VICP, National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program

The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, or VICP, is a program established by Congress which became effective October 1, 1988. It was established in response to the liability crisis surrounding children's vaccines. This crisis threatened to make DTP vaccine unavailable as well as to shut down development of newer and improved vaccines.

The program provides for no-fault style compensation for any child or adult suffering injury or death from any of the covered vaccines. The claimant or his or her family need only show one of the following to qualify:

  • an injury listed on the table below occurred and there is no greater evidence of an alternative cause
  • that the vaccine actually caused the condition
  • or that the vaccine significantly aggravated a pre-existing condition.
The program is no-fault, which means that the claimant or his family need not prove negligence on the part of the administering physician or the manufacturer of the vaccine.

Claims for vaccine injuries must be filed within 36 months after the first symptom appeared following vaccination, and effects of the injury must have continued for at least six months. Death claims must be filed within 24 months of death and within 48 months after onset of the vaccine-related injury from which the death occurred. Any vaccine added to the program is given eight years' retroactive coverage and a two year grace period after coverage to file retroactive claims.

Vaccine Injury Table

VaccineAdverse eventTime Period
tetanus-containing anaphylaxis
brachial neuritis
4 hours
2-28 days
pertussis-containing anaphylaxis
4 hours
72 hours
MMR or any component anaphylaxis
4 hours
5-15 days
rubella-containing chronic arthritis 7-42 days
measles-containing thrombocytopenic purpura
vaccine-strain measles infection
in immunodeficient recipient
7-30 days
6 months
OPV paralytic polio
vaccine-strain polio infection
30 days/6 months*
30 days/6 months*
IPV anaphylaxis 4 hours
Hepatitis B anaphylaxis 4 hours
HiB (unconjugated)
HiB (conjugated)
early onset HiB disease
no condition specified
7 days
not applicable
varicella vaccine no condition specified not applicable
new vaccine no condition specified not applicable

* Time limits for individuals who receive the vaccine. No limit for contacts who suffer adverse event.

Additional information about this program, with directions for filing claims, may be found at the HHS, Health Resources and Services Administration, Healthcare Systems Bureau, Division of Vaccine Injury Compensation website.

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