Vaccine Injury Law Project | IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law

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Illinois Vaccination Injury Attorneys for Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System

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The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) tracks the reports of people who experience health problems following vaccines. This database is one of the main tools the government uses to monitor vaccine injuries.

What is VAERS?

VAERS is a reporting system co-managed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The program accepts and analyzes reports of adverse events (possible side effects) after a person has received a vaccine. VAERS does not determine whether the adverse event was caused by the vaccine, but the data collected by VAERS is used to detect patterns that could lead to discovery of potential safety issues or bring to light rare, unexpected events.

VAERS receives about 40,000 event reports each year, and about 10-15 percent of these reports are categorized as “serious” involving permanent disability, hospitalization, life-threatening illness, or death.

Unfortunately, if you suffer one of these rare serious events, your life could be impacted in terrible ways. In addition to living with the pain of your vaccine injury, you may face unmanageable medical costs or be unable to work.

You or your doctor can report a vaccine reaction to VAERS. After getting a vaccine, you should report any kind of bad reaction, including:

  • Vision changes
  • New pain
  • Cognitive changes
  • Any unusual health problems
  • Worsened health condition

Even after you report an adverse event, you are not provided with compensation or any kind of assistance with the effects of your injury. The Vaccine Injury Compensation Program was established to provide you access to money damages to help make you whole again. Professor Kraus and the Vaccine Injury Law Project team help you get the assistance you need and deserve after an injury.

The Importance of VAERS

If there is a new reaction to a vaccine or an increase in an already understood reaction, VAERS data should reveal such events. Using this data, the CDC and FDA are better able to monitor whether a vaccine is unsafe or whether its risks outweigh its benefits.

In the past, VAERS data has led to important understanding about vaccines that safety studies alone did not reveal. VAERS data indicated that the first rotavirus vaccine, RotaShield, was causing an unexpected number of children to suffer a serious intestinal problem called intussusception, and the vaccine was removed from the market. VAERS data has also helped to determine that the flu vaccine causes a slight increased risk for Guillain-Barre syndrome, and this understanding has helped to make it easier to petition for compensation for GBS following the flu shot.

It is fair to assume not all vaccine injuries are reported to VAERS. For this reason, the exact rate of injury for any given vaccine may be unknown.

If have suffered from an illness or injury following a vaccine, contact the Vaccine Injury Law Project to learn more about how we can help you receive compensation for your adverse vaccine reaction. Call 312-906-5072, or contact us via email.

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