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What happens when a vaccine turns into a dangerous product?

Anyone with children knows that doctors and other health care professionals usually push vaccinations on children. While the parents of children who are being immunized might be given a fast run through of adverse effects from the immunizations, they probably don't think too much of those. Our readers in Washington, District of Columbia, might be interested to learn that people who are adversely affected by immunizations can make claims for compensation.

What is the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program?

The NVIC is a program that compensates people who are injured by vaccinations. It is meant to cover the costs of medical care quickly and generously. The program was initially started to help children who were affected by vaccinations the government recommends. It has since morphed into a program that is comprised largely by adults who suffer from Guillain-Barre syndrome after getting a flu shot. The program is overseen by a judge who presides over a special vaccine court.

How long do claims take through the NVIC?

There really isn't a good answer to that question. The program is supposed to resolve claims within 240 days of being filed. There are options that can extend that time frame by another 150 days. Sadly, even those time frames really aren't valid. Some people have been waiting on a claim to be resolved for more than a decade. Some people have died without ever having their claim resolved. In fact, less than 7 percent of cases are being resolved in the 240-day time frame.

Being harmed by any procedure, treatment or preventative measure that is recommended by a medical professional isn't something a patient should go through. For patients who do suffer harm, seeking compensation is possible. Knowing current laws and procedures for product liability cases involving medical devices and medications might prove to be difficult, so seeking assistance from someone familiar with up-to-date practices might help.

Source: WRBL.com, "Feds vows to publicize vaccine injury help program" Justin Pritchard and Mitch Weiss, Nov. 21, 2014

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