The number $4 billion is an eye-popping one. This is the amount that has been paid out in claims by those who have suffered injuries from vaccines. On the surface, it seems like the amount of payments for these injuries implies that vaccines are dangerous. However, there is some context necessary to fully understand the situation.
While there are some injuries that occur due to taking vaccines, the number of injuries is small in proportion to the overall number of people who have been administered the vaccines. At the same time, the injuries for which compensation has been paid can be significant. In order to fully understand the amount of compensation paid, it is important to understand how the system works.
The National Vaccine Injury Courts have been in operation since the 1980s. Those who are injured by vaccines can file claims with this court, which is operated by the Court of Federal Claims. This is a dedicated court with its own special process and procedures for adjudicating claims. A very small proportion of vaccines that are administered result in claims filed with this court. In fact, through August 2018, there have been an estimated 20,000 claims that have been filed in this forum. Just over 6,000 have been deemed to be meritorious.
While the $4 billion can be put into perspective, it is also important to note that the amount is just a fraction of what could potentially be paid out by the fund. Roughly one percent of vaccine injuries are reported. This means that an overwhelming number of vaccine injuries are either ignored or those who have been hurt just do not take the necessary legal action in order to obtain compensation. The mechanism does exist, however, for them to be paid. Given that there have been over 3 billion doses of vaccine that have been administered in the U.S. in a ten-year span, there are likely many more injuries than the 20,000 that have been the subject of claims filed with the court.
In addition to the claims that are not filed, there was also a large claim filed by those who allege that they received autism from vaccines that was denied. This was a large scale claim that represented over 5,000 claimants. In other words, while the $4 billion number seems large, it is just a fraction of the amount of the true injuries that may have been suffered.
The number of petitions to this court has been growing in recent years. Nearly one quarter of the total amount of payouts has occurred within the last four years. One of the reasons for the increase can be tied to the growing prevalence of flu shots in today’s society. Flu shots have become a vaccine that is almost standard practice to get every year. However, injuries due to flu shots comprise the largest number of payouts from the vaccine fund. Further, the increase in claims can also be attributed to the growing number of vaccines that are administered to children. Since 1983, the number of recommended vaccines for children has more than doubled.
Given the difficulty that is associated with receiving compensation from this fund for vaccine injuries, it is vital to have a lawyer to help file the claim. Proceedings that are part of the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program can take nearly a year and may require a hearing and some presentation of the evidence. It is vital to have an attorney that has experience in dealing with vaccine injuries. The attorneys at The Law Offices Of Sadaka Associates have a high level of expertise and experience with these cases. If you or a loved one has been injured by a vaccine, call now for a free consultation and evaluation of your case.