Vaccine Table Injuries
The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program covers most of the common vaccines administered throughout the United States. The covered vaccines are listed on the Program's “Vaccine Injury Table [PDF].”
If a person experiences a side effect or adverse reaction from one of the vaccines listed, and the condition lasts for six months or more, he or she may be entitled to compensation under the NVICP.
How the Vaccine Injury Table Works
Generally the Table works this way. There are three columns: (1) the type of vaccine, (2) the adverse reactions associated with the vaccine, and (3) the time period from the administration of the vaccine to the onset of symptoms.
A person is generally entitled to recover compensation if they can show their condition fits the three columns on the Table.
So for example, if a person is diagnosed with brachial neuritis after a tetanus shot, and the first sign of the condition occurs after two days but before 28 days, he is probably entitled to recover. That type of claim will be classified as a “Table Injury.”
Non-Table or Off-Table Injuries
Others will be classified as “Non-Table” or “Off-Table” injuries. This means that the vaccines is listed in the first column, but under the second and third columns there the Table says “No Condition Specified” and “Not applicable.”
This means the vaccine is covered but that a person who suffers an adverse reaction must prove that the vaccine actually caused the injury. Unlike a “Table Injury,” the person must prove more than timing, and more than the fact that the illness or condition followed administration of the vaccine.
In fact, proving causation can be extremely difficult, requiring technical medical and scientific evidence, including health records and very often the use of medical experts.
Why the Vaccine Injury Table is Needed
The purpose of the Table is to enable persons to more easily meet the criteria for eligibility for compensation. However, it is not always that easy. Also, even if eligibility is established, the person must then prove the amount of the compensation.