Vaccines are one of the greatest modern medical inventions. Even though vaccines have saved lives, however, no medical product is proven to be completely safe. Vaccines can have rare and sometimes deadly reactions. To address such occurrences, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) hosts a program that reviews petitions for compensation of injuries caused by vaccination. The program is called the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP). The VICP was established in 1986 to reduce the number of product liability lawsuits against vaccine manufacturers that threatened to increase the cost of vaccines and lower life-saving vaccine administration to millions of people.

In 2020, through the Health Resources and Services Administration, the HHS proposed a revision to the VICP. Specifically, the HHS proposed removing an injury called Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration (SIRVA) from the VICP's no-fault compensation table.

The proposed revision of the removal of SIRVA has been the source for debate because it is clear through the establishment of the VICP's founding document that compensation for injuries caused by vaccine administration is required. The HHS is challenging the requirement of compensation for vaccine-related injuries through its proposed revision to the VICP's compensation table. By confronting the HHS's proposal for revision to the Vaccine Injury Table, this thesis demonstrates how existing policy prevents the HHS from making the revision. Using an analysis of precedent statutes and public health research, this thesis argues for the continued coverage of SIRVA with the current VICP.

Thesis Completion




Thesis Chair/Advisor

Ravich, Timothy


Bachelor of Science (B.S.)


College of Community Innovation and Education


Legal Studies



Access Status

Open Access

Release Date