It may take more than 10 years for someone injured by a COVID-19 vaccine to receive a decision on whether their claim is eligible for compensation by the government’s vaccine compensation program—if they receive a response at all.
U.S. health officials responded to questions on America’s failing vaccine injury compensation system in a hearing that left the vaccine-injured feeling like addressing the system’s shortcomings is not a priority on Capitol Hill.
As of Jan. 1, there were 12,854 claims filed for injuries caused by COVID-19 countermeasures with the government’s Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program (CICP), including 9,600 related to injuries caused by COVID-19 vaccines. Of the 12,854 claims, 2,214 have been processed, but only 40 claims have been found eligible for compensation.
According to testimony given during a Feb. 15 hearing of the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic, there’s a backlog of about 10,800 claims. With only 35 employees processing claims at a rate of 2.7 cases per employee per month, it will take about 10 years to process the remaining claims.
“I just don’t think it’s right. I think we need to streamline this process,” Rep. Rich McCormick (R-Ga.) said during the hearing. “We need to speed up this process by about tenfold in order to do our job for the American people.”
According to CICP data, as of Jan. 1, only 11 people have received compensation for their injuries out of 40 COVID-19 claims found eligible for compensation. The average award was a mere $3,700, whereas the average payout under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) that handles injuries caused by routine vaccines is $490,000.
“If you die or get injured from a COVID-19 vaccine, your average payout is $3,700,” said Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) to U.S. health officials during the hearing.