We have received questions from clients regarding the possibility of subrogation claims against the manufacturers of COVID-19 vaccines. The short answer is no. The reasons are interesting. The end result of injuries or claims by employees required to be vaccinated will likely fall on the workers’ compensation system.
Under the PREP Act, companies like Pfizer and Moderna have total immunity from liability if something unintentionally goes wrong with their vaccines. These two companies remain the only approved providers of the vaccine to date.
Should an individual suffer a serious side effect from the vaccine or administration of the vaccine, their recourse rests with the Countermeasure Injury Compensation Program (CICP). This federal program was created in 2005 specifically for vaccines approved as an emergency response. Issues with the Covid vaccines are therefore covered under this program and not the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program.
The CICP is the payer of last resort.
Under the CICP program, an individual can only be reimbursed or paid for medical services or items or lost employment income that are not covered by other third party payers, such as Workers’ Compensation. For more information, please refer to the Health Resources and Service Administration website.
Note: This analysis centers around the vaccination question only and should not be construed an opinion involving facts involving the transmission of the disease.
About Jeff Adelson
Jeff Adelson, General Counsel and Co-Managing Partner at Adelson McLean, has practiced in the field of Workers’ Compensation for almost 40 years. In addition, Mr. Adelson’s legal career includes experience in the areas of civil, family, and criminal law. He enjoys the field of employment and Worker’s Compensation. A strong believer in human rights, he abhors any type of intolerance.
Click here to read more about Jeff.