Understanding Virus Vaccine Lawsuits

December 9, 2020


With a COVID-19 Vaccine on the Horizon, People Have Many Questions

With news of several promising COVID-19 vaccines on the horizon, there appears to be a light at the end of this ongoing pandemic tunnel. The vaccine may be delivered to states in the coming weeks, a welcomed potential as cases continue to surge across the nation. But as we’ve seen in the past with vaccines for Ebola, chickenpox, and other deadly viruses, there may also be adverse reactions related to the vaccine and costly lawsuits that follow. When a vaccine is distributed on such a large scale as COVID-19 likely will be, there is a greater chance of adverse reactions.

Regardless of which side of the vaccine debate you stand on, it’s essential to know your rights and take action if you have suffered. The purpose of today’s blog is to take a closer look at virus vaccine lawsuits in the United States and some of the potential risks related to vaccines.

History of Vaccine Lawsuits in the United States

The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 was established to compensate individuals injured by certain vaccines. In the 1980s, there were numerous lawsuits against vaccine manufacturers that could create vaccine shortages. The program started accepting claims in 1988 and has quietly handled numerous vaccine injury and death claims over the last three decades. However, the majority of people have never heard of this act, as the court has worked to keep these cases relatively quiet.

Overall, vaccines are beneficial to the general public and carry enormous health benefits, but there are, of course, instances where this is not the case, and a vaccine causes more harm than good. Since the mid-1980s, the U.S. government has awarded $4.4 billion for injuries relating to vaccines, including the flu and polio.

Over the last 30 years, there have been 20,123 petitions for injuries and deaths related to vaccines. Eighteen thousand cases have found a resolution, and more than 6,000 claimants have received compensation. Historically, most people who have sought compensation for vaccine-related injuries were unaware of this.

What This Act Means for COVID-19 Vaccine Injury Lawsuits

With this in mind, some are wondering if lawsuits will follow the release of the COVID-19 vaccine. According to reports, COVID-19 vaccine injuries will likely fall under a 2010 program referred to as the Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program (CICP). This fund exists in an effort to support those who suffered injuries or otherwise experienced adverse side effects from the flu vaccine or drugs used to treat Ebola and anthrax. Unfortunately, the CICP likely will not provide as much relief as some believe it should – or hope it would.

Over the last decade, the countermeasures fund has received declarations for injuries from the following:

  • Ebola
  • Zika
  • Flu
  • Nerve agents
  • Insecticides
  • Anthrax
  • Smallpox
  • Botulinum toxin
  • COVID-19

There are numerous reasons why experts predict dismal payouts from COVID-19 vaccine lawsuits, namely that it has become increasingly difficult to show that the vaccine caused a specific injury—as with many other lawsuits, proving fault or negligence is absolutely critical to the outcome of the case.

When it comes to vaccine lawsuits, this can be extremely challenging. Furthermore, manufacturers are seeking protection against liability for injuries from the COVID-19 vaccine, making it difficult for these lawsuits to go anywhere. Many manufacturers are refusing to ship the immunization or agree to contracts without liability protection.

Our country’s history with vaccines is a complicated one, and we expect COVID-19 to be no different. The experienced Dallas personal injury lawyers at Shamieh Law are keeping a close eye on issues related to the COVID-19 vaccination and will update you as we learn more.

Common Vaccine Injuries 

Most people do not have any adverse reactions following vaccinations. Some people may experience minor side effects that go away on their own, but a small percentage of people suffer more serious injuries, such as:

  • Severe allergic reactions, like anaphylaxis
  • SIRVA (Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration)
  • Vasovagal Syncope (fainting following the administration of vaccination that leads to more severe injuries)
  • Brachial Neuritis
  • Guillain-Barre syndrome
  • Encephalitis

Do You Need a Vaccine Injury Compensation Lawyer?

You may recall our blog several months back about class action lawsuits related to COVID-19. As the pandemic continues and vaccines start to make their way to the general public, our team of lawyers will be paying close attention to subsequent injuries. According to data from the Health Resources & Services Administration, vaccine injuries’ compensation rate is one in one million. Furthermore, 75 percent of cases that result in compensation are settled out of court.

To learn more about the next steps following a vaccine injury, or if you would like to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced personal injury lawyers, please do not hesitate to contact Shamieh Law today.

Our lawyers are here to answer your questions and help you understand your rights. We know this can be challenging, especially right now, as the American public continues to face unknowns caused by the pandemic. The Shamieh Law team is here for you and will do everything we can to support your case through the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program or CICP.