When you or your child receives a vaccination, it is done with the intention of preventing future harm. Unfortunately, vaccines, like any other type of medication, can sometimes result in a severe adverse reaction. Since the 1970s, the federal government has responded to the potential for vaccine-related injuries by creating a system that allows and encourages you to report any injuries that may have been caused by receiving a vaccination.
National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act
With the rise of lawsuits and public concern about vaccines in the 1970s, Congress took notice and created the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act (NCIA). The NCIA was passed in 1986 with the intent to increase safety of vaccinations. One of the requirements of the NCVIA was that health professionals and any vaccine manufacturer would be responsible for reporting any dangerous side effects or injuries that occurred as a result of a vaccination. The NCIA laid the foundation for creating a national reporting system, but it would not be the last act of Congress designed to increase the ability to report vaccine-related injuries.
National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program
The NCIA created the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) in 1988. Under the VICP, Congress enacted legislation that would provide compensation to victims of juries caused by childhood vaccines. In order to receive compensation, one must first file a claim through the VICP.
Within the claim, several pieces of information will have to be addressed, including:
- The identity of the injured party
- Type of vaccination that caused the injury
- Location where you received the vaccination
- Description of the injury
- A timeline of the vaccine-related injury
Which Vaccines Are Covered Under VICP?
The VICP covers the following vaccinations:
- Hepatitis A and B
- Human Papillomavirus
- Haemophilus influenzae type b
- Measles, Mumps and Rubella
Who Can File a VICP Claim?
The VICP is meant to protect anyone who receives an injury due to one of the covered vaccinations. If you have personally experienced an injury because of one of the vaccinations listed, then you have the right to file a claim.
You may also file a claim if you are one of the following:
- Parent or legal guardian of someone who has injured by one of the vaccinations covered by VICP.
- Attorney or other legal representative of the estate of someone who died to to injuries caused by the VICP.
- A citizen of the United States, but being a citizen is not a requirement to file a claim with the VICP.
An experienced attorney who specializes in this type of law can guide you through the process. Attorneys are compensated through the VICP, so you do not have to pay any money up front in order to initiate your case. Hiring a competent attorney will ensure you get the best representation and, ultimately, award for your case. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Sadaka Associates specialize in these cases and have represented thousands of people who have been injured by vaccines.
The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System
In addition to the VICP, the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) was created in 1990 to identify any potential risks associated with vaccinations. While the purpose of the VICP is to provide compensation for potential victims, the VAERS program works to raise awareness and eliminate threats to the public. Since 1990, more than 120,000 injury reports have been documented by the VAERS program. Reported injuries include fever and permanent disabilities.
Overseeing the VAERS Program
Any report made to the VAERS program must be reviewed by the FDA and the CDC. Anyone can report a health problem to the VAERS program, including doctors, manufacturers, victims, nurses, or anyone in the general public.
Reporting to VAERS
You can complete a report to VAERS online at their website. You can also complete the form found at their website and mail it. According to the CDC, over 30,000 VAERS reports are made each year. Each report helps to increase the safety of future vaccinations.
Please contact The Law Offices of Sadaka Associates for a free consultation if you or a loved one has been injured by a vaccine.