Vaccine Induced Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy (CIDP)

For those living with chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP), the challenges of this disease are real. Difficulty walking and maintaining balance, weakness in arms or legs, anxiety and emotional stress are just some examples of symptoms. Unfortunately, vaccines can cause CIDP in rare cases. If you’ve been diagnosed with CIDP after receiving a vaccine, you could be eligible for compensation through the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP). It is important to speak with an experienced vaccine injury attorney right away.

Alternative Names for Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy (CIDP)

CIDP may appear as a few different names on diagnosis paperwork.

  • Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy

  • Polyneuropathy - chronic inflammatory

  • CIDP

  • Chronic inflammatory polyneuropathy

  • Guillain-Barré - CIDP

What is Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy (CIDP)?

Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy, or CIDP, is an autoimmune disorder in which a person's immune system attacks peripheral nerves. CIDP is closely related to Guillain-Barre syndrome and is considered the chronic counterpart of that disease. It can affect sensory (such as touch and pain), motor (movement), and autonomic nerves—including those that control your heartbeat. CIDP is a rare, but serious condition. It causes progressive weakness, including tremors and problems with your balance or walking. The symptoms may appear gradually, or suddenly, but can get worse quickly. You may not know you have CIDP until the damage has already been done. CIDP can affect people of all ages, though it is most common in adults over age 50.

In the US, researchers from the National Center for Biotechnology Information estimate that 1.6 people per 100,000 will be diagnosed with CIDP each year while 8.9 of every 100,000 Americans have it at any given time.

Causes of CIDP

CIDP occurs when the body's immune system attacks the myelin sheaths around nerve cells, but exactly what triggers this is not clear. There are, however, several known risk factors. People in their 50s and 60s seem more likely to develop it, and men are twice as likely as women to develop it.

Research also says that CIDP may coexist with other ailments like:

  • Chronic hepatitis

  • Diabetes

  • Infection with the bacterium Campylobacter Jejuni


  • Immune system disorders due to cancer

  • Inflammatory bowel disease

  • Systemic lupus erythematosus

  • Cancer of the lymph system

  • Overactive thyroid

  • Side effects of medicines to treat cancer or HIV

Can vaccines cause CIDP?

CIDP is a serious condition that can be caused by many things, including vaccines. The NVICP recognizes through their Vaccine Injury Table that CIDP can be linked to the influenza shot. Claims have been filed with the NVICP regarding CIDP resulting from various other vaccines, including:

  • DTaP

  • HPV

  • MMR

  • TDaP

  • Varicella



Symptoms of CIDP

CIDP causes damage to the peripheral nerves and can lead to many different symptoms including numbness and tingling in your feet or hands, twitching or jerking of some muscles throughout your body, muscle weakness, and fatigue.

The following CIDP symptoms can appear gradually.

  • Walking issues brought on by a lack of strength or sensation in the feet

  • Difficulty in using legs, feet, arms, or hands

  • Sensational alterations such as:

    • Tingling

    • Burning

    • Numbness

    • Other odd sensations (usually affects the feet first, then the arms and hands)

  • Abnormal or erratically synchronized motion

  • Unplanned movement

  • Difficulties breathing

  • Fatigue

  • Slurred or muddled speech

  • Hoarse voice

  • Shifting voice

How is CIDP Diagnosed?

The standard tests used to diagnose CIDP include nerve conduction velocity testing (NCV), nerve biopsy, and imaging studies such as EMG/NCV.

The multi-stage process of CIDP diagnosis begins with the exclusion of other possible disorders. Based on the patient's medical history, the clinical examination, and any supporting laboratory testing, doctors make a diagnosis. Medical practitioners may request an electromyography along with nerve condition examinations, blood tests, and a spinal fluid study in order to diagnose CIDP. Once active symptoms have persisted for at least eight weeks, CIDP can be diagnosed.

Testing and Examinations

Among the tests that may be requested are:

  • Checking the muscles and nerves that regulate the muscles with electromyography

  • Tests of the speed at which electrical signals pass through a nerve (nerve conduction tests)

  • Removing a segment of nerve during a nerve biopsy and examining it

  • Testing the fluid around the brain and spinal cord with a spinal tap (lumbar puncture)

Other procedures, such as x-rays, imaging scans, and blood tests, may be carried out.

How is CIDP treated?

The purpose of treatment is to stop the nerve attack. In some circumstances, nerves can recover their functionality. When nerves are severely damaged and unable to recover, treatment focuses on halting the progression of the illness.

The type of treatment administered depends, among other things, on how severe the symptoms are. Extensive treatment may be required for those whose symptoms impair their daily life.

Options for treating CIDP patients may include:

  • Intravenous immunoglobulins (IVIG)

  • Plasmapheresis (PE)

  • Steroid therapy

  • Corticosteroids to help with discomfort relief and inflammation reduction

  • Other immune-suppressing medications (for some severe cases)

  • Using plasmapheresis or plasma exchange to eliminate blood antibodies

  • Intravenous immune globulin (IVIg), a procedure that includes injecting huge quantities of antibodies into blood plasma, in order to counteract the negative effects of the problematic antibodies

Additionally, physical therapy to treat CIDP has been shown to:

  • Reduce joint deformities

  • Reduce muscle and tendon shrinking

  • Increase muscular strength, function, and mobility

How to Receive Compensation Through the NVICP For Vaccine-Related CIDP

CIDP is considered an adverse reaction that can be compensated under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP). It is listed on the Vaccine Injury Table as a subset of Guillain-Barre Syndrome.

The NVICP is a federal program that was created to compensate people who have been injured by certain vaccines. If you or a loved one have been injured by a vaccine, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries In order to take advantage of the VICP, you must file a petition with the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. There are specific rules that must be followed when submitting a claim. An experienced vaccine attorney can help you navigate the process and help ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve. 

How much does it cost to file a claim with the VICP?

One of the great benefits about the VICP is that it covers attorneys’ fees and expenses! You can file a claim with the VICP at no cost to you.

How long do I have to file a VICP claim after receiving a vaccine?

Just like many other areas of law, vaccine injury claims have a statute of limitations. For cases where the petitioner did not die, the statute of limitations is 3 years from the first onset of symptoms. At DuPont & Blumenstiel, we like to play it safe and base our cases on the date of vaccination. For cases where the petitioner did die, the statute of limitations is 24 months from the date of death but not more than 4 years from the date of vaccination. It's important to keep these dates in mind so you don't miss them! If you believe you've suffered an adverse reaction to a vaccine, the time to act is now. If a vaccine causes CIDP disease in you, we will guide you through the NVICP and help you receive the right compensation.

How much compensation can I receive through the NVICP?

The amount of compensation you can receive is dependent on your situation, the severity of your symptoms, and how long they lasted. With some exceptions, there typically is no set compensation amount for specific vaccine injuries. However, depending on the severity of your vaccine-related injuries and damages, the compensation you receive can be substantial. Receiving compensation through the NVICP is complex, which is why it’s important to consult with a vaccine injury lawyer. An experienced vaccine attorney will be able to help you better understand your options. 

Don't wait. There are deadlines to file your claim. The experienced vaccine injury attorneys at the Law Offices of DuPont and Blumenstiel can help. Call us today at 614-389-9711 for a case evaluation. 

Want to learn more about the NVICP? Download our Consumer's Guide to Vaccine-Related Injuries  here.


The law gives Braden a pragmatic way to solve problems using his background in clinical psychology. He is a talented presenter in the courtroom, as he understands how to effectively question witnesses and relay information. He specializes in vaccine injury, personal injury, probate litigation, and business law, and has been recognized for his work by SuperLawyers.