One of the most frequent questions I get is “Are you taking Covid-19 cases?” Unfortunately, the answer is no…for now. The Vaccine Injured Petitioners (VIP) Bar has been actively advocating for the COVID-19 vaccines to be moved to the NVICP. As of the date of this publication, they remain in the Countermeasures Program. (CICP). Because the COVID-19 vaccines were designated “pandemic responses” they fall under the PREP Act. As such, any injury from a pandemic response is restricted to the CICP.
There are several significant differences between the NVICP and the CICP. Principally, the CICP is not a judicial/legal process. It’s not a court. There is no right to counsel. There is no right to appeal. Further, there is no pain and suffering awarded in the CICP. Compensation is strictly limited to certain out of pocket expenses and some lost wages. Finally, the statute of limitations, that is the deadline by which you much file your application for benefits, is severely shortened. You must file a claim for injuries from a COVID-19 vaccine within 1 year of the Date of Vaccination. There are no exceptions or excuses to miss this deadline.
The most egregious part of the CICP is that even if you survive the gauntlet of these restrictions, it remains highly unlikely that you will be compensated. For the fiscal years 2010 to 2023 (as of February 1, 2023), of the 11,708 total CICP claims filed (11,196 of which are COVID-19 claims), only 30 claims have been compensated. Of the 11,196 COVID-19 claims filed there have only been 543 decisions issued. Only 19 were found eligible for compensation. [NOTE: Being found “eligible” for compensation does not mean you will get compensation. Previously, 59 cases were found eligible for compensation and only 30 of those were actually compensated. This is because the others had no “qualified” expenses or lost wages.]
In short, the Countermeasures Program is a wholly inadequate remedy to those individuals who did the right thing to protect their families, themselves and their communities. It is nothing more than the right to file and lose.
Those members of our community who were injured by the COVID-19 vaccinations deserve a fair shot at compensation for their injuries. That requires the Secretary of HHS to recommend it be moved to the NVICP, and Congress must pass the excise tax required and provide the usual 8 year look back period for all new vaccines added to the Vaccine Injury Table, meaning everyone who has previously filed in the CICP should be allowed to pursue a claim in the NVICP.
For more information contact The Law Office of Renée J. Gentry, Esq.