The worldwide pandemic of 2020 has left thousands of people without work, income, and answers to questions about when they’ll be back.One of the biggest questions until recently has been the option of a vaccine against the ravages of COVID-19, or the “coronavirus.”
Released in December of 2020 by both Moderna and Pfizer, the vaccine offers hope of stemming the pandemic that has sickened millions and killed thousands in the US alone. But is the vaccine safe, especially as fast as it was developed? What happens if you suffer a vaccine injury from it?Last year we told you about the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP), a federal program that offers compensations to those harmed by vaccination. But this vaccine doesn’t fall under the VICP because of the pandemic.
The Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program (CICP)
Because the Department of Health and Human Resources declared a “public health emergency” in March of 2020, vaccines for COVID-19 are excluded from the VICP. The declaration activated the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act. This federal law requires that anyone injured from an administered vaccine as a “countermeasure” in response to a declared public health emergency file a claim under the CICP instead of the VICP.The CICP, is, unfortunately, less generous than the VICP, and has a much higher burden of proof. Plaintiffs filing a claim have a strict one-year deadline to file a claim, and can only receive a total of $50,000 per year of being out of work. There are no provisions for pain, suffering, and emotional distress.
Filing A Claim
Because reimbursement for attorneys’ fees isn’t available, injured parties will have a much more difficult time filing a claim. Additionally, they won’t be able to file a claim under the VICP, even if they develop symptoms after the pandemic is lifted.The New England Journal of Medicine reports that the CICP is more likely to have a negative impact the low-income and minority communities, particularly from an economic standpoint: ”At the same time, low-income people who most need to be vaccinated are also least able to weather the health and financial outcomes of a serious vaccine injury, especially if the CICP is their only option for compensation.” This is particularly true of individuals who are working with the general public, since they need to be vaccinated sooner, but can’t afford the possibility of injury and disability.
The Previous Pandemic—H1N1 “Bird Flu”
The CICP was created in 2005 in response to the “avian influenza” that saw a vaccine developed in the face of a potential pandemic. While the potential for problems worldwide, the new law gave pharmaceutical companies the ability to create needed vaccines without being threatened by litigation. Injured plaintiffs can only sue for “willful misconduct.”Out of nearly 500 people who submitted a claim, only 29 actually received any award. The CICP offers no options for appeal.When questioned on the possibility of a large number of COVID-19 claims, the spokesman for the agency that oversees the CICP stated that they have made plans, and may hire additional employees and contractors when they are needed.
Have You Or A Loved One Suffered A Vaccine Related Injury? Call Pophams Law
The Popham Law Firm is one of the few law firms in Kansas City are whose attorneys have experience in vaccine law and vaccine injury cases. If you or a loved one sustained an injury after any vaccine, call The Popham Law Firm right away at (844) 243-2288 for a free consultation. Whether you win or lose the case (as long as the case was filed in good faith and with a reasonable basis), our fees are paid out of the same fund in which your compensations are paid. Call us today!