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Understanding Vaccine Injury Law

Getting a flu shot or other vaccination is a common occurrence, and in the vast majority of cases it is a great idea. However, on rare occasions, flu shots and other pharmaceuticals cause unexpected side effects. If a vaccination causes a severe injury to an adult or a child, JPI can help.

A little known program was established in 1986 to compensate individuals who suffer adverse reactions to flu shots or vaccines. Congress created the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP) after a series of lawsuits against vaccine manufacturers threatened to cause vaccine shortages. As a result, a federal trust fund was established which to date has paid out billions of dollars in damages to individuals who suffered severe injuries as a result of a vaccination. In order to obtain an award, a claim must be filed in the United States Court of Federal Claims in Washington, D.C. 

Claims can be filed by the injured individual or by a parent or legal guardian on behalf of a child or disabled adult. In order to be eligible to receive compensation, the injured individual must establish the following:

  1. The adverse effects of the vaccination lasted more than six months after the vaccine was given, or
  2. Resulted in a hospital stay or surgery, or
  3. Resulted in death.


The following vaccines are covered:

  • Tetanus toxoid-containing vaccines
  • Pertussis antigen-containing vaccines
  • Measles, mumps and rubella virus-containing vaccines in any combination
  • Rubella virus-containing vaccines
  • Measles virus-containing vaccines
  • Polio live virus-containing vaccines
  • Hepatitis B antigen-containing vaccines
  • Hemophilus influenza
  • Varicella vaccine (Varivax chickenpox  virus vaccine)
  • Rotavirus vaccine
  • Pneumococcal conjugate vaccines
  • Hepatitis A vaccines
  • Trivalent influenza vaccines (Flu vaccines including FluMist, a live attenuated influenza virus vaccine; and injectable influenza vaccines FluShield, Fluvirin, FluZone, and Afluria)
  • Meningococcal vaccines
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines (Gardasil and Cervarix)


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