House Oversight Panel to Assess Efficacy of Vaccine Injury Reporting, Compensation Systems

Public health officials will address how existing systems have failed to meet the needs of those injured by COVID-19 vaccines.

The continued fallout from the COVID-19 vaccines’ introduction has raised questions about the effectiveness of the United States’ existing vaccine injury reporting and compensation systems.

On Feb. 15, a panel of the House Oversight and Accountability Committee will hold a hearing to examine those systems and how they might be improved for future victims. Witnesses will include officials at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

“Vaccine safety systems were designed to protect public health. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic—and resulting vaccine mandates—appear to have exceeded the capabilities of these systems,” Subcommittee Chairman Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio) said in announcing the hearing on Feb. 9.

“All the while, the Biden administration coerced healthy Americans into compliance with unscientific vaccine mandates, seemingly without having a sufficient system in place to protect and compensate individuals who were potentially harmed. This hearing is an important step to increase vaccine transparency and to ensure that victims of future vaccine injuries are properly compensated,” he said.

Caught Unawares

Since 1990, the nation’s early warning system for reporting vaccine injuries has been the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). The system is co-managed by the FDA and CDC, but anyone can submit a report, regardless of medical expertise.

And report they have. As of Jan. 26, more than 1.6 million adverse event reports have been submitted to VAERS in connection with the COVID-19 vaccines, according to OpenVAERS, a private organization that compiles and publishes VAERS data online.

Documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request also show that the sheer volume of those reports—though downplayed by health agencies—surprised officials in the months following the first vaccines’ rollout in December 2020.

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“Two vaccines have been released since the last report. Since release the number of incoming COVID-19 reports has significantly exceeded the estimated maximum of 1,000 reports per day,” General Dynamics Information Technology (GDIT), a contractor hired to process VAERS reports, notified the CDC in a status report on Jan. 15, 2021. “As a result, GDIT is unable to meet processing and other timeframes (data processing, telephone inquiries, clinical [inquiries], etc.).”

A chart included in the report shows that the number of daily reports was substantially higher than predicted, even topping 4,500 on Jan. 10, 2021. The trend also continued for several months, resulting in a backlog of nearly 94,000 reports that took until the end of May to clear.

‘Don’t Want to Appear Alarmist’

At around the same time those reports began rolling in, the CDC was warned of a potential link between the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines and a “large number” of cases of myocarditis, a type of heart inflammation among healthy, young Israelis.

While the CDC initially planned to notify doctors and public health officials of that emerging link through its Health Alert Network (HAN), the alert was never sent.

The reason for the delay, according to an email recently obtained by The Epoch Times, was that officials did not want to incite a panic.

“The pros and cons of an official HAN are what the main discussion are right now,” wrote Dr. Sara Oliver in the May 25, 2021, missive. “I think it’s likely to be a HAN since that is CDC’s primary method of communications to clinicians and public health departments, but people don’t want to appear alarmist either.”

Other emails from that same week show that the FDA also played a role in canceling the alert in favor of issuing clinical considerations, which were published on the CDC website on May 28, 2021.

The considerations advised that “increased cases of myocarditis and pericarditis have been reported in the United States after mRNA COVID-19 vaccination (Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna),” but still recommended COVID-19 vaccination for everyone aged 12 and older.

UCI medical staff recieve a COVID-19 vaccination in Orange, Calif., on Dec. 16, 2020. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)
UCI medical staff recieve a COVID-19 vaccination in Orange, Calif., on Dec. 16, 2020. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

Compensation Complications

Cody Flint, an agricultural pilot in his 30s, was young and healthy when he received Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine.

That changed within an hour of getting the shot.

Mr. Flint soon began to experience intense head pressure—pressure that only worsened when he boarded a flight two days later.

“One second, I went from having burning in the back of my neck and tunnel vision to the very next second, I was slumped over in my airplane. The best way I know to describe it—it was like a bomb went off inside my head,” he said.

Four doctors diagnosed Mr. Flint as having a severe adverse reaction to the Pfizer vaccine. But for the U.S. Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program (CICP), which compensates those who can prove they have a COVID-19 vaccine injury, those diagnoses were not enough.

CICP administrators told Mr. Flint that “compelling, reliable and valid medical and scientific evidence does not support a causal association” between the Pfizer vaccine and the condition doctors diagnosed him with, perilymphatic fistula, which is a defect in the membranes separating the middle and inner ear.

They also wrote off his claim of having been injured by the vaccine as implausible “given the timeline of symptoms.”

“It’s just all comical to me,” Mr. Flint told The Epoch Times last April. “I get the shot, I’m injured within 48 hours, and they say that that makes it implausible.”

And Mr. Flint is not alone in his experience.

Of the 2,214 COVID-19 vaccine injury claims the CICP had reviewed as of Jan. 1, only 40 were deemed eligible for compensation—just 11 of which have been compensated.

Decisions on CICP claims are made by the HRSA, which is housed under the Department of Health and Human Services—a fact some researchers have pointed to as a potential conflict of interest.

At its hearing next week, the House Oversight Committee will likely seek input from Dr. George Reed Grimes, director of the HRSA Division of Injury Compensation Programs, on whether that’s the case.

Zachary Stieber and Lia Onely contributed to this report.

Original News Source Link – Epoch Times

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