COVID Vaccine:  Adverse Reaction Compensation Program

As the U.S. is in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic and the COVID vaccine distribution has begun, it appears that severe adverse reactions to the vaccine have been rare.  The Ritchie Law Firm encourages everyone who is able to be vaccinated.  We also want to provide information about an adverse reaction compensation program for those rare instances  that a severe adverse reaction might occur.  Please note that the program discussed below is a reimbursement-type program only and is NOT A CLASS ACTION or other program necessitating any legal action.

Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program

Typically, side effects of the COVID-19 (manufactured by Pfizer and Moderna, so far) vaccine include injection site pain, fatigue, headache, muscle pain, joint pain, and occasionally chills.  Because these vaccines were approved for emergency use by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, no claims against the manufacturer are permitted in case of adverse reactions.  Because of this, the U.S. Health Resources & Services Administration to oversee a program to compensate those who may experience severe side effects.

Because public health emergencies occasionally threaten our country, the U.S. government supports the development of vaccines, medications, and other items used in response to public health emergencies.  In the rare instance that either you or someone you know experiences a severe adverse reaction after injection of the COVID-19 vaccine, you might be eligible for benefits through the Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program (CICP).

About the CICP

The Countermeasures Injury Compensation Fund (CICP) provides compensation for serious adverse reactions that occur as a result of the administration of covered vaccines or certain other countermeasures.  Compensation may include unreimbursed medical expenses (expenses not covered by health insurance), lost wages, as well as survivor death benefit.  However, it is important to note that the CICP is the payer of last resort.  This means that the program only covers expenses that are not covered by health insurance, through the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, etc.

Which Vaccines Or Other Countermeasures Are Covered?

Determinations about which vaccines or other countermeasures are covered by the CICP are made by federal declaration.  The following list includes examples of covered public health threats:

  • COVID-19
  • Marburg
  • Nerve Agent or Certain Insecticides
  • Zika
  • Ebola
  • Pandemic Influenza A
  • Smallpox
  • Anthrax
  • Botulism
  • Acute Radiation Syndrome

Who Is Eligible?

People who are eligible for CICP Program benefits include:

  • the injured person who received the vaccine or other countermeasure
  • certain survivors of a deceased injured vaccine recipient
  • the estate of a deceased injured vaccine recipient

I Suffered a Reaction.  What Next?

If you suffered a severe reaction to the COVID-19 vaccine, you may be eligible for compensation.  To determine whether you are eligible for benefits, you must submit a Request For Benefits Package to the CICP within one year of receiving or using the vaccine.

You can download the PDF forms by visiting:  www.hrsa.gov/cicp/filing-benefits/index.html

You can also call 855-266-CICP (1-855-266-2427) to request that a paper copy be mailed to you.

The previous message has been brought to you as a public service announcement from the Ritchie Law Firm.  The Ritchie Law Firm specializes in auto accident, workers’ compensation, and disability claims in Virginia and West Virginia.  The firm has offices throughout the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia as well as in West Virginia.  Visit us on the web at www.ritchielawfirm.com