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P.O. Box 143,
Glens Falls, New York 12801-0143
Phone: 518-793-2535
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VACCINE RELATED INJURIES

Have you or a loved one suffered an injury or adverse reaction from a vaccine? If so, Gary C. Hobbs, Esq., of Muller, Mannix & Hobbs, PLLC. is one of the few attorneys in Upstate New York that is certified to handle vaccine injury cases before the United States Court of Claims under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP).

On October 1, 1988, the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 created the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) to compensate persons who suffered harm, trauma, injuries and/or adverse reactions from certain vaccines. The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program was established to ensure an adequate supply of vaccines, stabilize vaccine costs, and establish and maintain an accessible and efficient forum for individuals found to be injured by certain vaccines. The VICP is a “no-fault alternative to the traditional tort system” for resolving vaccine injury claims that provides compensation to people found to be injured by certain vaccines. This means that you, your infant child, your son or daughter may be eligible to recover for your injuries caused by a vaccine, without having to prove that the pharmaceutical or drug company was negligent in producing, manufacturing or distributing the vaccine.

Generally, the U. S. Court of Federal Claims decides who will be paid. Three Federal government offices have a role in the VICP are the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS); the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ); and the U.S. Court of Federal Claims (the Court).

COMMON VACCINE QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

Q. What types of vaccines can result in injury and are covered under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program?
A. The types of vaccines that can cause injury include, and are covered for compensation, include Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis (DTP, DTaP, Tdap, DT, TT, or Td), Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR or any components), Polio (OPV or IPV), Hepatitis A (HAV), Hepatitis B (HBV), Haemophilus Influenza Type b (Hib), Varicella (VZV), Rotavirus (RV), Pneumococcal Conjugate (PCV), and Trivalent Influenza (TIV, LAIV), Human Papillomavirus (HPV) and Meningococcal (MCV4, MPSV4) and Flu or Influenza Vaccines.
Q. What type of injuries can be caused by vaccines?
A. Vaccines have been found to cause a number of injuries and can even cause death. Vaccines have been linked to Autoimmune Disorders, Autoimmune Hepatitis, Chronic Arthritis, Connective Tissue Disorder, Lupus, Kawasaki Disease, Blood Disorders and Blood Clots, Bowel Obstruction, Brain Damage, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Nerve Damage and Nerve Pain and Severe Allergic Reactions. Various symptoms from a possible adverse reaction to a vaccine can include enlarged liver, jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes), nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, dark urine, a rash that will not go away, a continued fever, swollen extremities [swollen hands and feet], irritation and redness of the whites of the eyes, swollen lymph glands in the neck, irritation and inflammation of the mouth, lips and throat, a loss of vision in one or both eyes, permanent or temporary paralysis or difficulty standing or walking.
Q. Who is eligible to file a claim for an adverse reaction or injury caused by a vaccine?
A. You may file a claim if you believe you were injured by a vaccine or if you are the parent or legal guardian of an infant, minor or child or the custodian or legal guardian of a disabled adult believed to have been injured by a vaccine. In addition, if you are the legal representative of the estate of a deceased individual whose death you believe was caused by a vaccine, then you can file a claim for compensation.
Q. Does the injury or adverse effects have to last for a period of time to be eligible for a recovery or for compensation?
A. Yes. Generally, an injury must have lasted for more than 6 months after the vaccine was given or resulted in a hospital stay and surgery to be eligible for compensation.
Q. How much money can I receive for my vaccine related injury?
A. Compensation varies, depending on the type, nature, and extent of the injury. You may be eligible to recover as much as $250,000 for pain and suffering. You also may be able to recover all of your lost earnings, wages and pay from your loss of work. Your legal fees can be paid. You can recover a reasonable amount for your past and future medical care. If the vaccine results in a death, you may receive as much as $250,000 for the estate and legal fees.
Q. Is there is time limitation for my filing of a claim?
A. Yes. Generally, to be eligible for compensation, claims must be filed within 3 years after the first symptom of the vaccine injury; or within 2 years of the vaccine-related death and not more than 4 years after the start of the first symptom of the vaccine-related injury from which the death occurred; or 2 years from the date the vaccine is covered for injuries or deaths that occurred up to 8 years before the date the vaccine is covered.
Q. Where can I find additional information about vaccine related injuries?
A. Additional information concerning vaccine related injuries can be found at:
  1. The US Court of Claims website, which is located at http://www.uscfc.uscourts.gov
  2. The US Department of Health and Human Services at http://hrsa.gov
  3. A Vaccine Compensation Booklet can be seen at: ftp://ftp.hrsa.gov/vaccinecompensation/84521_Booklet.pdf

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I HAVE BEEN INJURED BY A VACCINE

If you believe that you or a loved one may have been injured or suffered an adverse reaction from a vaccine, please contact Muller, Mannix & Hobbs, PLLC., at 2715 State Route 9, Suite 102, Malta, New York 12020. Phone: (518) 581-9797. Fax: (518) 581-9590 for a free initial case review and consultation.

Initial Consultation to review your potential vaccine claim is free of charge. In addition, if you do have a valid vaccine claim, you will not pay any legal fees to Muller, Mannix & Hobbs, PLLC. Your legal fees will be covered by the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP).

VACCINE INJURY AND ADVERSE REACTION COMPENSATION

For the calendar year of 2012, the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) paid more than $217 million dollars in compensation for adverse reactions, injuries and/or wrongful death caused by vaccines. Your injury or adverse reaction from a vaccine could entitle you to the payment of compensation from the VICP.

The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program was created by Congress as a no-fault alternative to the traditional method of suing for vaccine injury claims. The Program provides compensation to people found to be injured by vaccines. The law requires that claims for vaccine injuries be processed in the Vaccine Program prior to the filing of any civil lawsuit.

Instead of bringing a suit against vaccine manufacturers or your doctor, a person injured must file his or her case in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims (located in Washington, D.C.). Muller, Mannix & Hobbs are one of the few law firms in Upstate New York registered with the U.S. Court of Federal Claims to handle your vaccine injury claim. Our experienced legal team is ready to handle your vaccine injury claim before the Court of Claims, where each case is defended by the Secretary of Health and Human Services (the defendant), who is represented by the Department of Justice (DOJ). All vaccine injury cases are presided over by the Office of Special Masters, where a special master (or judge) is assigned to every case and decides the outcome in the event it proceeds to a hearing (or trial). Cases that do not proceed to a hearing (or trial) are either settled by the parties in advance of hearing or conceded by the Secretary of Health and Human Services.

The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program will pay your attorneys’ fees and costs of your claim, you will not have to pay the legal costs of your claim.

There are deadlines to the filing of your claim, so contact the legal team at Muller, Mannix & Hobbs immediately if you or a loved one has been injured or suffered an adverse reaction to a vaccine.

National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act

Vaccine Injury Tablea
Vaccine Illness, disability, injury or condition covered Time period for first symptom or manifestation of onset or of significant aggravation after vaccine administration
Vaccines containing tetanus toxoid (e.g., DTaP, DTP, DT, Td, TT) Anaphylaxis or anaphylactic shock 4 hours
B. Brachial neuritis 2-28 days
C. Any acute complication or sequela (including death) of an illness, disability, injury, or condition referred to above which illness, disability, injury, or condition arose within the time period prescribed. Not applicable
II. Vaccines containing whole cell pertussis bacteria, extracted or partial cell pertussis bacteria, or specific pertussis antigen(s) (e.g., DTP, DTaP, P, DTP- Hib). A. Anaphylaxis or anaphylactic shock 4 hours
B. Encephalopathy (or encephalitis) 72 hours
C. Any acute complication or sequela (including death) of an illness, disability, injury, or condition referred to above which illness, disability, injury, or condition arose within the time period prescribed. Not applicable
III. Measles, mumps and rubella vaccine or any of its components (e.g., MMR, MR, M, R) A. Anaphylaxis or anaphylactic shock 4 hours
B. Encephalopathy (or encephalitis) 5-15 days (not less than 5 days and not more than 15 days)
C. Any acute complication or sequela (including death) of an illness, disability, injury, or condition referred to above which illness, disability, injury, or condition arose within the time period prescribed. Not applicable
IV. Vaccines containing rubella virus(e.g., MMR, MR, R) A. Chronic arthritis 7-42 days
B Any acute complication or sequela (including death) of an illness, disability, injury, or condition referred to above which illness, disability, injury, or condition arose within the time period prescribed. Not applicable
V. Vaccines containing measles virus(e.g., MMR, MR, M) A Thrombocytopenic purpura 7-30 days
B. Vaccine-Strain Measles Viral Infection in an immunodeficient recipient 6 months
C Any acute complication or sequela (including death) of an illness, disability, injury, or condition referred to above which illness, disability, injury, or condition arose within the time period prescribed. Not applicable
VI. Vaccines containing polio live virus (OPV) A. Paralytic polio
--- in a non-immunodeficient recipient
30 days
--- in an immunodeficient recipient 6 months
--- in a vaccine assoc. community case Not applicable
B. Vaccine-strain polio viral infection --- in a non-immunodeficient recipient 30 days
--- in an immunodeficient recipient 6 months
--- in a vaccine assoc. community case Not applicable
C. Any acute complication or sequela (including death) of an illness, disability, injury, or condition referred to above which illness, disability, injury, or condition arose within the time period prescribed. Not applicable
VII. Vaccines containing polio inactivated (e.g., IPV) A Anaphylaxis or anaphylactic shock 4 hours
B. Any acute complication or sequela (including death) of an illness, disability, injury, or condition referred to above which illness, disability, injury, or condition arose within the time period prescribed. arose within the time period prescribed.
VIII. Hepatitis B. vaccines A. Anaphylaxis or anaphylactic shock 4 hours
B. Any acute complication or sequela (including death) of an illness, disability, injury, or condition referred to above which illness, disability, injury, or condition arose within the time period prescribed. Not applicable
IX. Hemophilus influenzae type b polysaccharide conjugate vaccines No Condition Specified Not applicable
X. Varicella vaccine No Condition Specified Not applicable
XI. Rotavirus vaccine No Condition Specified Not applicable
XII. Pneumococcal conjugate vaccines No Condition Specified Not applicable
XIII. Hepatitis A vaccines No Condition Specified Not applicable
XIV. Trivalent influenza vaccines No Condition Specified Not applicable
XV. Meningococcal vaccines No Condition Specified Not applicable
XVI. Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines No Condition Specified Not applicable
XII. Any new vaccine recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for routine administration to children, after publication by Secretary, HHS of a notice of coverage b,c,d No Condition Specified Not applicable
aEffective date: July 22, 2011 See Revisions to the Vaccine Injury Table, www.hrsa.gov/vaccinecompensation/tablerevisions06222011.pdf

Qualifications and Aids to Interpretation

  1. Anaphylaxis and anaphylactic shock mean an acute, severe, and potentially lethal systemic allergic reaction. Most cases resolve without sequelae. Signs and symptoms begin minutes to a few hours after exposure. Death, if it occurs, usually results from airway obstruction caused by laryngeal edema or bronchospasm and may be associated with cardiovascular collapse. Other significant clinical signs and symptoms may include the following: Cyanosis, hypotension, bradycardia, tachycardia, arrhythmia, edema of the pharynx and/or trachea and/or larynx with stridor and dyspnea. Autopsy findings may include acute emphysema which results from lower respiratory tract obstruction, edema of the hypopharynx, epiglottis, larynx, or trachea and minimal findings of eosinophilia in the liver, spleen and lungs. When death occurs within minutes of exposure and without signs ofrespiratory distress, there may not be significant pathologic findings.
  2. Encephalopathy. For purposes of the Vaccine Injury Table, a vaccine recipient shall be considered to have suffered an encephalopathy only if such recipient manifests, within the applicable period, an injury meeting the description below of an acute encephalopathy, and then a chronic encephalopathy persists in such person for more than 6 months beyond the date of vaccination
    1. An acute encephalopathy is one that is sufficiently severe so as to require hospitalization (whether or not hospitalization occurred).
      1. For children less than 18 months of age who present without an associated seizure event, an acute encephalopathy is indicated by a “significantly decreased level of consciousness” (see “D” below) lasting for at least 24 hours. Those children less than 18 months of age who present following a seizure shall be viewed as having an acute encephalopathy if their significantly decreased level of consciousness persists beyond 24 hours and cannot be attributed to a postictal state (seizure) or medication.
      2. For adults and children 18 months of age or older, an acute encephalopathy is one that persists for at least 24 hours and characterized by at least two of the following:
        1. A significant change in mental status that is not medication related; specifically a confusional state, or a delirium, or a psychosis;
        2. A significantly decreased level of consciousness, which is independent of a seizure and cannot be attributed to the effects of medication; and
        3. A seizure associated with loss of consciousness.
      3. Increased intracranial pressure may be a clinical feature of acute encephalopathy in any age group
      4. A "significantly decreased level of consciousness" is indicated by the presence of at least one of the following clinical signs for at least 24 hours or greater (see paragraphs (2)(I)(A) and (2)(I)(B) of this section for applicable timeframes):
        1. Decreased or absent response to environment (responds, if at all, only to loud voice or painful stimuli);
        2. Decreased or absent eye contact (does not fix gaze upon family members or other individuals); or
        3. Inconsistent or absent responses to external stimuli (does not recognize familiar people or things).
      5. The following clinical features alone, or in combination, do not demonstrate an acute encephalopathy or a significant change in either mental status or level of consciousness as described above: Sleepiness, irritability (fussiness), high-pitched and unusual screaming, persistent inconsolable crying, and bulging fontanelle. Seizures in themselves are not sufficient to constitute a diagnosis of encephalopathy. In the absence of other evidence of an acute encephalopathy, seizures shall not be viewed as the first symptom or manifestation of the onset of an acute encephalopathy.
    2. Chronic encephalopathy occurs when a change in mental or neurologic status, first manifested during the applicable time period, persists for a period of at least 6 months from the date of vaccination. Individuals who return to a normal neurologic state after the acute encephalopathy shall not be presumed to have suffered residual neurologic damage from that event; any subsequent chronic encephalopathy shall not be presumed to be a sequela of the acute encephalopathy. If a preponderance of the evidence indicates that a child's chronic encephalopathy is secondary to genetic, prenatal or perinatal factors, that chronic encephalopathy shall not be considered to be a condition set forth in the Table.
    3. An encephalopathy shall not be considered to be a condition set forth in the Table if in a proceeding on a petition, it is shown by a preponderance of the evidence that the encephalopathy was caused by an infection, a toxin, a metabolic disturbance, a structural lesion, a genetic disorder or trauma (without regard to whether the cause of the infection, toxin, trauma, metabolic disturbance, structural lesion or genetic disorder is known). If at the time a decision is made on a petition filed under section 2111(b) of the Act for a vaccine-related injury or death, it is not possible to determine the cause by a preponderance of the evidence of an encephalopathy, the encephalopathy shall be considered to be a condition set forth in the Table.
    4. In determining whether or not an encephalopathy is a condition set forth in the Table, the Court shall consider the entire medical record
  3. Seizure and convulsion. For purposes of paragraphs (b)(2) of this section, the terms, "seizure" and "convulsion" include myoclonic, generalized tonic-clonic (grand mal), and simple and complex partial seizures. Absence (petit mal) seizures shall not be considered to be a condition set forth in the Table. Jerking movements or staring episodes alone are not necessarily an indication of seizure activity.
  4. Sequela. The term "sequela" means a condition or event which was actually caused by a condition listed in the Vaccine Injury Table.
  5. Chronic Arthritis. For purposes of the Vaccine Injury Table, chronic arthritis may be found in a person with no history in the 3 years prior to vaccination of arthropathy (joint disease) on the basis of:
    1. Medical documentation, recorded within 30 days after the onset, of objective signs of acute arthritis (joint swelling) that occurred between 7 and 42 days after a rubella vaccination;
    2. Medical documentation (recorded within 3 years after the onset of acute arthritis) of the persistence of objective signs of intermittent or continuous arthritis for more than 6 months following vaccination:
    3. Medical documentation of an antibody response to the rubella virus.
    For purposes of the Vaccine Injury Table, the following shall not be considered as chronic arthritis: Musculoskeletal disorders such as diffuse connective tissue diseases (including but not limited to rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, systemic sclerosis, mixed connective tissue disease, polymyositis/dermatomyositis, fibromyalgia, necrotizing vasculitis and vasculopathies and Sjogren's Syndrome), degenerative joint disease, infectious agents other than rubella (whether by direct invasion or as an immune reaction), metabolic and endocrine diseases, trauma, neoplasms, neuropathic disorders, bone and cartilage disorders and arthritis associated with ankylosing spondylitis, psoriasis, inflammatory bowel disease, Reiter's syndrome, or blood disorders. Arthralgia (joint pain) or stiffness without joint swelling shall not be viewed as chronic arthritis for purposes of the Vaccine Injury Table.
  6. Brachial neuritis is defined as dysfunction limited to the upper extremity nerve plexus (i.e., its trunks, divisions, or cords) without involvement of other peripheral (e.g., nerve roots or a single peripheral nerve) or central (e.g., spinal cord) nervous system structures. A deep, steady, often severe aching pain in the shoulder and upper arm usually heralds onset of the condition. The pain is followed in days or weeks by weakness and atrophy in upper extremity muscle groups. Sensory loss may accompany the motor deficits, but is generally a less notable clinical feature. The neuritis, or plexopathy, may be present on the same side as or the opposite side of the injection; it is sometimes bilateral, affecting both upper extremities. Weakness is required before the diagnosis can be made. Motor, sensory, and reflex findings on physical examination and the results of nerve conduction and electromyographic studies must be consistent in confirming that dysfunction is attributable to the brachial plexus. The condition should thereby be distinguishable from conditions that may give rise to dysfunction of nerve roots (i.e., radiculopathies) and peripheral nerves (i.e., including multiple mononeuropathies), as well as other peripheral and central nervous system structures (e.g., cranial neuropathies and myelopathies).
  7. Thrombocytopenic purpura is defined by a serum platelet count less than 50,000/mm3. Thrombocytopenic purpura does not include cases of thrombocytopenia associated with other causes such as hypersplenism, autoimmune disorders (including alloantibodies from previous transfusions) myelodysplasias, lymphoproliferative disorders, congenital thrombocytopenia or hemolytic uremic syndrome. This does not include cases of immune (formerly called idiopathic) thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) that are mediated, for example, by viral or fungal infections, toxins or drugs. Thrombocytopenic purpura does not include cases of thrombocytopenia associated with disseminated intravascular coagulation, as observed with bacterial and viral infections. Viral infections include, for example, those infections secondary to Epstein Barr virus, cytomegalovirus, hepatitis A and B, rhinovirus, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), adenovirus, and dengue virus. An antecedent viral infection may be demonstrated by clinical signs and symptoms and need not be confirmed by culture or serologic testing. Bone marrow examination, if performed, must reveal a normal or an increased number of megakaryocytes in an otherwise normal marrow.
  8. Vaccine-strain measles viral infection is defined as a disease caused by the vaccine-strain that should be determined by vaccine-specific monoclonal antibody or polymerase chain reaction tests.
  9. Vaccine-strain polio viral infection is defined as a disease caused by poliovirus that is isolated from the affected tissue and should be determined to be the vaccine-strain by oligonucleotide or polymerase chain reaction. Isolation of poliovirus from the stool is not sufficient to establish a tissue specific infection or disease caused by vaccine- strain poliovirus

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