By Tanya Phillips

Each year millions of individuals (children and adults) are vaccinated against serious disease and illness. Vaccinations are a helpful defense against disease and infection. However, there are situations when the vaccine itself causes unintended consequences including serious illness, injury, permanent disability, and in some cases death.

In response, the United States government created the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP). The VICP is designed as a non-fault system of compensation to provide monetary support for individuals injured as a direct result of an adverse reaction to a vaccine. Please be aware that participation in the VICP is mandatory prior to filing any direct cause of action against a potential defendant in either State or Federal Court. Though not all vaccines are covered, a large number have been recognized to cause adverse reactions. Some vaccines which are covered under the Program are as follows:

  • Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis or any combination of Diphtheria, Tetanus Toxoid, and Pertussis (“Whooping Cough”) antigen-containing vaccines (for example, DTP, DTaP, P, DTP-Hib)
  • Hemophilus influenzae type b polysaccharide conjugate vaccines (Hib)
  • Hepatitis A vaccines (Hep A)
  • Hepatitis B vaccines (Hep B)
  • Human Papilloma Virus vaccines
  • Measles virus containing vaccines, alone, or in combination with other vaccines (for example, MMR, MR, M)
  • Measles-Mumps-Rubella or any combination of Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (“German Measles”) virus containing vaccines (for example, MMR, MR, R)
  • Pneumococcal (“Pneumonia”) conjugate vaccines
  • Polio inactivated virus containing vaccines (IPV)
  • Polio live virus containing vaccines (OPV)
  • Rotavirus vaccines containing live, oral, rhesus-based rotavirus
  • Rubella virus containing vaccines, alone, or in combination with other vaccines (for example, MMR, MR, R)
  • Seasonal flu vaccine
  • Tetanus Toxoid, alone, or in combination with other vaccines (for example, TT, Td)
  • Varicella (“Chicken Pox”) vaccines

Some of the known injuries which are caused as a direct result of an adverse reaction to a vaccine are: Anaphylaxis/anaphylactic shock, Brachial neuritis, Encephalitis, Encephalopathy, Guillain-Barre Syndrome, Intussusception, SIRVA – Shoulder Injury Related Vaccine Administration, Thrombocytopenic purpura, Transverse Myelitis, and Vasovagal Syncope

The VICP allows individuals and/or their guardians’ legal representation when bringing forth claims for compensation. The claims are filed in the United States Court of Federal Claims and against the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The cases are defended by the United States Department of Justice (DOJ). The Program has a very strict and uncompromising statute of limitations (time period) in which a claim may be filed.

For an injury, your claim must be filed within three (3) years after the first symptom of the vaccine injury.

In the case of death, your claim must be filed within two (2) years of the death and four (4) years after the start of the first symptom of the vaccine-related injury from which the death occurred.

The Program allows payment of all reasonable legal fees and costs separate and distinct from compensation paid for medical expenses, pain/suffering, lost earnings, and/or future care. Payment of legal fees and costs is not contingent upon success. Namely, if your claim is deemed to have been filed in “Good Faith” but the claim is unsuccessful, your attorney’s fees and costs may still be paid through the Program. Successful or not, you are never personally responsible for payment of an attorney fee.

The Program has nationwide jurisdiction and has no requirement of citizenship. Program eligibility merely requires an individual (child or adult) to have been injured as a direct result of a vaccine covered by the VICP in order for compensation to be potentially awarded.

The law firm of Gaylord Popp, LLC provides legal representation to individuals and families in New Jersey and throughout the United States before the Court of Federal Claims. The Court of Federal Claims is physically located in Washington, D.C. However, accommodations are made through the Program to allow hearings in Federal District courts close to your home or by way of video conferencing. Therefore, location should not bar any potential claims.

If you have any questions regarding potential vaccination claims, please feel free to contact our firm. We look forward to discussing any questions or concerns either you or your family may have when confronted with an injury caused by an adverse reaction to a vaccine.

If you have any questions about legal concerns, I encourage you to visit our website at, or email me directly at or call 609-362-6193.