COVID-19 Vaccines and Vaccine Injury Compensation
Sept. 20, 2021
We believe everyone, especially children, should take advantage of the opportunity to receive a life-saving vaccine; however, in the rare event you suffer an injury or are hospitalized following your vaccination, we are here for you.
What Are the Risks Involved with Getting the COVID-19 Vaccine?
Scientists developed the COVID-19 vaccine more quickly than any vaccine in history (https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-03626-1). The world was able to develop COVID-19 vaccines so quickly because of years of previous research on related viruses and faster ways to manufacture vaccines, enormous funding that allowed firms to run multiple trials in parallel, and regulators moving more quickly than normal. The pharmaceutical companies that developed the vaccine tested the Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson and once the trials confirmed efficacy and safety, the FDA approved the vaccine for seniors and immunocompromised persons. The FDA released the vaccines to the general public shortly thereafter. As a result, the long-term effects of the vaccine are unknown.
Certain side-effects such as SIRVA (Shoulder Injury Following Vaccine Administration), syncope, anaphylaxis, or other immediate allergic reactions can occur almost immediately after the shot. These issues occurred during the initial clinical trials and occur with nearly all vaccines. Issues that can arise a week to more than a month after the vaccine include joint pain, myalgias, certain arthritis, or other neurological conditions including encephalitis, transverse myelitis, Guillain-Barre Syndrome, and narcolepsy. Vaccines can cause a number of auto-immune diseases (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5607155/). If you receive a vaccine and your symptoms from these conditions occur within the first 30-40 days and last longer than 6 months or result in hospitalization, you should probably contact a lawyer and file a claim. Certain of these conditions are life-changing and can cause incredible pain and suffering. The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP) was created to compensate individuals that suffer from these conditions because of a vaccine.
COVID-19 Vaccines are not part of the NVICP
Unfortunately, the legislature has not yet added the COVID-19 vaccine to the NVICP.
Our firm and almost all vaccine lawyers handle cases only in the NVICP. Because the COVID-19 vaccines are new and for other reasons, they are not yet covered under the NVICP. They are instead covered by the Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program (CICP) program. Most vaccine lawyers do not handle cases in the CICP for a wide range of reasons: the CICP only compensates individuals with the most “serious” injuries; the CICP has a higher burden of proof; it only has a 1-year statute of limitations (compared to a 3 year statute of limitations in the NVICP); it severely limits the damages one can recover; the success rate of a CICP case is extremely low (less than 5%); and one cannot recover attorney's fees, making the process of pursuing compensation far more difficult, lengthier, and expensive for those suffering from vaccine-related injuries.
In contrast, under the NVICP, one can recover past and future medical expenses, past and future lost wages, and past and future pain and suffering. Plus, the government pays attorney's fees and reimburses expert witness expenses, unlike the CICP. In the NVICP, successful claims and attorney’s fees are paid out of the Vaccine Injury Compensation Trust Fund. The Fund has paid over $4,000,000,000 to date. Since 2015, the fund has paid out an average total of $216 million to an average of 615 claimants each year.
What to Do if you Suffer an Injury from a COVID-19 Vaccine
It is unclear whether and when Congress will add the COVID-19 vaccines to the NVICP. Because the pharmaceutical companies are requesting full FDA approval of their vaccines, possibly that day will come sooner rather than later. Regardless, it is important to note that you must bring a case within ONE YEAR in the CICP. If you fail to file a case within one year from the date of your vaccination, you will be forever barred from pursuing a case in the CICP. If Congress does not add the COVID vaccines to the NVICP and you do not file a case within one year in the CICP, you will never recover anything for your vaccine injury. So, please contact a lawyer if you suffered any side effects from the COVID-19 vaccine. We are maintaining a list of persons and plan to contact them once the legislature adds COVID-19 to the NVICP.