For the most part, vaccines are very effective in protecting us from diseases that once resulted in millions of cases per year. Before measles, mumps, and rubella vaccines were invented, over 700,000 cases were reported annually.1 In 2009, there were only 2,000 cases reported.
However, measles, mumps, and rubella vaccines can cause adverse side effects and injuries in some people, just like other medical treatments. These situations are rare, but they do happen. To help victims of vaccine injuries, the government created the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) in the 1980s, which is a “no-fault alternative to the traditional legal system for resolving vaccine injury petitions.”2
If a measles, mumps, and/or rubella vaccine has injured you or someone you love, we have created this article to help you get started on the right path to obtaining compensation from the VICP.
Why Do We Vaccinate Against Measles, Mumps, or Rubella?
We’ve already looked at how cases of measles, mumps, and rubella have drastically lowered since their vaccines were invented. You may be wondering if it’s necessary to vaccinate against these diseases at all. The simple answer is yes.
Measles is “a highly contagious virus that lives in the nose and throat mucus of an infected person” that can spread like wildfire.3 Severe complications caused by measles include pneumonia, encephalitis (swelling of the brain), and even death.4
Mumps is “a contagious disease caused by a virus” that “spreads through saliva or mucus from the mouth, nose, or throat.”5 Side effects related to mumps are inflammation of the testes (orchitis), brain (encephalitis), the tissue covering the brain and spinal cord (meningitis), ovaries (oophoritis), and breast tissue (mastitis).6 Mumps can also cause deafness in some people.6
Rubella “spreads when an infected person coughs or sneezes.”7 About 70% of women who get rubella may experience arthritis.8 According to the CDC, if an unvaccinated pregnant woman gets infected with rubella virus, she can have a miscarriage.”8 The baby could also die after birth or develop serious birth defects, such as heart problems, loss of hearing and eyesight, intellectual disability, and liver or spleen damage.8
All Measles, Mumps, and Rubella Vaccines Covered by the VICP
The Vaccine Injury Compensation Program only provides compensation for victims who were immunized with a covered vaccine. These vaccines are listed in the Vaccine Injury Table, alongside any known injuries they may cause.
The vaccines containing measles, mumps, and/or rubella viruses or any of its components include MMR, MM, and MMRV.9 These are covered by the VICP.
Table-Covered Measles, Mumps, and Rubella Vaccine Injuries
If you file with the VICP, it’s far easier to receive compensation if your reaction or injury is listed in the Vaccine Injury Table. Therefore, these injuries are “table-covered.”
For vaccines containing measles, mumps, and/or rubella viruses, the following injuries are in the Vaccine Injury Table:
- First symptoms must occur no later than 4 hours after vaccine administration.
- Encephalopathy or encephalitis
- First symptoms must occur between 5 and 15 days after vaccine administration.
- Should Injury Related to Vaccine Administration (SIRVA)
- First symptoms must occur no later than 48 hours after vaccine administration.
- Vasovagal syncope
- First symptoms must occur no later than 1 hour after vaccine administration.
- Chronic arthritis
- First symptoms must occur between 7 and 42 days after vaccine administration.
- Thrombocytopenic purpura
- First symptoms must occur between 7 and 30 days after vaccine administration.
- Vaccine-Strain Measles Viral Disease in an Immunodeficient recipient
- First symptoms must occur no more than 12 months after vaccine administration.
What If Your Vaccine Injury Isn’t Listed in the Table?
Occasionally, someone will experience an injury from a measles, mumps, and/or rubella vaccine that is not listed in the Vaccine Injury Table. If you’re in this unfortunate situation, you can still file a petition with the VICP if your injury meets the following criteria.
Your non-table injury or reaction must fit one of these three categories in order to be eligible:
- It has lasted more than 6 months after vaccination; or
- It has resulted in “inpatient hospitalization and surgical intervention”; or
- It has resulted in death.7
Think a Vaccine Caused Your Injury? Contact Us Today
If you think your injury is vaccine-related, you should contact Shannon Law Group, P.C., today to speak with a vaccine injury attorney. It’s important to act as fast as possible because you have a limited window to file for compensation with the VICP.
Start by filling out our online contact form. You can also call us at (312) 578-9501 or toll-free at (886) 881-9980. One of our team members will be in touch with you soon. A free, no-obligation consultation is available as well.