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What Is the HPV Vaccine?

The human papilloma virus (HPV) is actually a group of viruses that are a known cause of  several health conditions that range from mild to severe. One of the most common conditions caused by HPV infection are Genital Warts, but the most serious and well-established consequence of HPV infection is Cervical Cancer which are caused by several HPV subtypes. Testing for HPV in cervical (Pap) smears is the best determinant of a patient’s risk for cervical cancer.  HPV can also cause cancer of the anus, throat, penis, vagina, and vulva. Another rare but serious condition is Recurrent Respiratory Papillomatosis, which causes warts to develop in the respiratory tract.

The HPV Vaccine is effective in preventing infection with HPV, as well as these cancers and diseases, when administered before being exposed to the virus. The CDC recommends that the HPV vaccine be given at 11 or 12 years of age but notes it can be given as early as 9 and should be completed before age 15. Administration of both doses can prevent the transmission of HPV through sexual contact.

Three HPV vaccines—9-valent HPV vaccine (Gardasil 9, 9vHPV), quadrivalent HPV vaccine (Gardasil, 4vHPV), and bivalent HPV vaccine (Cervarix, 2vHPV)—have been licensed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). All three HPV vaccines protect against HPV types 16 and 18 that cause most HPV cancers.

Since late 2016, only Gardasil-9 (9vHPV) is distributed in the United States.  This vaccine protects against nine HPV types (6, 11, 16, 18, 31, 33, 45, 52, and 58).

What Side Effects Are Associated With the HPV Vaccine?

The Vaccine Injury Table lists Anaphylaxis, Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration (SIRVA), and Vasovagal Syncope as injuries from the HPV that automatically qualify for compensation. These injuries are generally mild and self-limiting, although SIRVA injuries caused by the injection can cause permanent arm and nerve pain and should a patient not be properly supervised and faint and fall more severe injuries can ensue.

However, not all injuries from HPV Vaccine are listed in the table; or are found in the  Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) which is a national vaccine safety surveillance program in the United States that collects information about adverse events (possible side effects) that occur after the administration of vaccines. These rarer side effects include chronic muscle and joint pain, as well as neurological conditions. These injuries result from a dysfunction of the immune system after being stimulated by the vaccine. Because these injuries are not on the table, proof of medical causation between the vaccine and the injury is necessary to obtain compensation.

What Compensation Is Available for a Vaccine Injury?

If you have suffered a serious vaccine-related injury which has been present for at least six months, you may be entitled to compensation from the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP). Injury must either be listed on the table of vaccine injuries and fit into these specific symptoms and time frames set forth therein, or the petitioner must show through medical evidence that the injury was more likely than not caused by the vaccination. If a petitioner establishes that the vaccine likely caused the injury, compensation can be awarded for medical and rehabilitative expenses, pain and suffering, lost earnings, and a death benefit if there was a fatal event. However, damages for past and future pain and suffering are limited to a maximum amount of $250,000.

Why Contact an Experienced Vaccine Attorney?

To present a claim to the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, an attorney must be admitted to the United States Court of Federal Claims. Knowledge about the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) process and knowing the medical proofs required to obtain compensation are critical to success. There are complex issues in medicine and immunology that must be analyzed and proven in a claim for an HPV vaccine injury. The program has strict criteria for proving a vaccine injury that requires legally- and medically complex documentation, and this is best handled by attorneys who have experience in the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program.

Our lawyers have extensive experience handling these claims through the NVIC and can guide you through all stages of the legal process. Contact us today for help.