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Chronic arthropathy & musculoskel symptoms associated with rubella vaccines. A review of 124 claims submitted to the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program

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OBJECTIVE: To report the outcome of 124 claims of chronic
arthropathy associated with rubella vaccine submitted to the
National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program.

METHODS: Medical
records and testimony were reviewed separately by physicians
andSpecial Masters to determine the clinical diagnosis and
eligibility for compensation under the Program.

RESULTS: Among
the 124 subjects with chronic arthropathy, the onset occurred
between 1 week and 6 weeks after the rubella vaccination in
72,and < 1 week or > 6 weeks after the vaccination in 52.
Variousconditions developed in the 2 onset groups (1-6 weeks
postvaccination, < 1 week or > 6 weeks postvaccination),
including, respectively, unspecified arthritis (n = 29, n =
1),specified arthritis (n = 11, n = 19), arthralgia (n = 24,
n = 7),fibromyalgia (n = 4, n = 11), and multiple symptoms
with minimalarthralgia or myalgia (n = 4, n = 14).
Concordance of medicalrecommendations by Program physicians
and Special Masters'decisions in 56 completed claims was
91%, with awards mainly to patients with chronic unspecified
arthritis and arthralgia.

CONCLUSION: The Program and the US
Court of Federal Claims have accepted a causal relationship
between currently used rubella vaccine in the US and some
chronic arthropathy with an onset between 1 week and 6 weeks
after vaccine administration.

Weibel RE, Benor DE

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