Posted by Roger Mallett Posted on 24 February 2024

US Vaccine Injury Compensation Program Has 10-Year Backlog of Claims

A congressional subcommittee hearing highlighted problems with the U.S. compensation program for COVID-19 vaccine injuries.

It may take more than 10 years for someone injured by a COVID-19 vaccine to receive a decision on whether their claim is eligible for compensation by the government’s vaccine compensation program—if they receive a response at all.

U.S. health officials responded to questions on America’s failing vaccine injury compensation system in a hearing that left the vaccine-injured feeling like addressing the system’s shortcomings is not a priority on Capitol Hill.

As of Jan. 1, there were 12,854 claims filed for injuries caused by COVID-19 countermeasures with the government’s Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program (CICP), including 9,600 related to injuries caused by COVID-19 vaccines. Of the 12,854 claims, 2,214 have been processed, but only 40 claims have been found eligible for compensation.
According to testimony given during a Feb. 15 hearing of the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic, there’s a backlog of about 10,800 claims. With only 35 employees processing claims at a rate of 2.7 cases per employee per month, it will take about 10 years to process the remaining claims.

“I just don’t think it’s right. I think we need to streamline this process,” Rep. Rich McCormick (R-Ga.) said during the hearing. “We need to speed up this process by about tenfold in order to do our job for the American people.”

According to CICP data, as of Jan. 1, only 11 people have received compensation for their injuries out of 40 COVID-19 claims found eligible for compensation. The average award was a mere $3,700, whereas the average payout under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) that handles injuries caused by routine vaccines is $490,000.

Vaccine-Injured Community Left ‘Very Disappointed’

The Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic met to discuss the federal government’s post-marketing surveillance of COVID-19 vaccine safety and the process for adjudicating compensation claims in the first session of a multi-part hearing titled “Assessing America’s Vaccine Safety Systems, Part 1.”

Witnesses at the hearing included Dr. Daniel Jernigan, director of the National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Dr. Peter Marks, director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, and Cmdr. George Reed Grimes. Dr. Grimes is the director of the Division of Injury Compensation Programs for the Health Resources and Services Administration, the agency of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that oversees both the CICP and VICP.

Prior to the hearing, React19 and the COVID-19 vaccine-injured community were looking forward to Drs. Marks, Grimes, and Jernigan answering tough questions about the failings of the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System known as VAERS and the CICP, co-chairman of React19 Dr. Joel Wallskog told The Epoch Times in an email.

React19 is a science-based nonprofit offering financial, physical, and emotional support for more than 30,000 individuals suffering from long-term COVID-19 vaccine injuries.

Dr. Wallskog said the vaccine-injured community was “very disappointed” by the hearing stating that most of the U.S. representatives used much of their allotted time during the hearing to “pontificate” instead of asking tough questions. The questions that were asked “failed to go into any needed detail,” with many representatives engaging in what he called nonconstructive partisan banter.

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