The United States has the safest, most effective vaccine supply in history, and, in the majority of cases, these vaccines produce no side effects. However, as with any medication, side effects can occur. While most are mild, people do experience more serious side effects and, in those instances, can file a petition for compensation with the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP).
The VICP was created in 1986 as a no-fault alternative to the traditional tort system, after lawsuits against vaccine manufacturers and healthcare providers threatened to cause vaccine shortages and reduce vaccination rates. In 1988, the VICP began accepting petitions and, since then, have received over 21,585 petitions. During the 30-year span, 18,533 petitions have been adjudicated, with 7,090 of those found to be compensable, while 11,443 were dismissed, and the total amount paid over the life of the VICP is roughly $4.2 billion.
While that might seem like a lot of money and indicative of a fair amount of vaccine injuries, according to the CDC, from 2006 to 2018 over 3.4 billion doses of covered vaccines were distributed in the U.S. Of the petitions filed during that time, 6,595 were adjudicated by the Court, and of those 4,539 were compensated – meaning for every 1 million doses of vaccine distributed, approximately 1 individual was compensated.
In 2019, there were 1,282 petitions filed with the VICP and 778 petitions adjudicated. Of those petitions that were adjudicated, 635 were found to be compensable, while 143 were dismissed. For the 653 petitions that were compensated, the total amount awarded to the petitioners was $196,217,707.64.
Although vaccines are beneficial to society and for the most part are safe and effective, if you or someone you know has been injured as a result of a vaccine, give us a call. Our attorneys have extensive experience handling petitions with the VICP and are here to help.