Joanna Oakley got her annual flu shot in 2015 and immediately knew something was wrong.

“It felt like it hit the bone right away. And over the next few days I noticed that it was getting increasingly sore and it got where I couldn’t move my arm, I couldn’t turn my steering wheel in my car . ” She said.

As a nurse, Oakley is trained to give injections.

“It wasn’t until it happened to me that I started researching. I found that it actually happened more often than I would ever imagine,” she said.

Nurse Joanna Oakley and her son.

Source: Joanna Oakley

Oakley says she had three surgeries and that her arm never returned to normal. She suffered a so-called shoulder injury related to vaccine administration, or SIRVA.

“As a mother and wife and as a nurse, I was more concerned about what this injury would do to me, as far as I know, could I get it repaired? Would I be normal again?” She said.

Oakley is not alone. SIRVA is the most common vaccination violation for which people seek government compensation.

Twenty-one people have filed claims for adverse reactions to Covid-19 shots in the Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program. This emerges from a response to the Department of Health and Human Services Freedom of Information Act to Professor Peter Meyers of the George Washington Law School.

To date, there have been seven reports of shoulder injuries from Covid-19 bullets as per the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, which is maintained by the Centers for Disease Control of Prevention and does not review the reports. However, none of the 21 Covid-19 vaccine claims submitted to the compensation program are related to shoulder injuries, according to FOIA records.

Joanna Oakley suffered a serious shoulder injury from a flu vaccine.

Source: Joanna Oakley

“I have represented many clients whose lives have been changed by an unfortunate side effect of vaccination. It happens. It is rare, but it does. And often they are on the verge of the end of their life,” said attorney Altom Maglio.

The Countermeasure Compensation Program provides “compensation for those injured or dying of a vaccination, drug, device, or other so-called countermeasure necessary to prevent, treat, or combat a pandemic, epidemic, or security threat,” it says on the program website.

On March 10, 2020, then Secretary of Health and Human Services, Alex Azar, made a statement under the Public Preparedness and Emergency Preparedness Act approving this program for Covid-related claims.

HHS has a far more generous program known as the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. Currently, injuries are treated by 16 commonly used vaccines such as the flu, whooping cough and polio, but the Covid vaccine is not because it is not yet approved for use in children.

The countermeasure compensation program rarely pays off and rejects more than 90% of submitted claims according to HHS and FOIA records. In this case, claims averaging $ 200,000, according to HHS – about 60% less than the average National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program payment. Since the program was launched in 2009, only 29 applications for the H1N1 and smallpox vaccines have been paid in August. One of these has been classified as shoulder pain by HHS.

Maglio calls the CICP a “black hole”.

“Really, it’s a compensation program in name only and not in reality,” he said.

The VICP offers victims the opportunity to sue in court with judges and lawyers and to have the right to appeal. Among the other, he said, there is no right of appeal.

Unlike the VICP, the CICP does not cover legal fees or pain and suffering.

The VICP has paid approximately $ 4.5 billion in total compensation as of March 1 since filing claims in 1998. According to HHS, this dwarfs the approximately $ 6 million in paid services of the CICP over the life of the program.

In July last year, HHS proposed a new regulation aimed at reversing existing consumer protection for shoulder injuries caused by vaccination shots. These were caused by “negligence of the vaccine administrator” rather than the vaccines themselves. That would have forced people with shoulder injuries to sue whoever gave the vaccine, Maglio said.

It was supposed to go into effect in February, but the new administration under President Joe Biden has halted all of the rules proposed in the final days of the Trump administration.

The Biden government last week announced plans to withdraw the final settlement.

“HHS is also proposing to repeal the final rule amid fears it could negatively impact vaccine administrators, which goes against the federal government’s efforts to increase vaccinations in the US to address coronavirus disease 2019 to respond to (COVID-19) pandemic, “HHS wrote in its notice to withdraw the proposed rules.

A spokesman for Health Resources and Service Administration, the agency within HHS that oversees vaccination injury compensation programs, declined to be interviewed. Instead, the CNBC agency referred to its public notices.

“I believe instead of weakening this program and removing injuries from it, it needs to be strengthened,” said Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Texas. “It hasn’t really been revised since 1988 when it came into effect.”

Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) speaks on lower drug prices, particularly those related to coronavirus, during a press conference on Capitol Hill March 5, 2020 in Washington, DC.

Samuel Corum | Getty Images

Doggett’s office estimates that 5,000 to 6,000 people across the country are likely to have an adverse reaction to the Covid vaccine, based on statistics from the H1N1 vaccine.

“It will build confidence to know that in the extremely unlikely event that there is a probability of 1 in a million that you will face adverse consequences that there is a fund to protect you so that you do not have to deal with huge medical bills and others Losses are charged. ” ” he said.

Oakley said she believed in vaccines but wanted a program in case things go wrong.

“I would only be concerned if someone took this program away, if someone had a problem, an adverse effect from a vaccine, they really would have no recourse,” she said.