The United States has the safest, most effective vaccine supply in history. In the majority of cases, vaccines cause no side effects, however they can occur, as with any medication—but most are mild. Very rarely, people experience more serious side effects, like allergic reactions.
In those instances, the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) allows individuals to file a claim for financial compensation.
What does it mean to be awarded compensation?
Being awarded compensation for your claim does not necessarily mean that the vaccine caused the alleged injury. In fact:
What reasons might a claim result in a negotiated settlement?
How many claims have been awarded compensation?
From 2006 to 2014, over 2.5 billion doses of covered vaccines were distributed in the U.S. according to the CDC. 2,975 claims were adjudicated by the Court for claims filed in this time period and of those 1,876 were compensated. This means for every 1 million doses of vaccine that were distributed, 1 individual was compensated.
Since 1988, over 16,038 claims have been filed with the VICP. Over that 27 year time period, 14,062 claims have been adjudicated, with 4,150 of these determined to be compensable, while 9,912 were dismissed. Total compensation paid over the life of the program is approximately $3.18 billion.
The Latest Statistics
Read the current statistics report (PDF - 213 KB) -- updated as of July 1, 2015
This information reflects the current thinking of the United States Department of Health and Human Services on the topics addressed. This information is not legal advice and does not create or confer any rights for or on any person and does not operate to bind the Department or the public. The ultimate decision about the scope of the statutes authorizing the VICP is within the authority of the United States Court of Federal Claims, which is responsible for resolving claims for compensation under the VICP.
What You Need to Know about the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program - English (PDF - 1.36 MB)
Lo que usted necesita saber sobre el Programa Nacional de Compensación por Daños Derivados de Vacunas - Spanish (PDF - 1.39 MB)
Childhood Immunization Information for Consumers (National Library of Medicine MEDLINEPlus)