New York State Senator Jose Peralta was pro-vaccine, but his widow is speaking out after his body poisoned itself. The 47-year-old politician got a flu shot a couple weeks before he died, and reports say he thought his symptoms were a result of the vaccine.
Although there is no way to know whether the flu shot was a cause in the bizarre death, it is worth mentioning that the young man hadn’t shown any previous problems and was in fact described as healthy.
Peralta passed away on Thanksgiving eve in Elmhurst Hospital after developing a fever and later became “disoriented and had trouble breathing.”
He had reportedly been feeling sick for at least two weeks before his death and, according to the Associated Press, Mrs. Peralta had told reporters that her husband felt pressure behind his ears and headaches for a week or more. As a result, he visited a doctor.
The New York Times quoted Sen. Peralta’s director of communications, Chris Sosa, as stating “It was like pulling teeth to get him (Peralta) to talk about not feeling well. He just thought he was having symptoms related to getting the flu shot.”
Peralta’s wife told reporters at the New York Post her husband’s ‘body was poisoning itself’ to death.
Evelyn Peralta said her husband suffered sudden septic shock after experiencing two weeks of flu-like symptoms.
“All they said is that he was septic,” she said after meeting with the city Medical Examiner’s office.
“And that led to organ failure,” she added, “They need to do additional tests.”
“There is no final conclusion yet. They don’t know” what caused the fatal blood infection, she said. “His body was poisoning itself.”
Tearfully she continued, “I just came back from viewing the body. The doctor said it’s rare, [given] his age and that it happened so quick … he was healthy. He was a healthy guy.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, common side effects of the vaccine include soreness, redness, and/or swelling from the shot, headache, fever, nausea and muscle aches.
The flu shot can also cause fainting and has been associated with Guillain-Barré Syndrome, which is inflammation of the peripheral nervous system.
It can create “severe allergic reactions that may be fatal, including difficulty breathing, hoarseness or wheezing, swelling around the eyes or lips, hives, paleness, weakness and a fast heartbeat or dizziness. There are ingredients in influenza vaccines that can cause some people to have reactions.”
Peralta, who was the first Dominican-American member of the New York state senate, had his funeral held Tuesday morning.
“Jose Peralta was a proud son of Queens and the Dominican Republic. He worked his way up from the grassroots, with heart and tenacity. Chirlane and I are both pained by his sudden loss. Our prayers are with his wife Evelyn and his sons,” Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted.
The death is both sad and tragic.