Without a doubt, vaccines are manufactured and administered to help save lives by preventing various diseases. But just like any other medical treatment and procedure, vaccines don’t have a 100% guarantee.
Vaccines are, in reality, a mild form of the pathogen that causes the disease you’re being vaccinated against. When this diluted bacteria or virus is injected into the bloodstream, the immune system sets out to defend the body against the attack. But because the causative agent is in its mild form, it doesn’t affect the body to the same degree as the actual pathogen. What the body does is create memory cells that quickly set up a defense system against the strong version of the virus or bacteria when they do attack.
Side Effects And Adverse Events
With the above background information, you can now see why vaccines have side effects. The introduction of foreign bodies into the system may cause the body to react slightly. Indeed, most vaccines cause only mild side effects, such as:
- Swelling, soreness, or redness at the point of injection
- Mild rash lasting no more than four days
- Tender lymph nodes
- Blisters mushrooming elsewhere other than the injection site
But even so, others may experience severe reactions, including:
- Major eye infection
- Vision impairment
- Skin rashes throughout the body
- Brain damage
- Serious infection
If you happen to be part of the few people who experience such adverse events, please don’t keep it to yourself. The government has in place a system to compensate people who are experiencing serious reactions to vaccines.
The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program
The period between the 1950s and 1960s saw a sharp increase in the number of vaccines in a bid to fight diseases like poliomyelitis, which had spread widely across the U.S. and the rest of the world. However, people who developed severe reactions after getting the shot sued the pharmaceutical companies responsible for the production and administration of these vaccines.
Within no time, people were filing lawsuits left and right with claims reaching millions of dollars. Such hefty fines have endangered pharmaceutical firms—with many of them on the verge of bankruptcy after being ordered to pay damages.
The government, on the other hand, wants to make sure that diseases that were made preventable because of vaccines will not make a comeback. Hence, public health officials lobbied for theNational Childhood Vaccine InjuryAct (NCVA), which was signed into law in 1986. This law indemnified vaccine manufacturers from further lawsuits. Instead of the companies paying for damages, victims would be compensated through the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program.
What To Do If You’re A Victim
If you suffered from a vaccine injury, you must file a petition with the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. Being a legal procedure, you wouldn’t want to do it haphazardly. Consider consulting vaccine injury lawyers, such as those from the Vaccine Injury Help Center, and let them help you do the paperwork so your claims will be acceptable before the authorities.
Once you present your case, medical staff from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will review it and state whether or not it meets the criteria for compensation. From the doctors’ assessment, the U.S. Department of Justice drafts a report and presents it before the court. And in the hearing that follows, both you and the accused (a pharmaceutical representative or healthcare worker) are allowed to present evidence to prove their innocence. If your argument holds water, you’re awarded compensation of an amount equivalent to the damages you suffered. The HHS will grant you the payment.
Aside from monetary compensation, you may want to help the authorities detect possible cases of adverse events associated with vaccines. To this end, there’s the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System established by the CDC and FDA back in 1990. By reporting the side effects you experienced, you can help the government investigate further and determine the vaccine’s safety. Note that this is voluntary, and you don’t have to report anything if you’re uncomfortable doing so.
If you get a vaccine injury, you deserve full compensation. Remember, some effects such as vision impairment or loss may mean that you’ll no longer be able to work for a livelihood like you used to. In addition to that, you’ll have to foot huge medical bills to treat or deal with your new condition.
The money you receive via compensation helps you lighten the financial burden you just got into. It may not reverse the damages, but at least it will save you from unwarranted financial strain. So, embark on your search for a reliable vaccine injury lawyer and kickstart the compensation process.