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Biden’s HHS Delays Trump-Era Vaccine Injury Compensation Rule

Feb. 19, 2021, 5:26 PM

The HHS delayed a rule that stops people who suffer shoulder injuries or faint after vaccination from getting compensated.

The effective date of the rule (0906-AB24) is now April 23.

The Department of Health and Human Services issued the rule one day before President Joe Biden took office, and it would have taken effect Feb. 22. The Biden administration also provided a brief public comment period on delaying the effective date. It got 29 comments supporting the delay and two anonymous comments opposing it.

The delay gives the new administration a chance to review the last-ditch rule, which removed vaccine-related shoulder harm and fainting from a list of injuries for which people are entitled to payment under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program.

The program is a no-fault avenue for people who incur injuries as a result of a vaccination to seek recompense. It was created to ensure an adequate supply of vaccines and stabilize vaccine costs.

Before the Covid-19 pandemic, vaccine manufacturing wasn’t a lucrative project for drugmakers, and civil lawsuits further deterred them. They weren’t able to secure affordable product liability insurance, which meant the vaccine prices would be higher or the manufacturer would be unable to enter the market. The program is intended to keep drugmakers in the vaccine making business and also make sure vaccine-injured persons can be compensated “quickly, easily, and with certainty,” according to the law.

To contact the reporter on this story: Fawn Johnson in Washington at fjohnson@bloombergindustry.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jo-el J. Meyer at jmeyer@bloomberglaw.com; Alexis Kramer at akramer@bloomberglaw.com

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