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Federal programs provide vaccine injury compensation

Many of our readers have heard at least some of the often-heated debate over the safety of vaccinations. Although adverse events linked to vaccinations are rare, they can occur.

In response to lawsuits filed by a number of parents who said that their children were negatively impacted by vaccines, the federal government set up two "no-fault" programs to provide compensation for injuries related to vaccinations. One is the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. The other is the Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program.

The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, or VICP, which was established in the 1980s, covers a wide range of vaccines, including:

-- Measles, mumps and rubella-- Polio-- Tetanus-- Hepatitis A and B-- Pertussis-- Human papillomavirus vaccines (widely known as HPV)

There are time limits for taking action through these programs related to the length of time between when someone received the vaccine and when the adverse impacts presented.

The CICP, which also provide benefits, has a different scope than the VICP. It deals with countermeasures that are used to diagnose, treat and prevent illnesses considered to present a public health emergency. These include vaccines as well as devices and drugs for diseases including Ebola, smallpox, H1N1 influenza and problems resulting from things like anthrax.

You can get more information about these programs online at websites such as that for the Health Resources & Services Administration. However, if your child has suffered an injury or illness that you believe is related to a vaccine or treatment, it's advisable to seek the advice of a Chicago-area attorney before taking any action on your own.

Source: American Pharmacists Association, "Two federal programs compensate for vaccine-related injuries," accessed Feb. 05, 2016

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