.

Pancreatitis: Inflammation of the pancreas.

Paralysis: Muscle impairment or loss of muscle function that varies in extent, severity and the degree of spasticity or flaccidity, according to the nature of the underlying disease and its distribution in the brain, spinal cord, peripheral nerves or muscles.

Paresthesia: A spontaneously occurring, abnormal tingling sensation resulting from partial damage to the peripheral nerves or damage to sensory fibers in the spinal cord.

Petechia: A small, round, flat, dark red spot caused by bleeding into the skin or beneath the mucous membrane.

Poliomyelitis: Otherwise known as infant paralysis caused by an infectious viral disease affecting the central nervous system.

Purpura: A skin rash resulting from bleeding into the skin from small blood vessels, due either to defects in the capillaries or to a deficiency of blood platelets.

Screaming Syndrome: Sudden, abnormal crying or screaming in infants and children, characterized by loud, high pitched piercing sounds as if provoked by extreme pain.

Sepsis: A putrefactive destruction of the tissues by disease-causing bacteria or other toxins.

Sequela: Any disorder or pathological condition that results from a preceding disease or accident.

Serum Sickness: A reaction that sometimes occurs 7-12 days after injection of a foreign serum. The usual symptoms are rashes, fever, joint pain and enlargement of the lymph nodes.

Spasm: A sustained, involuntary muscular contraction, which may occur, either as part of a generalized disorder or as a local response to an otherwise unconnected, painful condition.

Stupor: A condition of near unconsciousness with apparent mental inactivity and reduced ability to respond to stimuli.

Syncope: Loss of consciousness induced by temporarily insufficient flow of blood to the brain.

Thrombocytopenia: A reduction in the number of platelets in the blood, resulting in bleeding into the skin, spontaneous bruising and prolonged bleeding after injury due to failure of platelet production or excessive destruction of the platelets.

Vasculitis: Inflammation of the walls of small blood vessels.


Definition source: The Bantam Medical Dictionary, copyright 2000 by Market House Books, Ltd.


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