What to Know if You’ve Been Diagnosed with Polymyalgia Rheumatica Following a Vaccination

Polymyalgia rheumatica is an inflammatory disease that has been linked to several CDC-recommended vaccines. While the specific reason why these vaccines cause polymyalgia rheumatica remains unknown, the link has been recognized in claims filed under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP).

The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program is a federal program that provides financial compensation to individuals and families who are coping with the effects of certain vaccine-related injuries and illnesses. Awards under the VICP can range from tens of thousands to millions of dollars. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with polymyalgia rheumatica, here is an overview of what you need to know about filing a claim under the VICP from vaccine lawyer Leah V. Durant:

Vaccines Linked to Polymyalgia Rheumatica

The VICP covers many, though not all, vaccines that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends for routine administration to adults and children. The U.S. Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) maintains a list of covered vaccines on its website. Of these covered vaccines, the following have been linked to cases of polymyalgia rheumatica:

Polymyalgia Rheumatica is an “Off Table” Injury Under the VICP

Under the VICP, injuries and illnesses linked to these vaccines fall into two categories: “on table” and “off table.” While financial compensation is available for both types of injuries and illnesses, there is an important distinction between them that impacts the process of filing a claim.

“On table” injuries and illnesses are those that are listed on the Vaccine Injury Table. This is a document maintained by the HRSA that lists covered vaccines and various injuries and illnesses that are known to occur in a small percentage of cases. These listed injuries and illnesses are classified as “on table.”

If you look at the Vaccine Injury Table, you will see that polymyalgia rheumatica is not listed. This means that polymyalgia rheumatica is an “off table” illness. The significance of this is that while causation (i.e., the link between a person’s vaccination and their injury or illness) is presumed for “on table” injuries and illnesses, it is not presumed for “off table” conditions.

For “off table” conditions like polymyalgia rheumatica, this adds a step to the process of filling a successful claim under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. With “on table” conditions, claimants must simply prove that they began experiencing symptoms within the timeframe specified on the Vaccine Injury Table for their condition. With “off table” conditions, however, claimants must prove that their vaccination is responsible for their diagnosis.

Even though the precise causal link between the above-listed vaccines and polymyalgia rheumatica remains unknown, claimants have been successful in recovering compensation for this condition under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. When seeking compensation under the VICP for polymyalgia rheumatica, one of the keys is to obtain a diagnosis as soon as possible. While polymyalgia rheumatica can also result from hereditary and environmental factors, if a person is diagnosed with polymyalgia rheumatica shortly after getting vaccinated, this strongly suggests causation—so much so that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (which administers the VICP) and Special Masters presiding over VICP claims have awarded damages to vaccine recipients and their families.

Documenting Your (or Your Loved One’s) Vaccination and Diagnosis

Proving that a person’s polymyalgia rheumatica is vaccine-related requires documentation of both the person’s vaccination and the person’s diagnosis. With this in mind, if you are considering a VICP claim, there are some documents you should try to collect before meeting with a vaccine lawyer. These documents include:

  • Documentation of your (or your loved one’s) vaccination—whether in the form of medical records or a receipt from a pharmacy, clinic or other vaccine provider;
  • Medical records confirming your (or your loved one’s) polymyalgia rheumatica; and,
  • Any additional test results, prescriptions or other medical records related to your (or your loved one’s) polymyalgia rheumatica diagnosis.

If you don’t have access to these right now, that’s okay—your vaccine lawyer can help you collect them. But, if you do have access, having these available during your free initial consultation will assist your lawyer with evaluating your “off table” VICP claim for polymyalgia rheumatica.

Calculating the Long-Term Costs of Polymyalgia Rheumatica

In addition to proving the cause of your (or your loved one’s) polymyalgia rheumatica, to file a successful VICP claim you also need to be able to prove its long-term costs. Unlike other federal programs, the VICP does not pay “benefits” to successful claimants. Instead, claimants must request a specific amount of relief—and they must be able to prove that they are entitled to this relief based on the physical, financial and psychological effects of their (or their loved one’s) vaccine-related injury or illness.

Under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, claimants can seek financial compensation for present and future:

  • Medical expenses
  • Prescriptions and other out-of-pocket costs
  • Loss of earnings
  • Pain and suffering

Proving these costs also requires several forms of documentation; and, if you file a VICP claim, you will need to work closely with your lawyer to calculate the costs that you and your family are likely to incur in the future. Once you know the value of your VICP claim, then you can file your claim confidently, and you can make informed decisions about whether to consider a settlement.

Request a Free Consultation with Vaccine Lawyer Leah V. Durant

Do you have questions about filing a National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program claim for polymyalgia rheumatica? If so, we invite you to get in touch. We provide free initial consultations to vaccine recipients and their families, and we handle all VICP claims at no out-of-pocket cost to our clients. To request an appointment with vaccine lawyer Leah V. Durant, please call 202-800-1711 or tell us how we can reach you online today.


Leah Durant Bio

Experienced litigation attorney Leah Durant focuses on representing clients in complex vaccine litigation matters. Leah Durant is the owner and principal attorney of the Law Offices of Leah V. Durant, PLLC, a litigation firm based in Washington, DC. Leah Durant and her staff represent clients and their families who suffer from vaccine-related injuries, adverse vaccine reactions and vaccine-related deaths. The Law Offices of Leah V. Durant, PLLC is dedicated to assisting individuals in recovering the highest level of compensation as quickly and efficiently as possible. To learn more, contact vaccine attorney Leah Durant today.