In the legal world, we use the term vaccine injuries when referring to serious injuries, ailments, negative reactions, or conditions that result after having a routine vaccination. These types of injuries do not happen very often, but they are still a risk that most doctors and nurses are reluctant to discuss. Most doctors and health professionals claim that routine vaccines are completely safe and pose zero risks. This claim is not accurate. Any risk must be considered, especially when it comes to keeping our loved ones safe.
So, what are the actual chances of suffering a vaccine injury or adverse reaction that may lead to serious implications? The answer to this question is complicated—in part due to the fact that many vaccine injuries are not reported.
The U.S. government maintains a database of reports documenting vaccine injuries and deaths, referred to as the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). These records are public and can be found here. Unfortunately, many medical professionals are hesitant to report vaccine injuries due to the negative stigma that surrounds these types of injuries. Hospital staff members may be instructed to find alternative causes of injury to avoid spreading this stigma.
According to available data from VAERS, over 670,000 vaccine injuries were reported nationwide during 2016. Most of these injuries were minor, but others required additional medical treatment and/or hospitalization. Some even led to severe, lifelong consequences like Guillain Barré Syndrome. In 2013, it was estimated that roughly 3,000 to 4,000 severe vaccine injuries are reported each year.
We can also examine vaccine injury data by looking at the total number of National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP) petitions that have been filed since the program’s inception. The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program was created in 1988 as a way for victims of vaccine injuries to receive federally-funded compensation to pay for recovery costs without having to go through the lengthy process of filing a personal injury lawsuit against a vaccine manufacturer.
Between the years 1988 and 2013, over 14,500 petitions were filed under the NVICP. Statistics for after 2013 are difficult to find, unfortunately, but petitions continue to be filed every year on a regular basis. These claims can help an individual recover from injuries they likely did not know were possible.
When we examine the above statistics in comparison to the fact that roughly 4 billion children are born in the U.S. every year and roughly 95% of those children receive regular vaccinations, we can guestimate that roughly 0.018% of the childhood vaccinations that were given in 2016 resulted in vaccine injuries. This figure, of course, doesn’t take into consideration adult vaccinations like the flu vaccine nor the fact that many injuries go unreported as mentioned above.
Examining this information reaffirms the idea that vaccine injuries are indeed rare. Even taking into account adult vaccinations and unreported injuries, this doesn’t change the fact that a patient’s overall risk of developing a severe negative reaction after a vaccine is quite low. This doesn’t mean that the risk factor is not present, however.
In our opinion, medical professionals should do more to warn patients about the risk factors of vaccines, especially those vaccines that not mandatory. Vaccine manufacturers should also continually work towards creating safer vaccine formulas. When a patient does suffer from a negative vaccine reaction, filing a National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program petition can give your family financial assistance to aid the recovery process as well as encourage manufacturers to improve their formulas.
If you or someone you love has suffered from a vaccine injury or severe negative reaction, get help from a Milwaukee, WI vaccine injury lawyer to ensure your claim has the highest chances of succeeding. Even if you’re not located in Wisconsin, Urban & Taylor, S.C. assists clients nationwide, can help you process your claim, and will travel to you if needed. Contact our office to learn more.