Vaccine injuries are extremely rare. Often, we think of vaccine injuries has having been caused by the vaccine's themselves or the vaccine ingredients. However, the most common vaccine injury is one which is most likely caused by the administration of the vaccine, not the vaccine itself. What that means is that the injury is most likely caused by the placement of the needle, not its contents. This injury is called a shoulder injury related to vaccine administration, or SIRVA.
Being that this is the most common injury from vaccines, it is no wonder that the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (or VICP) provides compensation for it. Furthermore, the evidence that this type of injury is caused by vaccine administration is so strong, it is what is referred to as a “table injury.” This simply means that the injured person does not have to prove that the vaccine caused the injury. They only have to prove that they experienced a long-lasting shoulder injury within a certain limited time after receiving a vaccination.
So, why is the the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (or HHS), the agency responsible for managing the VICP, trying to eliminate it from the program? Because, in their opinion, it happens too often. Of course it didn't help that the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons recently stated that "Rotator Cuff Tendinopathy, Adhesive Capsulitis, and Arthritis cannot be caused by vaccine administration." This statement comes despite thousands of medical experts opinions and SIRVA diagnoses which have connected those injuries to vaccine administration.
Nevertheless, HHS is trying to eliminate it from the program. However, it is unclear how hard they may be trying. Recently, the Advisory Commission on Childhood Vaccines, appointed to safeguard the federal Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, voted to oppose the idea of removing SIRVA from the program. At a virtual hearing Monday scheduled for HHS to provide scientific evidence supporting its recommendation, no one from the agency showed up, even though more than a dozen others, including experts and victims, did present evidence that SIRVAs are caused by vaccine administration and should, therefore, remain part of the VICP.
HHS may still decide, however, that they want to remove SIRVA from the VICP. The Secretary of HHS modifies the Table by regulation after consulting with the Advisory Commission on Childhood Vaccines, posting a notice, and soliciting public comment. If that occurs, we will post that information on our blog.
For now, we will wait to see whether HHS will propose elimination of SIRVA contrary to the recommendation of the Advisory Commission on Childhood Vaccines.