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How to Obtain Compensation after a Polio Vaccine Injury

Polio Vaccine Injuries

When thinking about the history of vaccines, one thing usually comes to mind: the polio epidemic. In the 20th century, few diseases scared parents more than polio did. Before a polio vaccine was invented, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates over 16,000 polio cases occurred annually.1 Today, thanks to the polio vaccine, there are no polio cases reported each year.

However, just like other medical treatments, polio vaccines can cause adverse side effects and injuries in some. For these unfortunate situations, the government created the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) in 1986.2 It “provides compensation to people found to be injured by certain vaccines.”2

If you believe a polio vaccine has injured you or someone you love, we have written this guide with you in mind. We want to help you get started in the right direction toward obtaining compensation from the VICP.

Why Vaccinate against Polio?

Because there are virtually zero cases of polio reported each year, we have forgotten the devastating side effects of this disease. Polio is definitely worth vaccinating against, and here’s why.

Polio, or poliomyelitis, is “a crippling and potentially deadly infectious disease” caused by the poliovirus.3 The virus “can invade an injected person’s brain and spinal cord, causing paralysis.”3 Rare but serious complications caused by the poliovirus include:

  • Paresthesia (feeling of pins and needles in the legs)3
  • Meningitis (infection of the covering of the spinal cord and/or brain)3
      • Occurs in about 1 out of 25 people with poliovirus infection

     

     

  • Paralysis (can’t move parts of the body) or weakness in the arms, legs, or both3
      • Occurs in about 1 out of 200 people with poliovirus infection

     

     

In some cases, when a child seems to fully recover from the disease, they can develop “new muscle pain, weakness, or paralysis” 15 to 40 years later.3 This is called post-polio syndrome.

Every Polio Vaccine Covered by the VICP

In order to be eligible for compensation, the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program requires the petitioner to have received a covered vaccine listed in the Vaccine Injury Table.4 The following polio vaccines are covered by the VICP: OPV and IPV.

Table-Covered Polio Vaccine Injuries and Reactions

If you decide to file a petition with the VICP, it is much easier to obtain compensation if your injury or reaction is in the Vaccine Injury Table. These are called “table-covered” injuries.

For vaccines containing a live poliovirus (OPV), the following reactions are table-covered:

  • Paralytic Polio
      • For a non-immunodeficient receipt, first symptoms must appear no more than 30 days after vaccination.
      • For an immunodeficient receipt, first symptoms must appear no more than 6 months after vaccination.
      • For a vaccine-associated community case, there are no restrictions on when the first symptoms should appear.
         

     

     

  • Vaccine-Strain Polio Viral Injection
      • For a non-immunodeficient receipt, first symptoms must appear no more than 30 days after vaccination.
      • For an immunodeficient receipt, first symptoms must appear no more than 6 months after vaccination.
      • For a vaccine-associated community case, there are no restrictions on when the first symptoms should appear.

     

     

For vaccines containing polio inactivated virus (IPV), the following injuries are table-covered:

  • Anaphylaxis 
      • First symptoms must appear no later than 4 hours after vaccination.
         

     

     

  • Should Injury Related to Vaccine Administration
      • First symptoms must appear no later than 48 hours after vaccination.
         

     

     

  • Vasovagal syncope
      • First symptoms must appear no later 1 hour after vaccination.

     

     

What about Injuries Not Listed in the Table?

Sometimes, an individual experiences an injury or reaction following a polio vaccination that isn’t listed in the Vaccine Injury Table. Fortunately, if their injury meets the following criteria, they can file a petition with the VICP.

A non-table injury or reaction must fit one of these three situations in order to be eligible:

  1. It has lasted more than 6 months after vaccination; or
  2. It has resulted in “inpatient hospitalization and surgical intervention”; or
  3. It has resulted in death.6

Suspect a Vaccine Caused Your Injury? Contact Us Now

If you suspect your injury is vaccine-related, contact Shannon Law Group, P.C., as soon as possible to speak with a vaccine injury attorney. It’s very crucial you act quickly because you have a limited window to file for compensation with the VICP.

You can start by filling out our online contact form. You can also reach us at (312) 578-9501 or toll-free at (886) 881-9980. One of our team members will be in touch with you shortly. A free, no-obligation consultation is available as well.

 

 

 

 

 

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