5 Common Vaccine-Related Injuries And Paths Toward Fair Compensation
Vaccines administered in the United States for a variety of potential illnesses from the flu to hepatitis are generally safe and effective. Most people will receive a preventative shot with little or no side effects. However, some may have allergic reactions to a vaccine, or, worse, suffer some type of debilitating illness or injury following the administration of a vaccine.
Some examples of vaccine-related injuries include:
- Rheumatoid Arthritis. This is an autoimmune disorder that creates inflammation in the joints and other body systems, including the skin, eyes, and cardiovascular system. Rheumatoid arthritis generally originates when the immune system mistakenly attacks your body’s own cells rather than outside bacteria or viruses. Due to the link between rheumatoid arthritis and the immune system, vaccines have been known to trigger rheumatoid arthritis symptoms or create complications for those that already suffer from the illness.
- Anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis is a potentially severe and life-threatening allergic reaction in which the body releases chemicals that cause the body to go into shock after being exposed to an allergen. The Health Resources and Services Administration identifies anaphylaxis as an injury that is known to be linked to vaccines in some cases.
- Multiple sclerosis. MS is another debilitating illness in which the immune system can attack your nerve fibers and disrupt the connections between your brain and the rest of your body. Symptoms can be severe, including the inability to walk without assistance, and long-term problems with speech and vision.
- Shoulder Injuries. (Also known as SIRVA – Shoulder Injuries Related to Vaccine Administration). This is another common vaccine-related injury in which a local inflammatory response to a vaccine injection leads to weeks, months, or even years of shoulder pain. These injuries can often be misdiagnosed as something else (such as bursitis) rather than a vaccine reaction. Injuries to shoulder tissue can lead to other long-term problems such as the inability to perform work or other functions.
- Lupus, also known as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Lupus is an autoimmune disease in which the body attacks its own tissues and can have devastating symptoms and consequences. In some instances, a vaccine can potentially instigate an autoimmune reaction and cause lupus in a patient.
Financial Remedies After a Vaccine-Related Injury
In 1988, the U.S. Government completed legislation to stabilize the production and administration of vaccines, while creating a fund to provide compensation for those unintentionally harmed by a vaccine. The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) allows individuals to file a petition for compensation when they can show a link between a vaccine they received and an injury they suffered. Over the past three decades, over 8,000 claims have been paid, totaling over $4.7 billion to individuals that sustained vaccine injuries. In 2021, paid VICP claims totaled over $200 million. The VICP also pays attorney’s fees under many circumstances, so petitioners with claims are not required to pay their own attorney’s fees out of pocket. According to the HRSA, over 60% of paid claims resulted from a negotiated settlement between all parties to the claim.
It is critical for vaccinated individuals to realize they may be entitled to fair financial compensation if they suffered a vaccine-related injury. The VICP exists to provide a remedy to address your health issues as well as any pain and suffering, lost wages, and medical expenses related to the vaccine injury.
The Vaccine Injury Attorneys at Green & Schafle Can Help You Obtain Fair Compensation for Your Injuries
Our vaccine injury attorneys at Green & Schafle will conduct a full review of your case and guide you through the unique process associated with vaccine injury claims. Unlike many other personal injury cases, vaccines have their own legal process through a U.S. Federal Court branch, as well as the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. If you or a family member have suffered an injury or illness that may have been caused by vaccine administration, please contact our Philadelphia vaccine injury attorneys for help with your case.