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Biden HHS Seeks Delay of Trump Vaccine Injury Compensation Rule

Feb. 11, 2021, 2:27 PM

People who suffer shoulder injuries or lose consciousness due from a vaccine shot could still receive compensation under a proposal issued Thursday by the Department of Health and Human Services.

The proposed change (0906-AB24) would give the HHS under President Joe Biden a chance to review a last-ditch rule under the former administration—issued one day before Biden took office and published the day after he was sworn in—that removed vaccine-related shoulder harm and fainting from a list of injuries for which people are entitled to compensation. It was slated to go into effect Feb. 22.

The HHS is proposing to add an additional comment period to the rule and delay the effective date until April 23 to review the action. The National Vaccine Injury Compensation 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

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