Millions of people in the U.S. are vaccinated, beginning with CDC-recommended childhood vaccines, and multiple government agencies coordinate to monitor the safety of vaccines. Unfortunately, some people may still have severe reactions to vaccinations. In response to a growing number of lawsuits in the 1980s, Congress created the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) to help those who suffered from adverse vaccine reactions. The VICP is a no-fault alternative to the traditional legal system and provides financial compensation for vaccine-related injuries or death to those who qualify.[1] If you believe you are a victim of a vaccine injury, contact Counsel Hound today for a no-cost consultation and case evaluation.

VICP

The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program was created in the 1980s after numerous lawsuits threatened to cause vaccine shortages. This would have reduced the U.S. vaccination rate and could have potentially caused a resurgence of preventable diseases. The objectives of the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program are to maintain an adequate vaccine supply, stabilize vaccine costs, and host an efficient forum for vaccine injuries. VICP provides funding to financially compensate people who have suffered a vaccine-related injury or death. The program is funded by a $.75 excise tax on each dose of childhood vaccines recommended by the CDC. The vaccine must be covered by VICP and have been administered on or after October 1, 1988. Any individual, regardless of age, can file a petition if they believe they were injured as a result of a covered vaccine. In addition, parents, legal representatives, and legal guardians may file a petition on behalf of children, disabled adults, and deceased individuals.[2]

VICP Federal organizations

  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) oversees the VICP, reviews petitions, and makes compensation payments,
  • U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) represents the Department of Health and Human Services in Court; and
  • U.S. Court of Federal Claims (the Court) decides the final compensation amount for each petition.

Process

  1. Filing the petition: Filing a petition with the U.S. court of federal claims is the first step in the VICP process.[3]
  2. Reviewing the petition: After filing, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will review the petition to determine if it meets the criteria necessary for compensation. They will give a preliminary recommendation to the U.S. Department of Justice.
  3. Submitting the petition to the court: After receiving the preliminary report and recommendation, The U.S. Department of Justice develops a report that includes the Health and Human Services recommendation and legal analysis. This report is then submitted to the Court.
  4. Final Decision and Compensation: The Department of Justice’s report is present to the Court who decides if the compensation will be granted. If a decision is made to provide compensation, the Court also decides the amount and type of compensation. This step in the process may include a hearing in which both parties present evidence to the Court.
  5. Compensation award: After reaching a final decision, the Court orders the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to award the compensation. If the Court dismisses the petition, the Court may order the Department of Health and Human Services to pay attorney’s fees and costs, depending on certain requirements being met.

Covered Vaccines

  • Diphtheria (e.g., DTP, DTaP Tdap, DT, Td, TT)
  • Haemophilus influenza type b polysaccharide conjugate vaccines (e.g., Hib)
  • Hepatitis A (e.g., HAV)
  • Hepatitis B (e.g., HBV)
  • Human papillomavirus (e.g., HPV)
  • Seasonal influenza (e.g., Flu)
  • Measles (e.g., MMR)
  • Mumps (e.g., MMR, MR, M)
  • Meningococcal (e.g., MCV4, MPSV4, MenB-FHbp, MenB-4C)
  • Pertussis (e.g., DTP, DTaP, Tdap)
  • Pneumococcal conjugate (e.g., PCV)
  • Polio (e.g., RV)
  • Rubella (e.g., RV)
  • Tetanus (E.g., Td)
  • Varicella (e.g., VAR)

Covered Reactions

  • Anaphylaxis
  • Brachial Neuritis
  • Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration
  • Vasovagal syncope
  • Encephalopathy or Encephalitis
  • Chronic arthritis
  • Thrombocytopenic purpura
  • Paralytic Polio
  • Intussusception

Criteria

Individuals who have suffered from a covered vaccine injury may automatically qualify for financial compensation without proving the causation of the vaccine. The first symptom of the injury occurs within the qualifying time frame, and the associated definitions are satisfied as listed in the Vaccine Injury Table. In this situation, you would not have the burden of proving the vaccine caused the injury since it is assumed the vaccine was the cause. However, if the requirements listed in the Vaccine Injury Table are not met, you would need to prove the vaccine caused the injury or condition.[4] Contact Counsel Hound today to discuss your eligibility during a no-cost consultation and case evaluation.

COVID-19 Vaccines

COVID-19 vaccines are not covered under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. The COVID-19 vaccine is protected under the Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program (CICP). CICP is similar to VICP and provides benefits to individuals who suffered a severe physical injury due to covered countermeasures declared by the Public readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act. For more information, contact Counsel Hound.