The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (“NVICP”) is a no-fault alternative to the traditional tort system for resolving vaccine injury claims. This program was established as part of the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986, after a dramatic increase in lawsuits against vaccine manufacturers and healthcare providers who had threatened to stop making or administering vaccines. Pursuant to federal law, an individual injured by a covered vaccine may file a claim in civil court against the vaccine company and/or the vaccine administrator only after first filing a claim pursuant to the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program and then rejecting the final decision of the court.
So who can file a claim for compensation under this federally established, government run, compensation program? You may file a claim if:
- you received a vaccine covered by the NVICP and believe that you have been injured by this vaccine; or
- if you are a parent or legal guardian of a child or disabled adult who received a vaccine covered by the NVICP and believe that the person was injured by this vaccine; or
- are the legal representative of the estate of a deceased person who received a covered vaccine and who you believe was injured by the vaccine and/or whose death you believe resulted from that vaccination.
What is a covered vaccine under the NVICP?
- Tetanus Toxoid, alone, or in combination with other vaccines (for example, TT, Td)
- Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis or any combination of Diphtheria, Tetanus Toxoid, and Pertussis (“Whooping Cough”) antigen-containing vaccines (for example, DTP, DTaP, P, DTP-Hib)
- Measles-Mumps-Rubella or any combination of Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (“German Measles”) virus containing vaccines (for example, MMR, MR, R)
- Rubella virus containing vaccines, alone, or in combination with other vaccines (for example, MMR, MR, R)
- Measles virus containing vaccines, alone, or in combination with other vaccines (for example, MMR, MR, M)
- Polio live virus containing vaccines (OPV)
- Polio inactivated virus containing vaccines (IPV)
- Hepatitis B vaccines (Hep B)
- Hepatitis A vaccines (Hep A)
- Hemophilus influenzae type b polysaccharide conjugate vaccines (Hib)
- Varicella (“Chicken Pox”) vaccines
- Rotavirus vaccines containing live, oral, rhesus-based rotavirus
- Pneumococcal (“Pneumonia”) conjugate vaccines (pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccines are not covered vaccines)
- Seasonal Influenza vaccines
- Human Papillomavirus vaccines
Finally, to be eligible to file a claim, the effects of an individual’s injury must have:
- lasted for more than six (6) months after the vaccine was given; or
- resulted in a hospital stay and surgical intervention; or
- resulted in death.
There is no age restriction on who may file a claim. Anyone receiving a covered vaccine, no matter their age, can file a claim or have one filed on their behalf. Also, attorney’s fees and costs are paid by the program so an injured petitioner does not have to bear the expense of filing a petition for compensation. If you think you or someone you know has been injured by a vaccine, compensation for the injury may be available. To find out if you qualify to file a case under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program click here and let the vaccine litigation experts at RawlsMcNelis provide the answers.