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Navigating the VICP system

By: Anapol Weiss

As summer begins to come to an end, we are steadily approaching influenza (flu) season. The flu is characterized as an acute respiratory infection caused mainly by two of the four types of influenza viruses, Influenza A viruses and Influenza B viruses, that circulates globally. To prevent a seasonal flu epidemic, the CDC recommends that individuals 6 months and older should receive a flu vaccine. The flu vaccine creates antibodies that develop about two weeks after receiving the vaccination. The antibodies provide protections against the flu and is generally a safe and effective way to avoid serve flu symptoms or avoid having the flu entirely. While the flu vaccination is effective in preventing the widespread of the flu, some people who receive the vaccine experience adverse effects. In particular, two rare adverse effects are Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS) and Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration (SIRVA).

GBS is an autoimmune disorder that develops when the body’s immune system attacks the nervous system, damaging the nerves and causing muscle weakness and/or paralysis. Ordinarily, the symptoms of GBS are numbness, tingling and weakness in the lower extremities, that progresses up through the body. Treatment can include plasma exchange, immunoglobulin and some patients may require a respirator, a heart monitor or other medical equipment to assist in the recovery process.

Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration (SIRVA) typically occurs when the vaccine is injected either too high or too deep into the shoulder, although SIRVA can also occur when the vaccine is properly administered as well. SIRVA manifest when there is either an injury to the musculoskeletal structures of the shoulders during the injection of the vaccine or can also be caused by the body’s immune system reacting to one or more components of the vaccine. The main symptoms, occurring within 48 hours after administration of the vaccine, includes persistent shoulder pain and limited range of motion. SIRVA appears to be a general shoulder injury, causing injuries such as rotator cuff tear, bursitis and other inflammatory injuries, but the difference is that these injuries did not appear until after the vaccine administration.

Experiences with adverse reactions, such and GBS and SIRVA, can cause disruption to a person’s life and health. In 1986, the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) was created as a no-fault program to resolve vaccine injuries as an alternative to the traditional tort system. Through the VICP, an individual can petition to receive financial compensation for certain injuries sustained from certain vaccines. The VICP can be petitioned by any individual, of any age, that believes that they were injured by the vaccine, within three years after the vaccine.

If you, or someone that you know, has sustained injuries as described above, Anapol Weiss can help you. Our esteemed attorneys can review your claim, provide you with options in pursuing your VICP claim, help you navigate the system, and fight for the compensation you deserve. With decades of personal injury experience, your recovery from the vaccine hardship starts by calling Anapol Weiss today!