The short answer is: NO. VAERS is the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System. VAERS was established in 1990 as part of the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP). It is intended to be an “early warning” system to detect safety issues in US-licensed vaccines. It is a passive reporting system, which means the government doesn’t seek out injuries, rather it relies on people to report in. Anyone can report to VAERS – that is, you don’t have to be a healthcare professional to report to VAERS. However, between 2011 and 2014, 68% of reports were from healthcare professionals or vaccine manufacturers. VAERS is managed jointly by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Now that you know what VAERS is, here is what it is not: VAERS is not the Vaccine Court.
Simply filing a report in VAERS does not stop your statutory filing deadline from running out. In the NVICP the filing deadline for injuries is 36 months from the onset of symptoms – not the date of diagnosis and not when you discovered the Vaccine Court. [A more detailed discussion of the statute of limitations can be found here.] VAERS is not the only trap for vaccine-injured people. If you called HHS and reported your vaccine injury – you will not stop your statutory filing deadline from running out. Reporting it to the manufacturer – even if they respond to you – does not stop your statutory deadline from running out.
VAERS is simply a monitoring system. You must file a claim in the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, which is a court proceeding. Because this is not the only challenge in the NVICP, we strongly recommend you contact a lawyer. NOW. The Vaccine Court maintains a list of practitioners but it is not up to date. We strongly recommend contacting the Vaccine Injured Petitioners Bar Association (www.vipbar.org).
r more information contact The Law Office of Renée J. Gentry, Esq.