Got Injured After A Vaccination? 9 Things To Know

injured after vaccination

The purpose of vaccination is to provide immunity for people against diseases. However, some individuals end up developing adverse reactions or suffering from an injury after getting vaccinated. Although vaccine injuries and side effects are claimed to rarely happen, they still deserve a careful look from people planning to participate in private or government vaccination drives.
If you recently received vaccination and sustained injuries or experienced adverse reactions as a result or you know someone who did, the good news is you could file a petition to receive compensation. The federal program that provides compensation to anyone who suffered from an injury or adverse vaccine effects is known as the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP or VICP).

In this post, you’d learn everything you need to know about vaccine injury and getting compensated through the VICP.

1. How The VICP Works

The VICP provides compensation to people who suffered any injuries after getting a vaccine shot. It was established by the 1986 National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act (NCVIA) to counter vaccine shortage threats that may result from lawsuits against vaccine manufacturers and health care providers.
The VICP is a no-fault compensation program. This means in case a person is injured from any of the vaccines covered by it, they may receive compensation even without proving fault on the part of the other party.
However, the vaccine litigation involved in the filing of claims under the program is specialized and complex. That’s why most vaccine injury victims who want to ensure they recover their deserved monetary compensation consult a lawyer from reliable and experienced law firms like the Vaccine Injury Help Center and similar firms.
The vaccine injury fund covers associated fees and costs, so the risk of retaining an attorney is low. But the best thing about working with an experienced attorney is that claimants may be able to obtain a more significant amount of money as an award. Since 1989, USD$4.5 billion has been awarded to people who have reported adverse reactions or injuries after getting vaccinated.

The funding for the VICP comes from the 75-cent tax on vaccines. This means for each vaccine shot given to an individual, the US Department of the Treasury collects a certain tax amounting to USD$0.75, which goes into the program’s trust fund.

2. Common Vaccines Covered By The VICP

The VICP compensates injuries caused by certain vaccines only and not all. And sometimes the list even changes, so it’s important to know which specific vaccines are covered and not. Commonly, the vaccines covered by the VICP are the following:
- Polio
- Rotavirus
- Varicella
- Rubella
- Mumps
- Measles
- Meningococcal
- Pneumococcal conjugate
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
- Seasonal influenza
- Human papilloma virus
- Hib
- Pertussis
- Tetanus
- Diphtheria

It’s claimed that most people do not experience side effects after receiving the abovementioned vaccines. Although there have been reports of serious injuries in some individuals, these reports are said to be scarce.
COVID-19 vaccines, unfortunately, aren’t yet covered by the VICP as they don’t meet the requirements. However, this possibility may happen in the future.

3. Common Types Of Vaccine Injuries 

A person may file a petition to receive compensation through the VICP for sustaining any vaccine injuries. An individual may also file a petition if they have reason to believe a vaccine worsened an already existing condition, such as the following:
- Multiple sclerosis
- Guillain-Bared syndrome
- Transverse myelitis
- Shoulder injury related to vaccine injuries
- Optic neuritis
- Brachial neuritis
- Acute disseminated encephalomyelitis
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Anaphylaxis
- Autoimmune disorders
- Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura
- Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy
This list isn’t exhaustive. An individual may file a petition for many other injuries or adverse reactions that are believed to have occurred after receiving a vaccine shot.

4. Who Is Eligible For Vaccine Injury Compensation

A claim for compensation may be filed for any injury or death believed to be a result of any vaccine covered by the program. Any of the following persons may file such claim:
- Any person who has reason to believe they’ve been injured after getting vaccinated by any of the covered vaccines.
- The legal representative of a child or incapacitated adult who was injured after receiving one of the said vaccines.
- The legal representative of a person who died as a result of the administration of any of the covered vaccines.
People who received their vaccine shots outside of the US may still be eligible for vaccine injury compensation provided the following occurs:
- They got vaccinated in one of the trust territories of the US.
- The injured person has served in a US government agency or the military as an American citizen.
- The injured person has been a dependent of an American citizen who served in a US government agency or the military.
- The vaccine manufacturer is located in the US.
- The injured person returned to the country within six months after getting injected with a vaccine manufactured by a US company.
However, a person’s eligibility for a claim may be voided or denied if the vaccine injury doesn't meet any of the following requirements:

- Lasted for more than six months after vaccination
- Resulted in surgery or prolonged hospital stay
- Caused death

5. Filing Of Claims

Generally, here’s the process involved when filing a petition for vaccine injury compensation:
- The petitioner files a claim with the Court of Federal Claims (CFC).
- The Department of Health and Human Services (HSS) acts as the ‘respondent’ in the petition.
- The petition is carefully reviewed by the HHS to determine if the medical criteria for compensation are met. The HHS then makes a preliminary recommendation.
- The Department of Justice represents the HHS in all proceedings before the CFC.
- The CFC makes the final decision whether or not compensation is granted to the petitioner.
- Individuals whose claims were denied could appeal to the US Supreme Court for reconsideration.

Since the VICP is a no-fault program, claimants don’t need to prove the manufacturer’s or administrator’s fault to be entitled to compensation as long as they could demonstrate they received a shot from one of the vaccines that the program covers and got injured within a specified time frame.
Under the NCVIA, individuals who petitioned for vaccine-related injuries or deaths must exhaust the VICP remedies first before suing vaccine manufacturers and administrators. To pursue any legal action against the latter, they must either withdraw their petition or reject the judgment for compensation under the VICP.

6. What The Claim Should Contain

The petition for filing a claim for compensation for vaccine injuries should contain the following information:
- The person who sustained a vaccine injury
- Which vaccine among the ones covered by the VICP caused the injury or adverse side effects
- Where the vaccine was given (city and state or country)
- When the injured individual received the vaccine shot
- The type of adverse reactions or injury the claimant experienced or sustained
- The symptoms and when they first appeared
- How long the injury or adverse reactions lasted

Together with the petition, the claimants or their representatives also need to send relevant documentation, such as their medical records and the cover sheet from the CFC, which they have to fill out. A personal injury lawyer specializing in vaccine injury could help ensure all the requirements are met when filing a claim.

7. Medical Records And Other Documents Needed 

When filing a claim, the petitioner should submit the petition, together with the medical records and other appropriate documentation. If some medical records are unavailable at the moment, the petitioner must explain why they’re unable to submit them to the court.

To ensure a claim is processed on time, the claimant is required to include the following documentation when filing a petition:
- Prenatal and birth records (these may be removed if the claimant is an adult)
- Medical records before vaccination
- Vaccination record
- Postinjury emergency/hospital treatment records
- Postinjury outpatient records
- The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) form, if submitted
- Long-term records applying to the injury
- Death records (if applicable)

8. When To File A Claim

The time frame for filing claims is as follows:

- Three years from the date the petitioner or claimant experienced the first symptom of an injury
- Two years from the death of the injured individual or four years from the date the symptom of the injury or adverse reactions that caused death first appeared

9. What The Compensation Includes

An individual who got injured or experienced adverse reactions to a vaccine shot may receive compensation under the VICP, which includes the following:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Maximum recovery of USD$250,000 for past and future pain and suffering
- Lost earnings or wages (past and future)
- Maximum recovery of USD$250,000 for death cases covering both the statutory death benefit and the decedent’s pain and suffering
Besides any award of compensation that the claimant might receive, the VICP would also pay the injured individual’s legal fees. Usually, claims filed under the VICP by individuals who have sustained injuries or adverse side effects after getting vaccinated are resolved through settlement.

Final Thoughts

What you’ve learned here could hopefully help you file a petition for your vaccine-related injury or for someone you know who developed adverse reactions after getting a vaccine shot. Note, however, that what this article provides is only general information. It’s still best to consult a lawyer when any of the items mentioned and discussed above confuses you to avoid delays.

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Posted - 06/28/2021