Will a coronavirus vaccine be covered by the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program?
According to news reports, experimental COVID-19 vaccine trials are underway, involving upwards of 250,000 volunteers receiving various versions of the coronavirus vaccination. This is what is called a clinical trial, required for pharmaceuticals eventually provided to the general public. As part of those clinical trials, potentially negative side-effects of the vaccine will be monitored and studied.
Once one or more vaccines are approved for release, as with most vaccines that are already offered for other viruses, there is a good chance that there will be some recognized complications and side-effects that affect a very small percentage of the population.
It was for this reason that the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program was created by Congress in the 1980s. While vaccines are extraordinarily safe and effective in the vast majority of cases, there is still a very small percentage of vaccinations that result in various injuries, such as SIRVA (Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration), transverse myelitis, chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP), and others. This federal compensation program awards injured individuals millions of dollars a year for these types of vaccine related injuries.
Once a coronavirus vaccine is developed and found to be safe, chances are there will still be some rare side-effects that cause bad reactions in a small percentage of recipients. What remains to be seen is whether the new COVID vaccine will be added to the list of vaccinations that are eligible for compensation from the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. As we learn more from the Program, we will keep you updated here.