Vaccine researcher sustained vaccine injury

Local News

PROVO (ABC4 News) – Deborah Johnson is a 6th-year Ph.D. student at BYU and the lead author on a study about changing the perception of people who are vaccine hesitant.

Vaccine injuries are one of the arguments against vaccines, but Johnson sustained one and disagrees.

Johnson explained that the study found, “Talking about vaccine-preventable diseases and how the immune system actually works is much more effective in an educational sense than talking about vaccines are safe they don’t cause autism, etc.”

Johnson developed SIRVA after a flu shot was incorrectly injected into her arm. She said, “There’s a beautiful fluid-filled sac called a bursa in your shoulder, and if it gets hit by the vaccine then it essentially swells up and pushes your humerus out of socket.”

Her doctors diagnosed it just days later and the company responsible did grant her an insurance settlement, but she still endured years of intense pain and her shoulder will never be the same. Still, she says she is adamantly and passionately pro-vaccine. 

Johnson said, “I’ve had three years of intense pain in this shoulder but my great grandmother never had children because her husband was sterile from mumps, my great uncle was half paralyzed from polio, my great grandmother ended up dying early from rheumatic fever. Those are much larger consequences than my shoulder injury.”


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