Woman seeks supports for people with adverse reactions to Covid-19 jabs

Limerick mother of two has had ‘debilitating’ tinnitus since getting her first dose in July

Jennifer Lynch experienced ‘chronic and debilitating’ tinnitus and hyperacusis since receiving her first dose of the Pfizer vaccine in early July

Jennifer Lynch experienced ‘chronic and debilitating’ tinnitus and hyperacusis since receiving her first dose of the Pfizer vaccine in early July

Your Web Browser may be out of date. If you are using Internet Explorer 9, 10 or 11 our Audio player will not work properly.
For a better experience use Google Chrome, Firefox or Microsoft Edge.

 

A Limerick woman has called on the Government to provide greater support for people who have experienced adverse reactions to the Covid-19 vaccines.

Jennifer Lynch, a 37-year-old mother of two with no underlying health conditions, is one of the 60,000 people in the partially vaccinated category: people who have had their first dose but who have not availed of their second.

Ms Lynch said she supported the vaccine programme and would like to get her second dose but has received conflicting advice from doctors on getting the second dose after experiencing “chronic and debilitating” tinnitus (ringing in the ears) and hyperacusis (sensitivity to sounds) since receiving her first dose of the Pfizer vaccine in early July.

She said that she had spoken to seven doctors, consultants and other medics and all but one either told her that they could not advise her on whether or not to take the second dose or else have advised her not to.

Medicines regulator the Health Products Regulatory Authority lists tinnitus as a side effect experienced in between 1 and 10 per cent of adverse reaction cases. By the end of last month, the HPRA had received 15,424 reports of suspected side effects out of 7.2 million doses administered.

Ms Lynch is concerned that the second dose may make her condition worse. Her GP and an ear, nose and throat consultant she has consulted have told her that this may happen, she said.

She told The Irish Times that when she received two calls from the Health Service Executive about her non-attendance at her second dose appointment the callers apologised and attempted to end the call as quickly as possible when she highlighted the position she was in.

‘Left in limbo’

She said she has received a lack of support from the HSE and has been “left in limbo”, wanting the second vaccine for her safety and that of her family – and fearful of having had only one dose – but concerned about the risk of exacerbating the pitch of her tinnitus if she gets the second.

Her doctors have advised her that the condition may now be permanent, she said.

She has written to Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly requesting greater support for people in her situation.

“I am a strong supporter of the vaccination rollout, every day grateful for the benefits of medical advancement,” she said.

“However, as one of the small minority who have experienced a potentially permanent and crippling adverse response to this vaccine, the apathy and disregard I have experienced by the HSE has been crushing.”

She feels she has been “left to play Russian roulette” facing the risk of contracting Covid, which she doesn’t underestimate, and the risk of making her condition worse.

The HSE has said the number of people who have declined the second dose because of an adverse reaction to the first was “very small”.

It said that there is a protocol in place for referring people in these situations to vaccination centres for assessment on whether they should get the second dose.

News Digests

Stay on top of the latest newsSIGN UP HERE