Additional unfairness in the Vaccine Program stems from the amount of compensation that can be awarded to petitioners. The Vaccine program provides two different caps on the compensation amounts. First, there is a $250,000 cap on the amount of compensation available in a vaccine related death case. Second, there is a $250,000 cap for any pain and suffering that the petitioner experienced as a result of his vaccine-related injuries.
The current caps were established nearly 25 years ago at the inception of the Vaccine Program and have yet to be modified and updated to reflect current economics. Not only have they not been updated, but it is impossible to fathom the reasoning for such caps. It is unconscionable to value a life at $250,000 (at most) when that life was taken as a result of a vaccine that was administered. In addition, many petitioners suffer from neurological or autoimmune diseases for several years and even for the duration of their lives as a result of the vaccine related injuries. To limit their pain and suffering to an arbitrary number of $250,000 is inexcusable.
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