Vaccines are a very controversial topic. Do you get them or not? What about the side effects? Do you allow your children to be vaccinated? What happens when you or a loved one gets sick from a vaccination? Is there a way to be compensated in the event of an injury?
The Health Resources and Service Administration’s website states that on October 1, 1988, the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 created the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP). The VICP was established to ensure an adequate supply of vaccines, stabilize vaccine costs, and establish and maintain an accessible and efficient forum for individuals found to be injured by certain vaccines. The VICP is a no-fault alternative to the traditional tort system for resolving vaccine injury claims that provides compensation to people found to be injured by certain vaccines. The U. S. Court of Federal Claims decides who will be paid.
The table known as the Vaccine Injury Table makes it easier for some people to get compensation. The Table lists and explains injuries/conditions that are presumed to be caused by vaccines. It also lists time periods in which the first symptom of these injuries/conditions must occur after receiving the vaccine. If the first symptom of these injuries/conditions occurs within the listed time periods, it is presumed that the vaccine was the cause of the injury or condition unless another cause is found.
Individuals and their families can qualify for compensation in three ways. One is to show that an injury found on the Vaccine Injury Table occurred in the appropriate time interval following immunization. The other two ways to qualify include proving that the vaccine caused the condition or demonstrating that the vaccine worsened or aggravated a pre-existing condition.
If your injury or condition is not on the Table or if your injury/condition did not occur within the time period on the Table, you must prove that the vaccine caused the injury/condition. Such proof must be based on medical records or opinion, which may include expert witness testimony.
For an injury, your claim must be filed within 3 years after the first symptom of the vaccine injury. For a death, your claim must be filed within 2 years of the death and 4 years after the start of first symptom of the vaccine-related injury from which the death occurred.
When a new vaccine is covered by the VICP or when a new injury/condition is added to the Vaccine Injury Table (Table), claims that do not meet the general filing deadlines must be filed within 2 years from the date the vaccine or injury/condition is added to the Table for injuries or deaths that occurred up to 8 years before the Table change. The Table lists and explains injuries that are presumed to be caused by vaccines. For more specific details please visit the Vaccine Injury Table.
For example, the hepatitis A vaccine was covered by the VICP as of December 1, 2004. Under the general filing deadline for an injury, the claim must be filed within 3 years after the first symptom of the vaccine injury. However, claims that do not meet the general filing deadlines must be file by December 1, 2006 for injuries or deaths that occurred on or after December 1, 1996.
So bottom line is if you were vaccinated and feel you may be entitled to compensation for your injury, look to the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, they may be able to help.