Today with the new Covid-19 vaccine, there are many doubts about the vaccine injuries; the covid situation is unique in this world, so it is difficult to predict its side effects. The vaccine is a product that stimulates a person’s immune system to produce immunity to a specific disease. Vaccine injuries or vaccine adverse event is an adverse event caused by vaccination. According to the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the vaccines can cause side effects, but most of the time are minor such as sore arms or a mild fever; nevertheless, some people suffer extensive injuries due to the vaccine. The most common vaccines worldwide are for chickenpox, diphtheria, Haemophiles influenzae type b, Hepatitis b, Pneumococcal, polio, and the way to manage the vaccine injuries depends on the country.
In the UK it was established the Vaccine Damage Payment Scheme (VDPS) by the Vaccine Damage Payment act 1979 with the main objective to provide payments in cases where severe disablements occur as a result of vaccination. The conditions to be entitled of a VDPS are that the vaccination must be carried out:
This act applies to vaccinations such as diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, poliomyelitis, measles, rubella, tuberculosis, smallpox, and any other disease the secretary of State specifies. A person is gravely disabled if he suffers disablement to the extent of 60 percent or more. After receiving the claim, the Secretary of State must notify the claimant of his verification whether he is fulfilled that a payment is due.
In 1980, the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program in the USA was created to compensate individuals who specified vaccines have been injured. The procedure to follow to apply to this program is:
In 1985, authorities laid down in Quebec the legal process to compensate certain forms of vaccination injuries. An application for compensation shall be filed within three (3) years after the vaccination date. Once the claim is approved, the claimant will provide the information and supporting reports needed to comply with the Automobile Insurance Act, including hospitalization period, name of a support person at the bedside, receipts for treatment costs, medical receipts, etc. Any application must be evaluated by a committee appointed by a physician designated by the minister, a physician selected by the claimant, and a physician designated by the first two physicians. Furthermore, the claimant can exercise his or her right to appeal to Quebec’s administrative tribunal in opposition to a minister’s decision to reject the application for compensation or against the amount of compensation awarded.
As we said before, there are different types of vaccines. In this article, we will focus our attention on Hepatitis B vaccine injuries. Hepatitis B is an infectious viral disease of the liver. The vaccine of hepatitis B was created in 1990 in the United States. Most of the people who receive the hepatitis b vaccine do not experience significant side effects, sometimes mild effects such as soreness, redness or swelling at the injection site, fever, and slight rash. More than 350.000.000 people in the world are chronically infected with the hepatitis B virus. Of these, 65% will die from cirrhosis or liver cancer, and hepatitis B is considered one of the safest vaccines ever produced, with 95% of effectiveness.
Some of the severe reactions and diseases associated with hepatitis b are Guillain-Barre syndrome, transverse myelitis, peripheral neuropathy, encephalopathy, etc. The American Academy of Neurology’s scientific journal carried out a study of patients in the United Kingdom about the relation between the hepatitis B vaccine and the risk of multiple sclerosis (M.S.). In France (1996), it was reported 200 cases of Multiple sclerosis. The government decided to suspend routine immunization of pre-adolescents in schools; in 1996, the link between vaccination against hepatitis B and increased risk of MS has been evaluated in several studies with limited success.
After Miguel Hernan (M.D., DrPH of Harvard School of Public Health, Boston) leads a team of researchers in supervising a study using the General Practice Research Database in U.K. Researchers identified patients who had a first M.S. diagnosis recorded between January 1993 and December 2000, and immunizations data was acquired from the computer records. This analysis included 163 cases of MS and 1604 controls. They estimated that immunization against hepatitis B was associated with a three-fold increase in the incidence of MS within the three (3) years following vaccinations. Nevertheless, Doctor Hernan warned that any consideration regarding the administration of the hepatitis B vaccine must consider the significant benefits derived from the prevention of a potentially lethal infection such as hepatitis B.
As per World Health Organization (WHO), three possible theories explain the link between MS and hepatitis B vaccine:
In conclusion, there is no report clear about the relation between hepatitis B and MS to date. The truth is that a small percentage of the population assures that there is a relation. Because of that, some governments in the world created programs to compensate these types of injuries, such as the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program in the USA or the Vaccine Damage Payment Scheme in U.K., there is still much to investigate, and it will be a good advantage if all law-keepers take interest on it and the governments worldwide had schemes or programs to compensate the victims of vaccines injuries.