While vaccines serve an essential public health function by preventing serious and potentially life-threatening diseases, a serious vaccine injury or even death can also occur to a small number of people who receive them.
Such injuries include but are not limited to, Guillain Barre Syndrome, analphylaxsis, encephalopathy, chronic arthritis, and adhesive capsulitis.
In 1988, Congress created the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program ("VICP") to ensure an adequate supply of vaccines at reasonable costs while at the same time providing an efficient mechanism to compensate people injured by vaccines.
Since 1988, over 17,308 petitions have been filed with the VICP. Over that time period, 14,971 petitions have been adjudicated, among which 4,897 were compensated, while 10,074 were dismissed. The total compensation paid over the life of the program is approximately $3.4 billion.
The VICP's most recent report shows that there have been 2,744 injuries and 108 deaths filed due to the Influenza vaccine, more commonly known as the "flu shot", since the creation of the program. Of these filed petitions, 1,671 cases were compensated and 218 were dismissed.
On average, it takes 2 to 3 years to adjudicate, or decide on, a petition after it is filed. In the fiscal year 2016, there are 556 individuals who have been compensated by the VICP for their vaccine claims.
In 2016, the total amount that the VICP has awarded for the compensable vaccine claims to date is $191,390,694.
View the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program's September 2016 statistics report below.
Learn more about Vaccine injury lawsuits here.