Victims of the COVID-19 vaccine who are now suffering from blood clots are demanding compensation from the US government, since the manufacturers have already been given immunity from any liability.
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On March 20, this year Emma Burkey, a high school senior received her “one and done” Johnson and Johnson Covid-19 vaccine and in two weeks went into an induced coma followed with seizures and clotting in the brain, reported Bloomberg.
She is making a slow recovery and now has been shifted to rehabilitation center from the hospital. Her first round of bills are around $513,000.
A GoFundMe account was started by her family and friends in Las Vegas to help with the medical bills from the now rampant reaction of vaccines.
Bret Johnson, the family’s minister, who’s acting as spokesman for the Burkeys said, “We don’t know what’s going to happen with Emma, how long it will take for her to return to a normal life”.
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He said the family believes that her condition is associated with the vaccine but no contact has been made yet by the company or U.S. health regulators, and that a connection hasn’t been independently confirmed.
Her family can’t look at J&J to cover the medical expenses not covered by her insurance as per the 2005 law extended in previous year to include the Covid-19 pandemic which shields manufacturers and healthcare providers from state and federal liability in instances of public health and bioterrorism emergencies.
In exchange for immunity for vaccine manufacturers, the federal government pledged compensation for hostile reactions to coronavirus treatment and vaccine, however it is a program with a past of claim rejection and a comparatively high bar for recovering costs.
Medical costs and lost wages not paid by insurance are covered by The Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program, run by an obscure office within the U.S. Health and Human Services Department.
Till 26th April more than 440 claims have been filed for adverse reaction to either treatment or vaccine according to the Health Resources and Services Administration, which runs the program.
In a statement the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that the vaccines were studied strictly before approval, and are strictly monitored now that they are being used by the public.
Of more than 240 million vaccines from three manufacturers that have been administered in the U.S., the CDC said at present there are no confirmed deaths related to vaccines and the reports of allergic reactions are in line with those vaccines for other conditions.
J&J said it will “carefully review reports of adverse events in individuals receiving our medicines or vaccines,” but will not discuss individual cases out of privacy concerns.
Adverse reactions are reported to the Food and Drug Administration and “we encourage patients to share their experiences as this information is critical in maintaining a high standard of product safety,” the company said.
No payouts have been given in COVID cases so far. And, according to HSRA the reason behind this is that they have not received the required information and medical documents.
Looking at the failure of the countermeasures program, critics say that the compensation requests should go through a Vaccine Injury Compensation Program which is also known as ‘Vaccine Court’.
Anne Carrión Toale of Maglio Christopher & Toale in Sarasota, Florida, former president of the Vaccine Injured Petitioner’s Bar Association, said, “With the Covid vaccine in particular, a higher percentage of calls are reassurance-seeking and ‘I have questions’ than with a normal vaccine,” Toale said.
The vaccine court is a more effective way of getting compensation as it has a list of adverse reactions known to sometimes be caused by a vaccine. Thus making it easier for an applicant to get compensation without proving a direct link.
The US CDC and FDA have lifted their recommended pause on use of Johnson & Johnson’s coronavirus vaccine with a condition that it will now include a safety label warning that its vaccine comes with blood clot risks.