Vaccination against Hib – Haemophilus influenzae type b – is very effective in preventing this potentially deadly childhood disease. However, in rare instances, the Hib vaccine has been known to cause serious side effects, including a severe – and possibly life-threatening – allergic reaction.
Your family may be entitled to compensation if your child suffered serious side effects and complications from the Hib vaccine. To learn more, please contact the vaccine injury lawyers at Bernstein Liebhard LLP by calling (888) 994-5118.
Hib is a contagious bacterial infection that usually affects children under the age of 5. However, it may also affect adults with certain medical conditions.
Most children who get Hib will have few, if any symptoms, so long as the bacteria that causes the disease remains limited to the nose and throat. However, Hib can be extremely dangerous if it infects the lungs or blood stream. This is known as invasive Hib.
Invasive Hib can cause other potentially deadly diseases and complications, including
Prior to the introduction of the Hib vaccine in 1987, more than 20,000 cases of the disease occurred among children in the United States every year. Hib was also the leading cause of bacterial meningitis among this age group. Up to 30% of these meningitis cases resulted in permanent hearing loss or other neurological injury. 4% were fatal.
Cases of Hib have dropped dramatically since the vaccine was introduced. In fact, in 2014, only 40 cases of invasive Hib disease among children younger than 5 years were reported in the United States. When Hib does occur, it nearly always affects those who are unimmunized or underimmunized.
There are currently three brands of Hib vaccine available in the United States. Depending on which brand is used, children receive 3 or 4 doses according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control’s recommended schedule:
There is no dispute that the Hib vaccine has saved lives. However, like any medication, it can cause serious side effects in a small percentage of patients.
From January 1, 1990, through May 31, 2013, the federal government’s Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) received more than 29,000 reports involving Hib vaccines in the United States. The majority – 91% – involved children under the age of 2 years.
The most frequently reported Hib vaccine complications included:
Just over 31% of Hib vaccine side effect reports involved fever, while 11% involved crying and redness at the injection site. 10% of the reports note irritability and rash.
About 5% of all Hib vaccine injuries were deemed serious, meaning that they resulted in life-threatening illness, hospitalization, or permanent disability.
The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP) provides compensation to those who have been hurt by the Hib vaccine and other covered vaccines. To date, the program has paid more than $3.9 billion to people who have filed petitions for vaccine-related injuries.
Under the NVICP’s guidelines, a vaccine injury is presumed to be covered if:
The table lists the following covered injuries for Hib vaccines:
If an injury does not appear in the Vaccine Injury Table or does not meet the Table requirements, claimants must present expert witness testimony, medical records, medical opinions, or other evidence proving that the vaccine caused the injury and/or condition.
Families of children who suffered Hib vaccine injuries may be entitled to compensation for:
To discuss filing a Hib vaccine lawsuit with a member of Bernstein Liebhard LLP’s legal team, please call our office today at (888) 994-5118.
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