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US settles Covid vaccine injury claims

Just three of the 8,000-plus who have filed for compensation got anything

Three years into the US Covid-19 vaccination rollout, just three of more than 8,000 people who have sued the federal government over injuries they believe the vaccine caused have won any payout, according to recently-published data from the US Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) cited by Reuters on Tuesday.

Two of the patients developed myocarditis and a third had an anaphylactic reaction from the shot, according to the data – all potentially life-threatening conditions for which they received a total of less than $5,000 from the Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program (CICP), a “no-fault” government tribunal.

Restricted to unreimbursed medical expenses and just $50,000 per year in lost wages, the CICP’s payouts don’t include pain and suffering, punitive damages, or even the attorneys’ fees that usually come with medical lawsuits. A death benefit of $422,035 may be available, but won’t help injured plaintiffs who need help living.

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The CICP’s meager payouts “are nuisance value amounts — the kind of awards that are very upsetting to the vaccine injured person and can drive the anger and vaccine hesitancy we see,” director Renee Gentry of the Vaccine Injury Litigation Clinic at George Washington University Law School told Reuters. 

Acknowledging the program might be “ill-suited to adjudicate these cases,” Reuters suggested they be heard under the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, which still protects drug companies from liability using taxpayer dollars, but has paid out over $4.9 billion in damages since 1988.

Not only is it difficult to get money out of the CICP, but it’s nearly impossible to win a case, as the system requires plaintiffs to prove their injury is the “direct result” of the vaccine with “compelling, reliable, valid medical and scientific evidence.” Given the brief period the shots have been on the market, to say nothing of the full-time effort factions within the US health bureaucracy put into discrediting any reputable practitioners who called the safety or efficacy of the vaccines into question, such evidence is not easy to find. 

US health authorities have had to walk back some of their once-unassailable pandemic policies in recent months, quietly retiring any claims that either Pfizer’s or Moderna’s mRNA vaccines could prevent transmission of SARS-CoV-2 virus. 

The Food and Drug Administration announced on Tuesday that the monovalent Pfizer and Moderna shots, administered to most adults in the US over the past three years, are no longer authorized for use, having been replaced by a bivalent variety that is supposedly active against the original and omicron BA.4/BA.5 strains of the virus.

April 20, 2023 at 03:06AM

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