Shoulder injuries are by far the most common injury suffered by people receiving vaccinations and are by far the most common type of claim filed in the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (“VICP”). As detailed in prior entries, the Department of Health and Human Services recently tried to roll back protections for people suffering shoulder injuries by issuing a Rule that removed these claims from the Vaccine Injury Table. Thankfully, the Rule never went into effect and has since been withdrawn, resulting in these claims remaining on the Vaccine Injury Table.

Unfortunately, these same protections are not currently afforded to those that suffer a shoulder injury as a result of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. Currently, any adverse reactions resulting from a COVID-19 vaccine are not eligible to be filed in the VICP, but instead must be filed in an administrative program called the Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program, (“CICP”).

The CICP, which handles injuries related to federally declared public emergencies, does not publish its claims and adjudications through the U.S. Court of Federal Claims like the VICP does. However, as of the last reports we saw, the CICP has only paid 29 claims since its inception, meaning roughly 92% of the claims filed have been rejected.  The CICP also does not pay attorneys’ fees and does not allow a claimant to recover for pain and suffering (the CICP only reimburses for past medical expenses or lost wages). Both of these factors result in lesser protections than those afforded in the VICP and result in a further deterrent effect upon potential claimants.

It is our hope that COVID-19 vaccines eventually become eligible for the VICP but would first need to become recommended for routine use in children. That was a requirement set forth by Congress when it created the VICP decades ago. Congress would also need to place a 75-cent excise tax on COVID-19 vaccines, as these excise taxes fund the VICP.

Although our firm is not currently filing cases in the CICP for those that suffered injuries as a result of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine, we do have extensive experience filing shoulder injury claims in the VICP.  If you, or anyone you know, suffered a shoulder injury as a result of receiving a flu shot or other covered vaccine, please contact our firm as you may be entitled to compensation.