The VICP applies to all vaccines recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for routine administration to children.
However, to qualify for compensation, the petitioner must prove one of the following:
- that an injury occurred that is specified in the Vaccine Injury Table
- that a vaccine significantly aggravated a pre-existing condition
- that a vaccine caused a condition
As of August 26, 2002, the Vaccine Injury Table included the following vaccines:
- DTP for diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis, as well as other tetanus- and pertussis-containing vaccines
- MMR for measles, mumps, and rubella (German measles), as well as other measles- and rubella-containing vaccines
- OPV and IPV for polio, including cases in which polio was contracted from a child vaccinated with OPV
- Hepatitis B
- Hib conjugate vaccines for haemophilus influenzae type B that causes meningitis
- Varicella (chickenpox)
- Pneumococcal conjugate vaccines
- Live, oral, rhesus-based rotavirus vaccines for gastroenteritis, administered on or before August 26, 2002 (This vaccine was administered routinely only between October 1, 1998 and October 15, 1999.)
These vaccines are covered regardless of whether they were administered individually or in combination or whether they were administered by public or private healthcare providers. When a new vaccine is added to the Vaccine Injury Table, coverage is retroactive for eight years. When the CDC recommends a new vaccine for routine administration to children, it may be automatically added to the table. Claims can be filed for other vaccines; however, the claimant must prove that the injury was caused by the vaccine. Since this can be very difficult to prove, most VICP claims fall within the Vaccine Injury Table.
The Vaccine Injury Table contains guidelines for evaluating whether the injury or death was vaccine-related. For example, a claim that a child’s seizures were triggered by a vaccine must include proof that the child’s first seizure occurred within three days of the vaccine administration.
Furthermore, claims for vaccine-related injuries are only valid if the effects continued for at least six months following the vaccination or resulted in hospitalization or surgical intervention. The claim must be filed within 36 months of the appearance of the first symptoms. Claims for vaccine-related deaths must be filed within 24 months of the death or within 48 months of the onset of the injury that caused the death. Learn more about vaccine claim deadlines here.