Millions of doses of vaccines are distributed each year. An injury or death after receiving a vaccine is rare, but it can happen. In fact, more than 1,100 petitions were filed with that National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) in 2016. Those petitions represent a fraction of the total number of people who have suffered an injury or lost a loved one as a result of a vaccine.
VICP is a government program that allows individuals to seek compensation for vaccine injuries. Since 1988, 18,151 petitions have been filed with VICP. This has resulted in more than $3.6 billion in compensation for individuals throughout the United States who have been injured.
Top three vaccines by claims since 1988
Looking at the number of petitions filed with VICP since 1988, there are three types of vaccines that standout as having high numbers of claims:
- Diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus (DTP) - 3,982 claims filed
- Influenza, which is commonly known as a flu vaccine - 3,460 claims filed
- Measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) - 1,000 claims filed
These are also among some of the most common vaccines distributed in the US. With the flu vaccine, for example, more than one billion doses were given from 2006 to 2015.
This is just a small part of the total list of vaccines covered by VICP. Additionally, if a vaccine isn't covered by the program, it is still possible to bring a claim. In those cases, the claim would need to be filed in court. So, newer vaccines or rare vaccines would not be represented in the above numbers.