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Vaccine Injury Compensation ProgramWhile researching a response to a Facebook comment about vaccination during pregnancy (maybe a later post), I found a very interesting table of adverse events that are accepted by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and assumed to be caused by the vaccine.  Payments are authorized through the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP).

Purpose of the VICP Table

The Table makes it easier for some people to get compensation. The Table lists and explains injuries/conditions that are presumed to be caused by vaccines. It also lists time periods in which the first symptom of these injuries/conditions must occur after receiving the vaccine. If the first symptom of these injuries/conditions occur within the listed time periods, it is presumed that the vaccine was the cause of the injury or condition unless another cause is found.
. . .
If your injury/condition is not on the Table or if your injury/condition did not occur within the time period on the Table, you must prove that the vaccine caused the injury/condition. Such proof must be based on medical records or opinion, which may include expert witness testimony.

Conditions Accepted As Vaccine-Caused

It is very interesting to note some of the conditions that apparently are common enough after vaccination to be assumed to be caused by the vaccination.  Here are a few them:

    • Encephalopathy (or encephalitis) (brain injury) experienced within 72 hours of a pertussis (whooping-cough) (DTP, DTaP, P, DTP-Hib), vaccination
    • Encephalopathy (or encephalitis) experienced between 5 and 15 days of receiving the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine or any of its components (e.g., MMR, MR, M, R).
    • Chronic arthritis between 7 and 42 days of receiving vaccines containing rubella virus (e.g., MMR, MR, R)
    • Paralytic polio within 30 days in someone who is not immunodeficient and within 6 months in an immunodeficient recipient

The VICP also covers anaphylaxis or anaphylactic shock that occurs within a few hours of receiving most of the listed vaccines.  Refer to the table for more conditions that are covered.

Vaccines Covered by the VICP

  • Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (DTP, DTaP, Tdap, DT, Td, or TT)
  • Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib)
  • Hepatitis A (HAV)
  • Hepatitis B (HBV)
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Influenza (TIV, LAIV) [given each year]
  • Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR, MR, M, R)
  • Meningococcal (MCV4, MPSV4)
  • Polio (OPV or IPV)
  • Pneumococcal conjugate (PCV)
  • Rotavirus (RV)
  • Varicella (VZV)
  • Any combination of the vaccines above
  • Additional vaccines may be added in the future

Useful information can be found in the inserts that accompany each vaccine (but are rarely given to patients). Here are links to inserts for a few common vaccines:

  • Boostrix (GlaxoSmithKline) – Tetanus toxoid, reduced Diphtheria Toxoid, Acellular Pertussis Vaccine Adsorbed
  • Daptacel (Aventis Pasteur) – Diphtheria, Tetanus, (acellular) Pertussis
  • M-M-R II (Merck) – Measles, Mumps, Rubella (live)
  • Pentacel (sanofi pasteur) – Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, Poliomyelitis, and Haemophilus influenzae type b

More vaccine inserts may be found in a table published by the Institute for Vaccine Safety, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Be Safe, Be Informed

As always, I believe we all should make our own health care decisions after thorough research of both the benefits and the risks of any medication or medical procedure.

Sources for more information:

Encephalopathy (Wikipedia)
NINDS Encephalopathy Information Page
Anaphylaxis (Wikipedia)
Anaphylaxis (NIH)
Package Inserts and Manufacturers for some US Licensed Vaccines and Immunoglobulins (Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health)
National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP)

Photo credit: HRSA Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP)


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