New Data Is Out on COVID Vaccine Injury Claims. What's to Make of It?
In August, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had pledged to post on its website on or before Sept. 30 a "public use" set of data from nearly 10 million people who signed up for its "v-safe" program to monitor side effects from the COVID-19 vaccines. However, the agency has missed the deadline and said the data could be up by early December at the latest. The "v-safe" program is a smartphone-based system in which people receive periodic surveys and text messages to monitor the potential side effects of the Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines. The CDC had been sued under the Freedom of Information Act, but failed to meet the pledge and has instead handed over the data without personal identifying information to the plaintiff and the Informed Consent Action Network (ICAN). Based on its analysis, ICAN said 7.7% of v-safe users sought medical attention following vaccination, and about 25% said they experienced symptoms severe enough that they missed school or work. However, the data does not explicitly indicate whether the vaccines led to the illnesses, and ICAN did not identify when after vaccination the people received care or what the care was for. Those who experienced severe symptoms have limited legal recourse, as the vaccine makers are indemnified by the government and all injury claims must be adjudicated through the Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program, which limits payouts to unreimbursed medical expenses and up to $50,000 a year in lost wages. As of Sept. 1, the program had received more than 7,000 claims, three of which were identified as eligible for compensation and 42 of which were rejected.
Read more on Reuters.