Vaccine Compensation Fund Keeps Growing

“Tainted steroid injection.” Those aren’t the three most comforting words. But they’re exactly what caused a nasty meningitis outbreak in 2012. Fortunately, the compensation fund for victims of this outbreak recently grew to $210 million.

The nationwide outbreak resulted in 64 deaths and 750 illnesses in 20 states. Before it was revamped in December, the compensation fund for victims of the outbreak contained $100 million.

New England Compounding Center of Framingham, Massachusetts produced the flawed steroid injection. It implicated its business partners and cost them $70 million in settlement fees. Lawyers are saying victims could begin to receive payments from the fattened fund later this year.

Compensation funds like these can never make victims whole. But they can certainly help.

Consider one of the more successful compensation funds of recent vintage, the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. Congress created the program in 1988 as a means of compensating individuals who experience adverse side effects from vaccines. The VICP covers a wide variety of vaccines.

One such side effect of vaccination is Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration (or SIRVA). A patient can suffer SIRVA if a healthcare professional administers a shot incorrectly.

Though rare, SIRVA is a serious condition that can result in limited range of motion, severe arm/shoulder pain, and shoulder dysfunction. It can be treated with physical therapy, but many patients continue to experience pain post treatment. Sometimes even shoulder surgery is needed to repair the damage.

Fortunately, patients who are afflicted with SIRVA are eligible for compensation by the VICP.

Or consider another vaccine-related injury caused by the MMRV (measles-mumps-rubella-varicella) shot. Yahoo Parenting recently published the harrowing story of Susan Lawson of Colorado, whose daughter received the MMRV shot at the age of one and ended up with encephalitis, or brain swelling.

Lawson turned to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, a vaccine safety program sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration. She also enlisted the help of an attorney to seek compensation through the VICP.

Though no amount of money can compensate for the brain damage her daughter suffered, the $1.5 million that the Lawson family received did help make up for lost wages and pay for her daughter’s care.

Families like the Lawsons should know that there is no need to face the physical and emotional suffering of a vaccine-related injury alone. Last year, the VICP paid an average reward of $500,000.

To view an updated list of all vaccines covered by the VICP, visit the vaccine injury compensation table on the website of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

To Susan Lawson, hearing people tout vaccines as indisputably safe feels like a “punch in the gut.” Patients should be aware that vaccines can sometimes result in injury. When adverse side effects do occur, the VICP is here to help.


If you have suffered from a negative shot reaction, Guillain-Barre Syndrome, shoulder pain, or any other illness subsequent to receiving a vaccination, please contact an attorney today. Vaccine attorney Leah Durant is available to provide you with a free telephone consultation. This vaccine attorney is a seasoned litigator whose practice is dedicated to serving those injured by vaccines.


Categories: Guillain-Barre Syndrome (Flu GBS), Meningitis, National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration or SIRVA, Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System

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