It was a simple act that our vaccine injury client, Ron Flood, had done quite possibly thousands of times before: opening the refrigerator. But, this time his arm hurt. As the pain grew over days and weeks, Ron learned that he had experienced a mysterious injury. His doctors discovered bursitis and a torn tendon. Treatments followed: pain medicine, repeated cortisone shots, physical therapy, and - eventually - surgery. The constant pain, injuries, and treatment, forced him out of work for a time.
It turned out Ron's injury had a name: Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration, also known as "SIRVA." His injuries and pain were caused by a simple flu shot given incorrectly. Fortunately, the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, or VICP, existed to compensate him for the injuries and pain.
Side effects from vaccines or their administration, though rare, happen more frequently than you might imagine. In the most recent National VICP monthly statistical report (March 1, 2018), more than 5,900 individuals have been compensated for vaccine-related harm since the program began in 1988. For influenza vaccinations alone, the VICP has compensated over 2,400 injury victims, which is more than 41% of all compensated claims. Even more surprising is the amount of money involved: Since 1988, the VICP has compensated vaccine injured petitioners to the tune of more than $3.5 billion dollars (that's billion with a "B")! Over $252 million dollars in compensation was awarded in 2017 alone. Those are surprising numbers.
Our client, Ron, is thankfully better now. The VICP compensated him for his injury and its consequences. He still gets flu shots, but he watches where that needle goes very carefully now.