Vaccines are a safety precaution against a variety of diseases. Despite that, there are still instances of injury or allergy when receiving a vaccine.
Due to lawsuits against manufacturers and healthcare providers, this risk of injury threatened to reduce vaccine supply and vaccination rates in the 1980s. To curb this, the government created the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. This program, according to the Health Resources & Services Administration, provides a no-fault alternative for possible compensation if you suspect a vaccine caused you harm. One aspect of this option is that it does not cover every vaccination available. Knowing which vaccines the VICP covers is important when seeking this compensation.
Which vaccines have coverage?
There are seventeen separate categories of vaccines the VICP provides coverage for including vaccines that contain inert or live viruses like rubella, measles, tetanus and polio.
Which injuries qualify?
An important caveat to each of the categories is that some vaccines cause certain injuries while others do not. Shoulder injuries apply nearly universally but other symptoms like anaphylaxis or intussusception depend on the vaccine.
How late is too late to petition?
In the event of an injury, you have three years to file a petition. However, you must also have some way of proving that the vaccine in question was responsible for the injury. Anaphylaxis has a narrow window of four hours while shoulder injuries may happen within 48 hours.
If you think a vaccine caused an adverse effect, you may wish to investigate whether that vaccine has VICP coverage and if you sustained that injury within the correct window.