Mentor-on-the-Lake mother alerting parents after son suffers severe allergic reaction to flu shot

The chances are 1 in a million, but this mother wants parents to know the signs

Mentor-on-the-Lake mother alerting parents after son suffers severe allergic reaction to flu shot

MENTOR-ON-THE-LAKE, Ohio (WOIO) - This time of year the signs are everywhere, telling you to get a flu shot.

But, Josie Filipovic has a warning for other parents, after her son had a severe allergic reaction.

Doctors say her son’s reaction to the shot could have killed him, but the good news is, cases like his are extremely rare.

Nevertheless, Filipovic is warning parents and urging them to pay attention to what happens after their kids get the immunization.

About an hour after little Niko got his flu shot Saturday, he started to cough and break out in hives.

When Mentor-on-the-Lake paramedics arrived, they gave Niko a dose of epinephrine and took him to the hospital.

“He didn’t eat or consume anything else after that, so they do believe it was the flu shot," Filipovic said.

Doctor Sam Friedlander specializes in allergy immunology.

We told him about what happened to Niko.

“It sounded terrifying,” he said.

He says it’s not necessarily uncommon for someone to have a reaction to the flu shot, but Nikko’s was very serious.

“He had multiple symptoms from different parts of the body, so he certainly had anaphylaxis,” he said.

That could have caused him to stop breathing and therefore been life-threatening.

Friedlander said, “The good news is only one in a million injections are affiliated with anaphylaxis, so the occurrence is very low.”

Niko is doing much better after doctors gave him some Benedryl and a strong steroid.

Filipovic says she’s not issuing this warning, because she doesn’t think people should get the flu shot.

“Absolutely not. I am not against it,” she said.

After all, her kids have gotten it every year. Niko’s doctor has stressed the shot’s importance because of the heart condition he has.

“I just want to warn other parents or other people who have not been allergic before to a flu shot, just to watch out for the symptoms," she said.

Doctors say the top three things you should look for after getting your child a flu shot are vomiting, hives and trouble breathing. If you see any of those, seek medical help.

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