Last month, the New York Times published an interesting article addressing vaccine injury claims and the process by which one must proceed in order to pursue a claim. The article also points out that these vaccine injury claims are much more far and few between than one might imagine.
The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP) is a no-fault system that was implemented through federal law in 1988. Its aim is to reduce the number of lawsuits filed against vaccine manufacturers in effort to prevent companies from abandoning the vaccine business, as public health officials and Congress worried there would not be enough manufacturers providing crucial vaccines. The program is financed by a tax of 75 cents per dose, which is paid by the vaccine manufacturers.
When you look at the data from this federal program, however, the numbers reveal just how rare it is for someone to claim they were hurt after a vaccination. In fact, over the past three decades, when billions of doses of vaccines have been administered to hundreds of millions of Americans , the program has compensated about 6,600 people for the harm they claimed was caused by vaccines, and about 70 percent of those awards have come through settlement in cases where sufficient evidence was lacking to prove the vaccines were at fault. Although, since the program’s inception, the total amount in compensation paid out amounts to $4.15 billion.
In more recent years, the majority of the program’s payments have been related to the flu vaccine, mostly involving adults. But, the vast majority of these claims do not involve the content of the vaccines themselves. Rather, they are related to shoulder injuries that occurred because the vaccine was administered incorrectly, and they account for roughly two-thirds of compensated claims between 2006 and 2017. There are similar statistics for vaccines such as measles and tetanus.
While these injuries are somewhat rare, they do occur and can be debilitating and life changing. If you believe you have been injured as a result of a vaccine, give us a call. We’re here to help.