PANDEMIC PULSE

G.H. Asked: What Should I Do if I Develop a New Health Condition After Receiving a COVID-19 Vaccine?

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On October 14, 2022, G.H. Asked:

“After I received the COVID-19 vaccine, I developed a new health condition immediately afterward, and it hasn’t resolved. The condition is very uncomfortable, and my doctors and pharmacists cannot identify what caused it. What should I do?”

Answer:

Depending on the severity of the health condition, your injury may be eligible for benefits through the Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program (CICP). Managed by the Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA), the CICP provides benefits to individuals who are injured by countermeasures used during a pandemic, epidemic, or national security threat. Individuals who experience injuries caused by a vaccination, medication, device, or other item recommended to diagnose, prevent, or treat COVID-19 may be eligible for CICP benefits. To be eligible for these benefits, an individual must submit documentation demonstrating that their injury was sustained as a direct result of using the countermeasure. Individuals seeking these benefits must file a claim with the program within 1 year of receiving the countermeasure that caused the injury.

If an individual is eligible for CICP benefits, the program will reimburse or pay for medical expenses and lost wages that are not covered by other payers. As of September 1, 2022, CICP has not yet provided compensation for injuries caused by COVID-19 countermeasures. Three vaccine injury claims have been deemed eligible, but the program is still determining which expenses associated with each claim will be reimbursed. One eligible claim is associated with anaphylaxis and the other two claims are associated with myocarditis.

If you believe a COVID-19 vaccine or treatment injured your health, you can learn more about applying for CICP benefits here. Aggregate information about CICP claims, including the types of injuries associated with these claims, can be found here.

Individuals who experience adverse events after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine should file a report with the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). VAERS is a surveillance system that was established in 1990 to collect data on vaccines to identify concerning trends or emerging safety concerns. The program is jointly administered by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC). The CDC has published adverse event data for the COVID-19 vaccines here.

Click here to report an adverse event to VAERS.

L.B. Asked: Does Workers’ Compensation Cover Long COVID?

“I was exposed to COVID-19 at work several months ago. Because I only experienced mild symptoms, I didn’t file a workers’ compensation claim. I have recently started experiencing symptoms of long COVID, including chronic fatigue and cognitive impairment, and I am not unable to work. Can I file a workers’ compensation claim?”

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