COVID-19 vaccines, essential tools for fighting the ongoing pandemic, are effective at preventing the spread of the disease and reducing the severity of symptoms that do occur in the event of an infection. These vaccines are also considered to be generally safe. However, as with any medical device or treatment, there is always a slight risk involved.
For example, a CDC advisory panel recently announced that mRNA vaccines may be tied to an increased risk of heart inflammation, leading to approximately 13 cases of inflammation for every 1 million vaccines administered. Heart inflammation can lead to symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath, and swelling of the legs and ankles. It is worth noting that the panel stated that this risk was much higher in those infected with the virus itself than in those who took the vaccine.
What can those harmed by a COVID vaccine do?
In response to the COVID-19, the Food and Drug Administration granted an Emergency use authorization for the vaccines, meaning that the vaccines did not have to go through the sometimes years-long FDA approval process. Emergency authorizations are typically granted in pandemics in which the benefits of approving a medical treatment without usual procedures far outweigh the risk involved. In the case of the COVID pandemic, the risk of widespread infection necessitated this emergency authorization.
Due to the medical emergency that surrounded the pandemic, the US Department of Health and Human Services granted vaccine manufacturers and physicians a liability waiver that protects them from legal claims alleging negligence arising from the production or administration of the vaccine, barring any willful misconduct on their part. These waivers are set to expire in October of 2024.
Those harmed by a vaccine, however, have a recourse that may allow them to recoup damages. COVID-19 vaccines are covered under a program known as the Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program. CICP pays out compensation to those harmed by covered countermeasures, which are medical devices or treatments explicitly covered in Department of Health and Human Services directives.
Those who may receive compensation from CICP include the countermeasure recipient, survivors of a deceased countermeasure recipient, or the recipient’s estate. Compensation may cover medical expenses that insurance did not cover or lost employment income, among others.
If you believe a COVID-19 vaccine has injured you, contact Counsel Hound for a no-cost consultation and case evaluation.
Pfizer, one of the producers of the COVID-19 vaccine, has recently submitted data to the FDA on the efficacy of a booster shot. The need for a booster shot arises as the Delta variant increases infections and hospitalizations. This comes after White House, medical advisor Anthony Fauci was quoted saying, “Everyone will likely need a booster shot at some point.”