President Bush signed into law legislation providing compensation for individuals hurt by smallpox vaccinations under the federal program. Individuals permanently disabled by the vaccine will receive up to $50,000 per year, with no cap on lifetime compensation. Those with less serious injuries will qualify for up to $50,000 per year, with a $262,100 lifetime cap. Spouses of people who die because of the vaccine will receive a lump sum of $262,100, while their children can receive a lump sum of $262,100 or $50,000 per year until age 18. Initial funding for the program is $42 million. The Bush administration initially had hoped to vaccinate 450,000 public health and healthcare workers during the first phase of the program, but so far, only about 33,000 have volunteered to be inoculated. -- by Tony Fong
Smallpox compensation program signed into law
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