It seems as though everywhere you turn—especially if you are a parent—that there is another new blog, article, or news story demonizing childhood vaccinations. Though actress Jenny McCarthy’s claims linking vaccinations and autism have been debunked (and even proven harmful) time and time again, many parents of school-aged children are balking at the idea of vaccinating their children before sending them to preschool or kindergarten.
While modern-day vaccines have been improved significantly, that was not always the case. Back in the 1980s, there were several expensive lawsuits over injuries and complications from childhood vaccinations. This caused the medical companies that manufactured vaccinations to shy away from creating new vaccines or improving upon old ones, for fear of facing more lawsuits. This quickly became a public health issue, and Congress took action.
1988 saw the creation of the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) to help both the medical companies and consumers. The program helped individuals get compensation without expensive litigation, and it protected the companies from lawsuits, encouraging these companies to continue developing and perfecting vaccines. This in turn kept vaccination costs low for other consumers.
In order to get compensation, affected individuals or families file a claim with the United States Court of Federal Claims, and if the claim is valid, the family receives funds from the VICP recovery fund. This trust fund is paid for by a tax that is placed on every vaccine. The Health Resources and Service Administration’s website describes the process in full—including eligibility—at www.hrsa.gov/vaccinecompensation.
Because the filing process for a VICP claim can be very complicated, many people hire an attorney to assist them. The Bethesda medical malpractice attorneys at Lewis & Tompkins are available to help you get the compensation you deserve if you or a loved one is suffering from a vaccine-related injury. The cost of an attorney may even be compensated by the VICP is your claim is denied. Call us at 202.296.0666 to discuss your case today.