By Adam Andrzejewski
Last year, the U.S. government paid $246.9 million in claims for vaccine-related injuries and deaths. Not a single payout was related to Covid-19 vaccines.
Each person with a “provable” injury from a Covid vaccine could claim up to $379,000 from a special Covid vaccine fund set up by the federal government. The payout for death could be as high as $370,376.
However, according to an OpenTheBooks.com investigation, the federal government didn’t pay a penny for Covid-vaccine claims last year. The special fund for these claims is called the Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program (CICP).
There were only 1,357 claims filed that alleged “injuries/deaths from the Covid vaccines,” and 53 were listed as deaths, according to recent reporting by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
By contrast, the self-reporting Vaccine Adverse Reporting System (VAERS) lists 16,310 deaths related to Covid vaccines. Of these, “5,326 of the deaths occurred on Day 0, 1,or 2 following vaccination[.]”
The low number of applicants to the CICP fund for injuries or death from the Covid vaccine suggests that people don’t know the special fund exists.
The “normal” vaccine fund, the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP), has existed since 1988 and provides compensation for injuries or deaths associated with most vaccines routinely administered in the United States (such as pediatric and seasonal influenza vaccines), according to the Congressional Research Service.
Last year, this fund paid out $246.9 million in vaccine-related injuries and deaths. Payouts include $250,000 for a vaccine-caused death and $250,000 “for pain and suffering and emotional distress.” A special vaccine court handles these claims.
However, in the case of Covid-19 vaccines developed and approved under Project Warp Speed, deaths resulting from a Covid vaccine would pay out through the CICP and would pay more money than a vaccine-related death in normal times.
Since the benefit for a death caused by a Covid-19 vaccine is $370,376 for fiscal year 2021 and $50,000 per year for lost employment income (with a lifetime cap to be “generally $379,000”). So, the death benefit is $120,376 higher than for other vaccines ($250,000).
However, there is no equivalent to the VICP’s $250,000 “for pain and suffering and emotional distress” under the current Covid-19 parameters.
Here are some other differences between the two vaccine-injury funds:
- No attorney fees. The Covid fund is not authorized to provide reimbursement for attorneys’ fees. Therefore, lawyers have less incentive to represent claims.
- Injured children receive small payouts. A Covid vaccine-injured child would only be reimbursed for “reasonable medical expenses.” Since the child survived and isn’t employed, there’s no other compensation.
- Narrow window to file a claim. The Covid fund allows a one-year window to file a claim whereas the regular vaccine fund has a three-year window.
And sure enough, the CICP fund hasn’t paid out a dime in Covid-vaccine claims. HHS bluntly states online, “As of October 1, 2021, the CICP has not compensated any Covid-19 countermeasures claims.”
The federal government is still operating under the “public health emergency” declared by Trump administration HHS Secretary Alex Azar on February 4, 2020. This declaration created a different funding stream for claims from adverse reactions to vaccines.
Congress established the Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program (CICP) as part of the PREP Act in 2005 to encourage the rapid development and deployment of medical countermeasures during a public health emergency.
The Public Health Emergency (PHE) declaration has been renewed multiple times, most recently by Biden Administration HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra, on October 15, 2021, effective October 18, 2021. (Under federal law, the declaration lasts 90 days and can be renewed).
For the most part, since that February 4, 2020, declaration, “manufacturers, distributors, and health care providers are generally immune from legal liability (i.e., they cannot be sued for money damages in court) for losses related to the administration or use of covered countermeasures against Covid-19[,]” CRS reports.
This liability protection enabled those industry players to shift into high gear to address the pandemic without fear of lawsuits. Under the PHE declaration, the CICP funds any lawsuits related to adverse reactions proven by victims or their families.
$246.9 million in non-COVID-vaccine-related claims (FY2021)
According to the VICP’s latest report dated October 2021, $4.6 billion in total compensation has been “paid over the life of the program” (which began in 1988). From 2006-2019, 6,054 claims were compensated out of the 8,516 petitions for compensation that were “adjudicated by the Court[.]”
According to the table included on page nine of the report, in fiscal year 2021 the U.S. government paid out $210.4 million to 722 petitioners, and, after adding in attorney’s fees the total U.S. taxpayer outlay was $246.9 million.
With such a complicated and bureaucratic process in place, it’s no wonder that zero Covid-vaccine claims have been paid to victims or their families.
We reached out to Health and Human Services and a spokesperson replied. Review the entire response here.
“The Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program (CICP) is working to process claims as expeditiously as possible. For the majority of COVID-19 countermeasure claims, including COVID-19 vaccine claims, the CICP is still waiting for records and documentation to be submitted. About 90 percent of claims are awaiting medical records for review. Requesters are permitted to submit the necessary medical records after the claim is filed and this is the most significant factor in the processing time for CICP claims.”
HHS Request For Benefits Form, Covid Vaccine Injury/Death Fund, here.
“Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program (CICP) Data, Aggregate Data as of October 1, 2021, HHS Health Resources & Services Administration.
Compensation Programs for Potential Covid-19 Vaccine Injuries Updated October 20, 2021, Congressional Research Service.
“Covid-19 Vaccine Safety in Adolescents Aged 12–17 Years — United States, December 14, 2020–July 16, 2021,” CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report Weekly, posted onlineJuly 30, 2021, dated August 6, 2021.
National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program Data Report,- updated October 1, 2021, Updated monthly, and includes the number of petitions filed; adjudications compensated and dismissed; awards paid by type and amount; claims by vaccine; and adjudication categories by vaccine.