Adverse Reactions to COVID-19 Vaccine & Potential Legal Remedies
President Biden recently announced that all US adults could have access to COVID-19 vaccines by the end of May, which is far ahead of schedule. So far, 19% of US adults report receiving at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, while 50% say they will get or plan to get the vaccine, according to a Pew Research Center study. Together, 69% of the American public plans to get a vaccine or already has.
It is clear that the US is making significant progress in containing the spread of the coronavirus. With this in mind, our Plano personal injury lawyers hope for the best but are prepared for the worst. Side effects from the COVID-19 vaccine are expected and normal, reports the CDC, but there is a chance that those side effects may develop into something worse.
Common side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine include:
- Pain, redness, and/or swelling on the arm where you got the shot
- Muscle pain
The CDC says these reactions to the coronavirus vaccine should only last up to a few days, but like we said earlier, our attorneys are prepared for the worst. As the nation navigates this unfamiliar territory, it wouldn’t be surprising if the number of personal injury claims against the federal government increased.
While there is no available evidence on long-term reactions to the COVID-19 vaccine, past vaccines have caused long-term side effects in a small fraction of people, such as:
- Cardiac arrest
- Brain swelling
- Respiratory injuries
- Nervous system disorders such as GBS
- Blood disorders
- Immunological diseases
- Immune mediated cancers
Federal Programs for Vaccine-Related Injuries
The Vaccine Injury Program (VICP) and the Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program (CICP) are the 2 federal programs that offer compensation for serious injuries caused by vaccines. However, the difference between the two programs is one program is typically effective while another rarely compensates victims for their injuries.
The VICP is a no-fault program that ensures quick and fair compensation for vaccine injuries, paying out an average total of $216 million to about 615 claimants each year since 2015. On the other hand, the CICP only compensates victims for the most serious injuries and requires a higher burden of proof than the VICP. For example, the CICP paid out only 39 of the 485 claimants between 2010 and 2020, totaling a payout of $5.7 million, while the VICP pays on about 75% of claims.
Other downfalls of the CICP include:
- Only provides a 1-year statute of limitations
- Limits award for damages
- i.e., the program limits lost-income recovery to $50,000 for each year out of work
- Doesn’t compensate for pain, suffering, or emotional distress
- Federal courts do not have any jurisdiction over the CICP, meaning you cannot appeal
Although it seems impossible to get compensation from the federal government, victims may alert the federal government about their bad experiences with a vaccine. The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) is a national early warning system to detect possible safety problems in US -licensed vaccines. The FDA and CDC depends on this system often, especially to track potential COVID-19 vaccine reactions. Anyone can submit a report through VAERS if they experienced an adverse reaction to any US vaccine.
Where Do We Come In?
Our Plano personal injury lawyers believe that the federal government is responsible for compensating victims for COVID-19 vaccine-related injuries. The CICP is virtually ineffective for most claimants, while the VICP offers hope for many. While compensation is not guaranteed through the VICP, it is possible. Our team will work tirelessly to ensure the government is held accountable for the rare yet serious adverse reactions that may arise our of the COVID-19 vaccine.
If you believe you have a claim, call us at (888) 493-6529 to learn about your available legal options. You are not alone.
NOTE: The information above does not constitute legal advice nor medical advice. Our attorneys are not licensed healthcare professionals, therefore, this blog content is intended for information purposes only and not intended to discourage you from getting vaccinated. The WHO and CDC continuously confirm that the benefits of vaccination significantly outweigh the risks of adverse reactions. You should consult with your doctor before taking a voluntary vaccine.