Covid-19 Vaccine Injuries — Preventing Inequities in Compensation
From the New England Journal of Medicine:
Ordinarily, it takes scientists about 10 years to develop a vaccine. By contrast, the pharmaceutical industry has worked toward emergency approval of Covid-19 vaccines in a matter of months. With 44,000 participants enrolled in clinical trials for the Pfizer–BioNTech vaccine and 30,000 in clinical trials for Moderna’s vaccine, common side effects that occur fairly soon after vaccination are likely to be identified. But this abbreviated development timeline provides little opportunity to identify potential adverse events such as joint pain, anaphylaxis, or neurologic conditions such as encephalitis, transverse myelitis, or Guillain–Barré syndrome that might occur in the longer term or that are rare enough that they probably won’t be discovered until the vaccine is distributed to a substantial portion of the public. Vaccine-related adverse events would especially burden low-income people, who have limited financial resources to obtain medical care, weather any resulting job loss, and pursue compensation and who are disproportionately non-White.
Published:11 March 2021