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National Vaccine Injury Program Needs Modernizing

PHOTO: North County Daily Star

The federal program established to compensate Americans for vaccine injuries needs amending, says Renée J. Gentry, director of the Vaccine Injury Litigation Clinic at George Washington Law School. The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program needs updating to include alleged Covid-19 vaccine injuries, and it also needs more resources, she says.

By Renée J. Gentry | 8 March 2022

BLOOMBERG LAW — In an effort to modernize the critically endangered National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP), the Vaccine Injury Modernization Act of 2021 (H.R. 3655) was introduced by the bipartisan team of Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas) and Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) on June 1, 2021, with the support of public health officials.

The VICP needs increased resources to respond to a caseload that has seen enormous growth over the past decade, even without injuries related to the Covid-19 vaccine, which are currently excluded from the program.

Covid-19 vaccine injuries are covered exclusively by the Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program (CICP) established for vaccines and medications, etc. used in response to public health emergencies and national security threats. Unlike the VICP, the CICP is not a legal process, and Congress should add Covid-19 vaccines to VICP. Here’s why.

‘Vaccine Court’s’ Growing Caseload

The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 established the VICP — a no-fault compensation program where vaccine-injured parties may file a claim for compensation for suffering injury or death as a result of the administration of certain vaccines. Congress intended that the VICP provide individuals (petitioners) a swift, flexible, and non-adversarial alternative to often costly and lengthy traditional civil tort litigation. You cannot file a lawsuit against a manufacturer or administrator of a covered vaccine without going through this program first. …

Of the thousands of claims submitted to the CICP, only 29 claims have been compensated. As of Feb. 1, 2022, there were more than 3,700 claims filed alleging injury or death from Covid-19 vaccines[…]

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