Can I sue if I’m harmed by the Coronavirus Vaccine? Pt. 2

One of the major issues of contention is getting vaccinated for the coronavirus. Many people state that it is too soon for such a vaccination to be administered to the public while others yet state that it is the only way of surviving infection. As with many medical advancements it is not impossible for some individuals in the population to suffer harm as a result of such a vaccination. The question then is can a person sue if they are harmed by the vaccine for coronavirus. This will be the subject of this article and a subsequent one.

In the previous article it was noted that under normal circumstances when a person suffers injury as a result of being vaccinated the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) kicks in with a safety net to provide compensation. However, the COVID-19 vaccines were not developed under normal circumstances. Firstly, in that they did not undergo the rigorous and strict clinical trials all medications must go before being used on the public. As a result, the safety net provided by the VICP falls short and is limited by the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act (PREP Act) [Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act (hhs.gov)].

In order for pharmaceutical companies to create and develop vaccines in response to public health emergencies such vaccines are excluded from the VICP. As a result, once the Department of Health and Human Services declared that COVID-19 was a public health emergency it automatically excluded anyone who suffered injury from the newly developed vaccine from being able to claim for compensation under the VICP. Further, this is when the PREP Act kicks in as it provides that any persons who suffer injury as a result of a vaccine that was developed to respond to public health emergencies must bring their claims for personal injury to the Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program (CICP) [Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program (CICP) | Official web site of the U.S. Health Resources & Services Administration (hrsa.gov)]. To learn more about your situation speak to personal injury law firms in Anchorage Ak.

The CICP is a provision giving blanket immunity to pharmaceutical companies or drug manufacturers of the COVID-19 vaccine. However, it must be noted that this immunity is not applicable in respect of any willful misconduct that is carried out by the manufacturer.

For the injured individual to successfully claim and receive compensation they must present evidence in respect of the vaccine in question, according to USA Today, that is:

  • Compelling
  • Valid
  • Reliable
  • Scientific, and
  • Medical

It must be noted that the benefits under CICP are limited in comparison to those of the VICP. Take note of the following CICP characteristics in respect of claiming:

  • Deadline for filing a claim is within one year of vaccination despite no symptom onset
  • Benefits are limited to medical bills and lost income; for example, damages for lost income are limited to $50,000, but exclude such compensation as mental anguish or pain and suffering
  • The maximum payout in respect of death to survivors according to statistics is $370,376

Further, it must be noted that it is much more difficult to succeed in making CICP claim. Note that over the past 10 years 499 claims have been made and only 29 of these claims were paid compensation.

Resource Box: For a car accident lawyer in Anchorage, the author recommends the Crowson Law Group.

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