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Health Resources and Services Administration, MMR vaccine, mumps vaccine, National Hockey League, National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, U.S. Court of Federal Claims, Vaccine News

A Face-Off between the NHL and Mumps

The National Hockey League is facing off against an unexpected opponent: mumps.

As of late December, more than 20 NHL players have come down with mumps across five teams. Hockey stars like Sydney Crosby and Beau Bennett have sat out several games, an unhappy development for their teams and their fans.

The NHL’s battle with mumps has brought national attention to an illness that many thought vaccines had eradicated. But the mumps vaccine — like all vaccines — is not 100 percent effective and affects each person differently.

Mumps spreads through saliva, usually when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that mumps spreads most easily in crowded environments with close contact, like “playing on the same sports team.”

The mumps vaccine was first licensed in 1967 and is safe and effective for most people. But it doesn’t always work.

For one, the mumps vaccine may react poorly with certain immune systems. About 10 percent of people receiving the vaccine are “nonresponders.”

The CDC recommends that people receive two doses of the mumps vaccine. But even then, it is only effective about 88 percent of the time. Most of the NHL players who contracted mumps had received vaccinations as children.

People also respond differently to the vaccine itself.

Folks may experience mild symptoms, such as pain and redness at the site of injection, headaches, fatigue, and general discomfort. Like all vaccines, the mumps vaccine can also cause rare but serious side effects. For example, a recent study in the medical journal Pediatrics found that the Mumps, Measles, and Rubella vaccine could cause seizures.

Fortunately, there is help for those folks injured by vaccines.

In 1988, the federal government created the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program to give financial compensation to anyone suffering negative reactions from a vaccination. The Program covers a variety of vaccines. For the most up-to-date list, check out the vaccine injury compensation table on Health and Human Services‘ website.

To qualify for compensation, a person must have experienced an injury lasting at least six months or required hospitalization and surgery. Second, patients must file a claim with the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. This process can be highly complicated, from both a legal and medical standpoint. So it is highly recommended that patients seek counsel before beginning this process.


If you have suffered from a negative shot reaction, Guillain-Barre Syndrome, shoulder pain, or any other illness subsequent to receiving a vaccination, please contact us today. Vaccine attorney Leah Durant is available to provide you with a free telephone consultation. This vaccine attorney is a seasoned litigator whose practice is dedicated to serving those injured by vaccines.

About Leah Durant

Leah Durant is a former U.S. Department of Justice trial attorney who specializes in vaccine injury claims covered by the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. These cases are filed before the U.S. Court of Federal Claims (more commonly known as the “vaccine court”) in Washington, DC, where she has been admitted to practice since 2008. Originally from the Pacific Northwest, Leah Durant is a graduate of the University of Maryland College Park and received her law degree from the University of Maryland School of Law. Leah Durant’s legal practice concentrates on litigating complex vaccine injury and medical related cases. She has an extensive legal background and has experience representing individuals with complex medical claims.


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