The world’s COVID-19 vaccination campaign took a major blow earlier this month when US and European regulators announced a temporary halt in administering the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Of the more than 7 million doses distributed in the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suspects eight women so far He developed a severe blood clotting disorder, Which caused the death of two suspects. Researchers have yet to demonstrate a direct link between the J&J vaccine and blood clots.
Many of these vaccine infections would question whether they had any legal recourse should the same thing happen to them. When it comes to vaccines, your options are few.
Manufacturers have strong liability shields
This blog has written that before Neither you nor your family can sue drug companies About death or serious injury associated with participating in a trial of the COVID-19 vaccine.
This is still the case for the general public who take the approved vaccines, which in the United States come from Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and J & J-Janssen.
The General Preparedness and Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act of 2005 grants the federal government Sweeping powers to protect pharmaceutical companies from liability When ‘medical countermeasures’ are used during emergencies such as the Coronavirus pandemic. The then Secretary of Health and Human Services, Alex Azar, invoked the PREP Act in 2020 to cover COVID-19 vaccines through 2024.
Pharmaceutical companies argue that protection like what PREP provides is critical to driving innovation and keeping costs low.
“We have to accept vaccines – or any drugs – there are very, very few people who are going to have serious adverse reactions,” said Peter Myers, former chair of the vaccine injury litigation clinic at George Washington University.
Your options are limited
The PREP Code has been created Anti-Injury Compensation Program, Who compensates you or a family member in the event of death or injury as a result of a covered vaccine. The fund provides compensation for:
- Medical expenses
- Loss of wages
- Advantages of heirs
The program limits compensation to $ 50,000 per year Or a death benefit of $ 370,376, which does not cover pain and suffering. There is a strict one-year statute of limitations for filing a claim.
Personal injury attorneys warn that the program is difficult to navigate, and the government rejects the vast majority of claims.
“It’s not that simple. ‘Hey, I got treatment for Covid, and now I have an infection.’ There is a lot of burden of proof,” said David Carney, vice president of the Bar.
In the meantime, Regulators are leaning toward restarting Johnson & Johnson vaccinations While attaching a warning sticker. This means that your choice will be soon again whether to get this particular vaccine, but you must be aware of the legal issues at play.