What is the Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program?
When there is a risk of a vaccine injury for certain vaccines, the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program provides an avenue for an injured person to obtain monetary compensation. However, that program does not cover all vaccines. In particular, it does not cover COVID-19 vaccines. There is, however, another program which does.
Whenever there are certain pandemic diseases or other emergency conditions, the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will often issue a declaration under the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act or PREP Act. This declaration will do several things, but importantly, it will provide immunity from liability for claims of harms caused by countermeasures to the emergency conditions. PREP Act declarations have been issued for Zika, Ebola, and Anthrax, among other things.
The current pandemic certainly counts as one of those emergencies and a PREP Act declaration involving COVID-19 was issued on March 17, 2020. From that time, any person, company, or agency who was involved in the production, distribution, or administration of any accepted countermeasure against COVID-19 was immune from liability. That means that, unless they were willfully negligent, they cannot be sued by anyone harmed. All of the COVID-19 vaccines are covered by this declaration.
However, that is precisely why a different program than the VICP exists. It is called the Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program or CICP. It allows an injured party to file a petition for compensation from the U.S. DHS for any COVID-19 vaccine.
The COVID-19 vaccines in the United States have been wildly successful at protecting vaccinated individuals and limiting the spread of the disease by vaccinated individuals. Vaccination against COVID-19 is the only countermeasure which has been shown to be effective at preventing the disease. Not all countermeasures are covered by the CICP (covered countermeasures include, "drugs, biological products, or devices authorized for investigational or emergency use"), but the COVID-19 vaccines are definitely covered. However, there are certain procedures which must be followed and deadlines which must be met and not all countermeasures are covered.
So, if you believe you have been harmed by a COVID-19 vaccine, you should contact an attorney who is experienced with the CICP as soon as possible.