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Shoulder Injuries in the Vaccine Compensation ProgramOn April 22, 2021, Health and Human Services (HHS) published the final rule on the Federal Register withdrawing the proposed rule change previously published on January 21, 2021 which would have changed how cases involving shoulder injuries and vasovagal syncope were handled in the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP).

In explaining this action, HHS noted that members of the public had expressed concern that the agency’s process while pursuing the proposed rule removing shoulder injuries and vasovagal syndrome from the Vaccine Injury Table was irregular in its haste. HHS also observed that from a public health policy perspective, removing these injuries from the Vaccine Injury Table may dissuade individuals from undergoing vaccinations, which would be counter to the public’s interest in promoting vaccination. You can find HHS’s full rationale for withdrawing the rule here.

For individuals with shoulder injuries or vasovagal syncope stemming from a vaccine covered under the VICP, the move by HHS to withdraw the proposed Table amendment is good news and means that these vaccine injury cases can continue to be pursued as before.

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shoulder injury following vaccinationOn February 23, 2021, Health and Human Services (HHS) published a rule on the Federal Register that effectively gives individuals that have experienced a shoulder injury or vasovagal syncope following vaccination, an additional two months, until April 23, 2021, to file a vaccine injury claim through the federal Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP).

Originally, the rule which would change the way these injuries are handled within the VICP, making it more difficult for many vaccine injured individuals to pursue their claims, was due to take effect on February 22, 2021. The two month pause in the rule’s effective date was announced by HHS due to a request by the Biden administration for time to review all administrative actions that occurred during the sunset of the previous administration.

We have previously covered the rule changes, and the likely outcomes for vaccine injured individuals, in prior blog posts which you can find here and here.

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