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Everything You Need To Know About Vaccine Court

Let me introduce myself – I am Randy Knutson, an attorney who represented those injured by vaccines in U.S. Vaccine Court.  You may have never heard of Vaccine Court, or vaccine attorneys at the Justice Department.  The Vaccine Court is located in Washington D.C. and is a branch of the United States Federal Court of Claims.  The Vaccine Court maintains a fund of several billion dollars, to compensate anyone injured by a covered vaccination.  This fund is filled by 75 cents being taken from every vaccine and deposited into the fund.  Those who are injured can apply to the fund.

The U.S. government, including the CDC and the Department of Health, publishes a Vaccine Injury Table each year, that lists the vaccines and side effects that are to be automatically compensated.  The Vaccine Injury Table can be found here, for your reference: 

https://www.hrsa.gov/sites/default/files/vaccinecompensation/vaccineinjurytable.pdf

One of the nicer things about vaccine court, is that the government will pay for an attorney, for those injured by vaccines.  This means that if you hire a vaccine attorney, you will never pay any attorney fees or costs; and if you receive an award of money from Vaccine Court, you will get all of the award money.  The attorneys receive none of the award and are paid later by the court (on an hourly basis), long after your case is over.  You can find a list of attorneys admitted to Vaccine Court here:

https://www.uscfc.uscourts.gov/sites/default/files/Vaccine%20Attorneys.pdf

At any given time, our office is representing 30 – 50 clients injured by vaccines.  Most of our clients suffer from paralysis of some sort, most commonly Guillaine-Barre Syndrome or Transverse Myelitis, and most of them got this from the flu vaccine. 

The government defends these cases through the Department of Health, utilizing U.S. Justice Department attorneys.  In most of our law firm cases, the government ends up conceding the case, and authorizing compensation for our clients. 

I am often told by others that vaccines have “never harmed anyone”, but this is simply not true, and the CDC, the Department of Health, and Congress all agree, and concede this.  Vaccine injuries are the reason Vaccine Court was started, and why most of our clients end up being compensated.  Keep in mind that currently, the law provides that you cannot sue vaccine makers for vaccine injuries, leaving Vaccine Court as one of the only remedies for our clients. 

The most common side effects/injuries from vaccinations are transverse myelitis, guillaine barre syndrome, brachial neuritis, and shoulder injuries from the vaccine administration.  Guillaine barre is most commonly a side effect of the flu vaccine, although other vaccines have been known to cause it.  Transverse myelitis is similar to Guillaine barre, and often caused by the flu vaccine.  AIDP and CIDP are versions of Guillaine barre, that are often compensated in Vaccine Court as well.  Brachial neuritis is compensated, and most commonly associated with the tetanus shot. 

Most of our clients are adults, despite the fact that vaccine court was originally set up mainly for children.  These days more adults than children receive the flu vaccine.  And because more flu vaccines are give than any other vaccine, there are more injuries from it.  A majority of the cases at our firm involve the flu vaccine. 

One unfortunate fact resulting from current law is that vaccine makers cannot be sued or held responsible for bad vaccines.  As a result, testing of vaccines by manufacturers has become very limited, and little research is being done.  For instance, there is little research on the effects of vaccines given to pregnant women, and the unborn child.  Another area that lacks testing and research is the effect giving of multiple vaccines at one time and overwhelming the immune system. Many vaccine injuries result from our immune systems over-reacting and harming us (see ‘cytokine storm’). 

Vaccine court was originally intended to provide “swift and generous” remedies for those injured from vaccines.  Unfortunately, due to the number of vaccine claims being made, the number of flu shots being given, and a failure by our government to fully fund the CDC and Justice Department, the Vaccine Court has become backlogged.  It is not unusual for Justice Department attorneys, who are sadly overwhelmed with cases, to request 3 or 4 continuances on any given claim, extending the time for obtaining a recovery for months or even years.  The program has become anything but ‘swift and generous’ as it was intended. 

If we continue to advocate vaccinations for our citizens and want everyone to get the flu shot, we need to address the underlying issues that arise from this request.  First, we need to publicize the potential side effects and efficacy of the vaccines, so that our citizens can make informed choices and weigh the efficacy versus the chance of getting a side effect.  Secondly, we need to adequately fund the Vaccine Court and the Justice Department, so they may process vaccine claims by those who are injured, in an expeditious manner.  And third, we need to either allow citizens the right to sue the vaccine manufacturers, so that there is incentive for manufacturers to continue to do research,  or alternatively undertake our own, independent studies, to determine the safety of our vaccines. 

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