According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 3 million people are being vaccinated against COVID-19 every day in the United States. (1) As of March 31, 2021, 16.4 percent of the U.S. population had been fully vaccinated (received both doses). That number is projected to reach 50 percent by July 18, 2021. The number of daily vaccinations across the country is extraordinary; those in charge of executing the rollout on the state and local levels should be proud.
We keep hearing good news about the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines. Recent test results show that the Pfizer vaccine remained highly effective six months after the second dose. (2) That study also suggested that Pfizer vaccines are effective against some circulating variants. (3), (4) However, the most important news that I saw in the last week was that Pfizer’s vaccine demonstrated 100% efficacy in children aged 12-15. (5) That report also indicated that Pfizer hoped to start vaccinating that age group before the start of the next school year.
Why is that important? Well, when a vaccine is recommended for routine administration in children and pregnant women, the vaccine may be added to the Vaccine Injury Table under the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP).
When will the VICP cover COVID-19 vaccines?
In order for a vaccine to be “covered” under the VICP, it must be added to the Vaccine Injury Table under the VICP. That process starts when the CDC recommends the category of vaccine for routine administration to children or pregnant women. After the CDC recommendation, the vaccine can be added to the Table only after it becomes subject to an excise tax by federal law and added to the VICP by the Secretary of Health and Human Services.
As of right now, COVID-19 vaccines are not covered under the VICP. Instead, petitions for compensation based on injuries resulting from a COVID-19 vaccine can be filed in the Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program. However, the news that at least the Pfizer vaccine is showing promising results in clinical trials involving children is a step in the right direction.
There are likely many more steps that need to happen before COVID-19 vaccines are added to the VICP. After all, we are still operating under the Department of Health and Human Services’ PREP Act declaration, which provides immunity from liability for any claims related to the administration of COVID-19 vaccines and steers those claims to the CICP. But, as I said before, this is a good sign for the future of COVID-19 vaccines and their inclusion in the VICP.
There will be a lot to monitor regarding the COVID-19 vaccines, their effectiveness, their side effects, and their long-term efficacy over the next few years. You can be sure we will be monitoring it here.
If you are interested in this topic and want to learn more, I will be presenting on these issues during our Webinar later this month on April 16, 2021. Click here if you want more information on how to register for the webinar. It’s free to attend.
Injured by a vaccine? We may be able to help you
If you believe that you have been injured as a result of a vaccine, you may be entitled to compensation. Please call us at (312) 578-9501 or fill out the form at the bottom of this page to start your free case review.