Changes are Coming to the Vaccine Injury Table

CHANGES TO THE VACCINE INJURY TABLE OF THE VACCINE INJURY COMPENSATION PROGRAM

The Secretary of Health and Human Services has proposed to amend the Vaccine Injury Table (Table) by regulation. These proposed regulations will have effect only for vaccine injury petitions for compensation under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) filed after the final regulations become effective.

What is the Vaccine Injury Table?  First off there are two ways to file a vaccine injury claim.  The first is to allege a vaccine table injury.  This is when a certain reaction to a certain vaccine occurs within a specific time period. For example, an encephalopathy or encephalitis occurring within seventy-two (72) hours of a receiving a DTap vaccination. (see below)

In this case the presumption is that the vaccine caused the injury.  There are ways for the Government to argue that there was some other cause, but the starting point is that the vaccine caused the injury.

The second, and more common way for a vaccine injury claim to be alleged is for a vaccine injury petition to be filed stating that a vaccine caused a specific injury.  For example, transverse myelitis being caused by the flu vaccine.  This is called an off-table injury.

The petitioner (the injured party) must prove by a preponderance of the evidence (meaning it is more likely than not) that the vaccine caused the injury.  It’s a more difficult case to pursue in the Court of Federal Claims, but Gold Law Firm has been very successful in filing these vaccine injury claims.

One of the most common vaccine injuries, are shoulder injuries, SIRVA cases – (Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration).  In the past, a Petitioner would have to show that the it is more likely than not that the vaccine caused the shoulder injury.  With the proposed changes, SIRVA cases will now be added to the Vaccine Injury Table which means that a SIRVA shoulder injury that occurred within two-days of the vaccination is presumed to be caused by that vaccination.

What other changes are bring made?  In addition to the Shoulder Injuries Related to Vaccine Administration being added, Guillain-Barre’ Syndrome (GBS) that occurs no less than three (3) days and no more than forty-two (42) days following a Seasonal Influenza Vaccine is now presumed to be caused by the vaccine.  In other words…it’s easier to prove.

So two of the most common vaccine injuries, Guillain-Barre’ Syndrome (GBS) and Shoulder Injuries Related to Vaccine Administration (SIRVA) will now be added to the Vaccine Injury Table…making these cases easier to prove.

These changes and others that we will discuss over the next weeks will help make the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) work more effectively.

If you think you or a loved one may have suffered a vaccine injury, please contact us at 7812391000 or info@goldlawfirm.net or by filling out the contact form on this page.

Gold Law Firm, the National Vaccine Injury Law Firm handles only vaccine injury cases.  Our vaccine injury attorneys are ready to assist you.

 

Learn more about the proposed changes to the vaccine injury table by visiting the Federal Register

 

PROPOSED VACCINE INJURY TABLE

Vaccine Illness, disability, injury or condition covered Time period for first symptom or manifestation of onset or of significant aggravation after vaccine administration
I. Vaccines containing tetanus toxoid (e.g., DTaP, DTP, DT, Td, or TT) A. Anaphylaxis B. Brachial Neuritis C. Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration ≤4 hours. 2-28 days (not less than 2 days and not more than 28 days) ≤48 hours.
D. Vasovagal syncope ≤1 hour.
II. Vaccines containing whole cell pertussis bacteria, extracted or partial cell pertussis bacteria, or specific pertussis antigen(s) (e.g., DTP, DTaP, P, DTP-Hib) A. Anaphylaxis B. Encephalopathy or encephalitis C. Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration ≤4 hours. ≤72 hours ≤48 hours.
D. Vasovagal syncope ≤1 hour.
III. Vaccines containing measles, mumps, and rubella virus or any of its components (e.g., MMR, MM, MMRV) A. Anaphylaxis B. Encephalopathy or encephalitis C. Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration ≤4 hours. 5-15 days (not less than 5 days and not more than 15 days) ≤48 hours.
D. Vasovagal syncope ≤1 hour.
IV. Vaccines containing rubella virus (e.g., MMR, MMRV) A. Chronic arthritis 7-42 days (not less than 7 days and not more than 42 days).
V. Vaccines containing measles virus (e.g., MMR, MM, MMRV) A. Thrombocytopenic purpura B. Vaccine-Strain Measles Viral Disease in an immunodeficient recipient 7-30 days (not less than 7 days and not more than 30 days).
—Vaccine-strain virus identified Not applicable.
—If strain determination is not done or if laboratory testing is inconclusive ≤12 months.
VI. Vaccines containing polio live virus (OPV) A. Paralytic Polio
—in a non-immunodeficient recipient ≤30 days.
—in an immunodeficient recipient ≤6 months.
—in a vaccine associated community case Not applicable.
B. Vaccine-Strain Polio Viral Infection
—in a non-immunodeficient recipient ≤30 days.
—in an immunodeficient recipient ≤6 months.
—in a vaccine associated community case Not applicable.
VII. Vaccines containing polio inactivated virus (e.g., IPV) A. Anaphylaxis ≤4 hours.
B. Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration ≤48 hours.
C. Vasovagal syncope ≤1 hour.
VIII. Hepatitis B vaccines A. Anaphylaxis ≤4 hours.
B. Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration ≤48 hours.
C. Vasovagal syncope ≤1 hour.
IX. Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) vaccines A. Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration ≤48 hours.
B. Vasovagal syncope ≤1 hour.
X. Varicella vaccines A. Anaphylaxis ≤4 hours.
B. Disseminated varicella vaccine-strain viral disease
—Vaccine-strain virus identified Not applicable.
—If strain determination is not done or if laboratory testing is inconclusive 7-42 days (not less than 7 days and not more than 42 days).
C. Varicella vaccine-strain viral reactivation Not applicable.
D. Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration ≤48 hours.
E. Vasovagal syncope ≤1 hour.
XI. Rotavirus vaccines A. Intussusception 1-21 days (not less than 1 day and not more than 21 days).
XII. Pneumococcal conjugate vaccines A. Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration ≤48 hours.
B. Vasovagal syncope ≤1 hour.
XIII. Hepatitis A vaccines A. Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration ≤48 hours.
B. Vasovagal syncope ≤1 hour.
XIV. Seasonal influenza vaccines A. Anaphylaxis ≤4 hours.
B. Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration ≤48 hours.
C. Vasovagal syncope ≤1 hour.
D. Guillain-Barré Syndrome 3-42 days (not less than 3 days and not more than 42 days).
XV. Meningococcal vaccines A. Anaphylaxis ≤4 hours.
B. Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration ≤48 hours.
C. Vasovagal syncope ≤1 hour.
XVI. Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines A. Anaphylaxis ≤4 hours.
B. Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration ≤48 hours.
C. Vasovagal syncope ≤1 hour.
XVII. Any new vaccine recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for routine administration to children, after publication by the Secretary of a notice of coverage A. Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration B. Vasovagal syncope ≤48 hours. ≤1hour.

(b) Provisions that apply to all conditions listed. (1) Any acute complication or sequela, including death, of the illness, disability, injury, or condition listed in paragraph (a) of this section (and defined in paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section) qualifies as a Table injury under paragraph (a) except when the definition in paragraph (c) requires exclusion.

(2) In determining whether or not an injury is a condition set forth in paragraph (a) of this section, the Court shall consider the entire medical record.

(3) An idiopathic condition that meets the definition of an illness, disability, injury, or condition set forth in paragraph (c) of this section shall be considered to be a condition set forth in paragraph (a) of this section.

(c) Qualifications and aids to interpretation. The following qualifications and aids to interpretation shall apply to, define and describe the scope of, and be read in conjunction with paragraphs (a), (b), and (d) of this section:

(1) Anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis is an acute, severe, and potentially lethal systemic reaction that occurs as a single discrete event with simultaneous involvement of two or more organ systems. Most cases resolve without sequela. Signs and symptoms begin minutes to a few hours after exposure. Death, if it occurs, usually results from airway obstruction caused by laryngeal edema or bronchospasm and may be associated with cardiovascular collapse. Other significant clinical signs and symptoms may include the following: cyanosis, hypotension, bradycardia, tachycardia, arrhythmia, edema of the pharynx and/or trachea and/or larynx with stridor and dyspnea. There are no specific pathological findings to confirm a diagnosis of anaphylaxis.

(2) Encephalopathy. A vaccine recipient shall be considered to have suffered an encephalopathy if an injury meeting the description below of an acute encephalopathy occurs within the applicable time period and results in a chronic encephalopathy, as described in paragraph (d) of this section.

(i) Acute encephalopathy. (A) For children less than 18 months of age who present:

(1) Without a seizure, an acute encephalopathy is indicated by a significantly decreased level of consciousness that lasts at least 24 hours,

(2) Following a seizure, an acute encephalopathy is demonstrated by a significantly decreased level of consciousness that lasts at least 24 hours and cannot be attributed to a postictal state—from a seizure or a medication.

(B) For adults and children 18 months of age or older, an acute encephalopathy is one that persists at least 24 hours and is characterized by at least two of the following:

(1) A significant change in mental status that is not medication related (such as a confusional state, delirium, or psychosis);

(2) A significantly decreased level of consciousness which is independent of a seizure and cannot be attributed to the effects of medication; and

(3) A seizure associated with loss of consciousness.

(C) The following clinical features in themselves do not demonstrate an acute encephalopathy or a significant change in either mental status or level of consciousness: sleepiness, irritability (fussiness), high-pitched and unusual screaming, poor feeding, persistent inconsolable crying, bulging fontanelle, or symptoms of dementia.

(D) Seizures in themselves are not sufficient to constitute a diagnosis of encephalopathy and in the absence of other evidence of an acute encephalopathy seizures shall not be viewed as the first symptom or manifestation of an acute encephalopathy.

(ii) Regardless of whether or not the specific cause of the underlying condition, systemic disease, or acute event (including an infectious organism) is known, an encephalopathy shall not be considered to be a condition set forth in the Table if it is shown that the encephalopathy was caused by:

(A) An underlying condition or systemic disease shown to be unrelated to the vaccine (such as malignancy, structural lesion, psychiatric illness, dementia, genetic disorder, prenatal or perinatal central nervous system (CNS) injury); or

(B) An acute event shown to be unrelated to the vaccine such as a head trauma, stroke, transient ischemic attack, complicated migraine, drug use (illicit or prescribed) or an infectious disease.

(3) Encephalitis. A vaccine recipient shall be considered to have suffered encephalitis if an injury meeting the description below of an acute encephalitis occurs within the applicable time period and results in a chronic encephalopathy, as described in paragraph (d) of this section.

(i) Acute encephalitis. Encephalitis is indicated by evidence of neurologic dysfunction, as described in paragraph (c)(3)(i)(A) of this section, plus evidence of an inflammatory process in the brain, as described in paragraph (c)(3)(i)(B) of this section.

(A) Evidence of neurologic dysfunction consists of either:

(1) One of the following neurologic findings referable to the CNS: Focal cortical signs (such as aphasia, alexia, agraphia, cortical blindness); cranial nerve abnormalities; visual field defects; abnormal presence of primitive reflexes (such as Babinski’s sign or sucking reflex); or cerebellar dysfunction (such as ataxia, dysmetria, or nystagmus); or

(2) An acute encephalopathy as set forth in paragraph (c)(2)(i) of this section.

(B) Evidence of an inflammatory process in the brain (central nervous system or CNS inflammation) must include cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) pleocytosis (>5 white blood cells (WBC)/mm [3] in children >2 months of age and adults; >15 WBC/mm3 in children <2 months of age); or at least two of the following:

(1) Fever (temperature ≥ 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit);

(2) Electroencephalogram findings consistent with encephalitis, such as diffuse or multifocal nonspecific background slowing and periodic discharges; or

(3) Neuroimaging findings consistent with encephalitis, which include, but are not limited to brain/spine magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) displaying diffuse or multifocal areas of hyperintense signal on T2-weighted, diffusion-weighted image, or fluid-attenuation inversion recovery sequences.

(ii) Regardless of whether or not the specific cause of the underlying condition, systemic disease, or acute event (including an infectious organism) is known, encephalitis shall not be considered to be a condition set forth in the Table if it is shown that the encephalitis was caused by:

(A) An underlying malignancy that led to a paraneoplastic encephalitis;

(B) An infectious disease associated with encephalitis, including a bacterial, parasitic, fungal or viral illness (such as herpes viruses, adenovirus, enterovirus, West Nile Virus, or human immunodeficiency virus), which may be demonstrated by clinical signs and symptoms and need not be confirmed by culture or serologic testing; or

(C) Acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM). Although early ADEM may have laboratory and clinical characteristics similar to acute encephalitis, findings on MRI are distinct with ADEM displaying evidence of acute demyelination (scattered, focal, or multifocal areas of inflammation and demyelination within cerebral subcortical and deep cortical white matter; gray matter involvement may also be seen but is a minor component); or other conditions or abnormalities that would explain the vaccine recipient’s symptoms.

(4) Intussusception. (i) For purposes of paragraph (a) of this section, intussusception means the invagination of a segment of intestine into the next segment of intestine, resulting in bowel obstruction, diminished arterial blood supply, and blockage of the venous blood flow. This is characterized by a sudden onset of abdominal pain that may be manifested by anguished crying, irritability, vomiting, abdominal swelling, and/or passing of stools mixed with blood and mucus.

(ii) For purposes of paragraph (a) of this section, the following shall not be considered to be a Table intussusception:

(A) Onset that occurs with or after the third dose of a vaccine containing rotavirus;

(B) Onset within 14 days after an infectious disease associated with intussusception, including viral disease (such as those secondary to non-enteric or enteric adenovirus, or other enteric viruses such as Enterovirus), enteric bacteria (such as Campylobacter jejuni), or enteric parasites (such as Ascaris lumbricoides), which may be demonstrated by clinical signs and symptoms and need not be confirmed by culture or serologic testing;

(C) Onset in a person with a preexisting condition identified as the lead point for intussusception such as intestinal masses and cystic structures (such as polyps, tumors, Meckel’s diverticulum, lymphoma, or duplication cysts);

(D) Onset in a person with abnormalities of the bowel, including congenital anatomic abnormalities, anatomic changes after abdominal surgery, and other anatomic bowel abnormalities caused by mucosal hemorrhage, trauma, or abnormal intestinal blood vessels (such as Henoch Scholein purpura, hematoma, or hemangioma); or

(E) Onset in a person with underlying conditions or systemic diseases associated with intussusception (such as cystic fibrosis, celiac disease, or Kawasaki disease).

(5) Chronic arthritis. Chronic arthritis is defined as persistent joint swelling with at least two additional manifestations of warmth, tenderness, pain with movement, or limited range of motion, lasting for at least 6 months.

(i) Chronic arthritis may be found in a person with no history in the 3 years prior to vaccination of arthropathy (joint disease) on the basis of:

(A) Medical documentation recorded within 30 days after the onset of objective signs of acute arthritis (joint swelling) that occurred between 7 and 42 days after a rubella vaccination; and

(B) Medical documentation (recorded within 3 years after the onset of acute arthritis) of the persistence of objective signs of intermittent or continuous arthritis for more than 6 months following vaccination; and

(C) Medical documentation of an antibody response to the rubella virus.

(ii) The following shall not be considered as chronic arthritis: Musculoskeletal disorders such as diffuse connective tissue diseases (including but not limited to rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, systemic sclerosis, mixed connective tissue disease, polymyositis/determatomyositis, fibromyalgia, necrotizing vasculitis and vasculopathies and Sjogren’s Syndrome), degenerative joint disease, infectious agents other than rubella (whether by direct invasion or as an immune reaction), metabolic and endocrine diseases, trauma, neoplasms, neuropathic disorders, bone and cartilage disorders, and arthritis associated with ankylosing spondylitis, psoriasis, inflammatory bowel disease, Reiter’s Syndrome, blood disorders, or arthralgia (joint pain), or joint stiffness without swelling.

(6) Brachial neuritis. This term is defined as dysfunction limited to the upper extremity nerve plexus (i.e., its trunks, divisions, or cords). A deep, steady, often severe aching pain in theshoulder and upper arm usually heralds onset of the condition. The pain is typically followed in days or weeks by weakness in the affected upper extremity muscle groups. Sensory loss may accompany the motor deficits, but is generally a less notable clinical feature. Atrophy of the affected muscles may occur. The neuritis, or plexopathy, may be present on the same side or on the side opposite the injection. It is sometimes bilateral, affecting both upper extremities. A vaccine recipient shall be considered to have suffered brachial neuritis as a Table injury if such recipient manifests all of the following:

(i) Pain in the affected arm and shoulder is a presenting symptom and occurs within the specified time-frame;

(ii) Weakness:

(A) Clinical diagnosis in the absence of nerve conduction and electromyographic studies requires weakness in muscles supplied by more than one peripheral nerve.

(B) Nerve conduction studies (NCS) and electromyographic (EMG) studies localizing the injury to the brachial plexus are required before the diagnosis can be made if weakness is limited to muscles supplied by a single peripheral nerve.

(iii) Motor, sensory, and reflex findings on physical examination and the results of NCS and EMG studies, if performed, must be consistent in confirming that dysfunction is attributable to the brachial plexus; and

(iv) No other condition or abnormality is present that would explain the vaccine recipient’s symptoms.

(7) Thrombocytopenic purpura. This term is defined by the presence of clinical manifestations, such as petechiae, significant bruising, or spontaneous bleeding, and by a serum platelet count less than 50,000/mm [3] with normal red and white blood cell indices. Thrombocytopenic purpura does not include cases of thrombocytopenia associated with other causes such as hypersplenism, autoimmune disorders (including alloantibodies from previous transfusions) myelodysplasias, lymphoproliferative disorders, congenital thrombocytopenia or hemolytic uremic syndrome. Thrombocytopenic purpura does not include cases of immune (formerly called idiopathic) thrombocytopenic purpura that are mediated, for example, by viral or fungal infections, toxins or drugs. Thrombocytopenic purpura does not include cases of thrombocytopenia associated with disseminated intravascular coagulation, as observed with bacterial and viral infections. Viral infections include, for example, those infections secondary to Epstein Barr virus, cytomegalovirus, hepatitis A and B, human immunodeficiency virus, adenovirus, and dengue virus. An antecedent viral infection may be demonstrated by clinical signs and symptoms and need not be confirmed by culture or serologic testing. However, if culture or serologic testing is performed, and the viral illness is attributed to the vaccine-strain measles virus, the presumption of causation will remain in effect. Bone marrow examination, if performed, must reveal a normal or an increased number of megakaryocytes in an otherwise normal marrow.

(8) Vaccine-strain measles viral disease. This term is defined as a measles illness that involves the skin and/or another organ (such as the brain or lungs). Measles virus must be isolated from the affected organ or histopathologic findings characteristic for the disease must be present. Measles viral strain determination may be performed by methods such as polymerase chain reaction test and vaccine-specific monoclonal antibody. If strain determination reveals wild-type measles virus or another, non-vaccine-strain virus, the disease shall not be considered to be a condition set forth in the Table. If strain determination is not done or if the strain cannot be identified, onset of illness in any organ must occur within 12 months after vaccination.

(9) Vaccine-strain polio viral infection. This term is defined as a disease caused by poliovirus that is isolated from the affected tissue and should be determined to be the vaccine-strain by oligonucleotide or polymerase chain reaction. Isolation of poliovirus from the stool is not sufficient to establish a tissue specific infection or disease caused by vaccine-strain poliovirus.

(10) Shoulder injury related to vaccine administration (SIRVA). SIRVA manifests as shoulder pain and limited range of motion occurring after the administration of a vaccine intended for intramuscular administration in the upper arm. These symptoms are thought to occur as a result of unintended injection of vaccine antigen or trauma from the needle into and around the underlying bursa of the shoulder resulting in an inflammatory reaction. SIRVA is caused by an injury to the musculoskeletal structures of the shoulder (e.g. tendons, ligaments, bursae, etc.). SIRVA is not a neurological injury and abnormalities on neurological examination or nerve conduction studies (NCS) and/or electromyographic (EMG) studies would not support SIRVA as a diagnosis (even if the condition causing the neurological abnormality is not known). A vaccine recipient shall be considered to have suffered SIRVA if such recipient manifests all of the following:

(i) No history of pain, inflammation or dysfunction of the affected shoulder prior to intramuscular vaccine administration that would explain the alleged signs, symptoms, examination findings, and/or diagnostic studies occurring after vaccine injection;

(ii) Pain occurs within the specified time-frame;

(iii) Pain and reduced range of motion are limited to the shoulder in which the intramuscular vaccine was administered; and

(iv) No other condition or abnormality is present that would explain the patient’s symptoms (e.g. NCS/EMG or clinical evidence of radiculopathy, brachial neuritis, mononeuropathies, or any other neuropathy).

(11) Disseminated varicella vaccine-strain viral disease. Disseminated varicella vaccine-strain viral disease is defined as a varicella illness that involves the skin beyond the dermatome in which the vaccination was given and/or disease caused by vaccine-strain varicella in another organ. For organs other than the skin, disease, not just mildly abnormal laboratory values, must be demonstrated in the involved organ. If there is involvement of an organ beyond the skin, and no virus was identified in that organ, the involvement of all organs must occur as part of the same, discrete illness. If strain determination reveals wild-type varicella virus or another, non-vaccine-strain virus, the viral disease shall not be considered to be a condition set forth in the Table. If strain determination is not done or if the strain cannot be identified, onset of illness in any organ must occur 7- 42 days after vaccination.

(12) Varicella vaccine-strain viral reactivation disease. Varicella vaccine-strain viral reactivation disease is defined as the presence of the rash of herpes zoster with or without concurrent disease in an organ other than the skin. Zoster, or shingles, is a painful, unilateral, pruritic rash appearing in one or more sensory dermatomes. For organs other than the skin, disease, not just mildly abnormal laboratory values, must be demonstrated in the involved organ. There must be laboratory confirmation that the vaccine-strain of the varicella virus is present in the skin or in any other involved organ, for example by oligonucleotide or polymerase chain reaction. If strain determination revealswild-type varicella virus or another, non-vaccine-strain virus, the viral disease shall not be considered to be a condition set forth in the Table.

(13) Vasovagal syncope. Vasovagal syncope (also sometimes called neurocardiogenic syncope) means loss of consciousness (fainting) and postural tone caused by a transient decrease in blood flow to the brain occurring after the administration of an injected vaccine. Vasovagal syncope is usually a benign condition but may result in falling and injury with significant sequela. Vasovagal syncope may be preceded by symptoms such as nausea, lightheadedness, diaphoresis, and/or pallor. Vasovagal syncope may be associated with transient seizure-like activity, but recovery of orientation and consciousness generally occurs simultaneously with vasovagal syncope. Loss of consciousness resulting from the following conditions will not be considered vasovagal syncope: organic heart disease, cardiac arrhythmias, transient ischemic attacks, hyperventilation, metabolic conditions, neurological conditions, and seizures. Episodes of recurrent syncope occurring after the applicable time period are not considered to be sequela of an episode of syncope meeting the Table requirements.

(14) Immunodeficient recipient. Immunodeficient recipient is defined as an individual with an identified defect in the immunological system which impairs the body’s ability to fight infections. The identified defect may be due to an inherited disorder (such as severe combined immunodeficiency resulting in absent T lymphocytes), or an acquired disorder (such as acquired immunodeficiency syndrome resulting from decreased CD4 cell counts). The identified defect must be demonstrated in the medical records, either preceding or postdating vaccination.

(15) Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS). (i) GBS is an acute monophasic peripheral neuropathy that encompasses a spectrum of four clinicopathological subtypes described below. For each subtype of GBS, the interval between the first appearance of symptoms and the nadir of weakness is between 12 hours and 28 days. This is followed in all subtypes by a clinical plateau with stabilization at the nadir of symptoms, or subsequent improvement without significant relapse. Death may occur without a clinical plateau. Treatment related fluctuations in all subtypes of GBS can occur within nine weeks of GBS symptom onset and recurrence of symptoms after this time-frame would not be consistent with GBS.

(ii) The most common subtype in North America and Europe, comprising more than 90 percent of cases, is acute inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (AIDP), which has the pathologic and electrodiagnostic features of focal demyelination of motor and sensory peripheral nerves and nerve roots. Another subtype called acute motor axonal neuropathy (AMAN) is generally seen in other parts of the world and is predominated by axonal damage that primarily affects motor nerves. AMAN lacks features of demyelination. Another less common subtype of GBS includes acute motor and sensory neuropathy (AMSAN), which is an axonal form of GBS that is similar to AMAN, but also affects the sensory nerves and roots. AIDP, AMAN, and AMSAN are typically characterized by symmetric motor flaccid weakness, sensory abnormalities, and/or autonomic dysfunction caused by autoimmune damage to peripheral nerves and nerve roots. The diagnosis of AIDP, AMAN, and AMSAN requires:

(A) Bilateral flaccid limb weakness and decreased or absent deep tendon reflexes in weak limbs;

(B) A monophasic illness pattern;

(C) An interval between onset and nadir of weakness between 12 hours and 28 days;

(D) Subsequent clinical plateau (the clinical plateau leads to either stabilization at the nadir of symptoms, or subsequent improvement without significant relapse; however, death may occur without a clinical plateau); and,

(E) The absence of an identified more likely alternative diagnosis.

(iii) Fisher Syndrome (FS), also known as Miller Fisher Syndrome, is a subtype of GBS characterized by ataxia, areflexia, and ophthalmoplegia, and overlap between FS and AIDP may be seen with limb weakness. The diagnosis of FS requires:

(A) Bilateral ophthalmoparesis;

(B) Bilateral reduced or absent tendon reflexes;

(C) Ataxia;

(D) The absence of limb weakness (the presence of limb weakness suggests a diagnosis of AIDP, AMAN, or AMSAN);

(E) A monophasic illness pattern;

(F) An interval between onset and nadir of weakness between 12 hours and 28 days;

(G) Subsequent clinical plateau (the clinical plateau leads to either stabilization at the nadir of symptoms, or subsequent improvement without significant relapse; however, death may occur without a clinical plateau);

(H) No alteration in consciousness;

(I) No corticospinal track signs; and

(J) The absence of an identified more likely alternative diagnosis.

(iv) Evidence that is supportive, but not required, of a diagnosis of all subtypes of GBS includes electrophysiologic findings consistent with GBS or an elevation of cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) protein with a total CSF white blood cell count below 50 cells per microliter. Both CSF and electrophysiologic studies are frequently normal in the first week of illness in otherwise typical cases of GBS.

(v) To qualify as any subtype of GBS, there must not be a more likely alternative diagnosis for the weakness.

(vi) Exclusionary criteria for the diagnosis of all subtypes of GBS include the ultimate diagnosis of any of the following conditions: chronic immune demyelinating polyradiculopathy (“CIDP”), carcinomatous meningitis, brain stem encephalitis (other than Bickerstaff brainstem encephalitis), myelitis, spinal cord infarct, spinal cord compression, anterior horn cell diseases such as polio or West Nile virus infection, subacute inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy, multiple sclerosis, cauda equina compression, metabolic conditions such as hypermagnesemia or hypophosphatemia, tick paralysis, heavy metal toxicity (such as arsenic, gold, or thallium), drug-induced neuropathy (such as vincristine, platinum compounds, or nitrofurantoin), porphyria, critical illness neuropathy, vasculitis, diphtheria, myasthenia gravis, organophosphate poisoning, botulism, critical illness myopathy, polymyositis, dermatomyositis, hypokalemia, or hyperkalemia. The above list is not exhaustive.

(d) Glossary for purposes of paragraph (c) of this section—(1) Chronic encephalopathy—(i) A chronic encephalopathy occurs when a change in mental or neurologic status, first manifested during the applicable Table time period as an acute encephalopathy or encephalitis, persists for at least 6 months from the first symptom or manifestation of onset or of significant aggravation of an acute encephalopathy or encephalitis.

(ii) Individuals who return to their baseline neurologic state, as confirmed by clinical findings, within less than 6 months from the first symptom or manifestation of onset or of significant aggravation of an acute encephalopathy or encephalitis shall not be presumed to have suffered residual neurologic damage from that event; any subsequent chronic encephalopathy shall not be presumed to be a sequela of the acute encephalopathy or encephalitis.

(2) Injected refers to the intramuscular, intradermal, orsubcutaneous needle administration of a vaccine.

(3) Sequela means a condition or event which was actually caused by a condition listed in the Vaccine Injury Table.

(4) Significantly decreased level of consciousness is indicated by the presence of one or more of the following clinical signs:

(i) Decreased or absent response to environment (responds, if at all, only to loud voice or painful stimuli);

(ii) Decreased or absent eye contact (does not fix gaze upon family members or other individuals); or

(iii) Inconsistent or absent responses to external stimuli (does not recognize familiar people or things).

(5) Seizure includes myoclonic, generalized tonic-clonic (grand mal), and simple and complex partial seizures, but not absence (petit mal), or pseudo seizures. Jerking movements or staring episodes alone are not necessarily an indication of seizure activity.

(e) Coverage provisions. (1) Except as provided in paragraph (e)(2), (3), (4), (5), (6), (7), or (8) of this section, this section applies to petitions for compensation under the Program filed with the United States Court of Federal Claims on or after [EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE FINAL REGULATION.]

(2) Hepatitis B, Hib, and varicella vaccines (Items VIII, IX, and X of the Table) are included in the Table as of August 6, 1997.

(3) Rotavirus vaccines (Item XI of the Table) are included in the Table as of October 22, 1998.

(4) Pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (Item XII of the Table) are included in the Table as of December 18, 1999.

(5) Hepatitis A vaccines (Item XIII of the Table) are included on the Table as of December 1, 2004.

(6) Trivalent influenza vaccines (Included in item XIV of the Table) are included on the Table as of July 1, 2005. All other seasonal influenza vaccines (Item XIV of the Table) are included on the Table as of November 12, 2013.

(7) Meningococcal vaccines and human papillomavirus vaccines (Items XV and XVI of the Table) are included on the Table as of February 1, 2007.

(8) Other new vaccines (Item XVII of the Table) will be included in the Table as of the effective date of a tax enacted to provide funds for compensation paid with respect to such vaccines. An amendment to this section will be published in the Federal Register to announce the effective date of such a tax.