HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson announced Friday that the agency is issuing an interim final rule to implement the smallpox vaccine injury compensation program.
The $42 million program is intended to identify and provide medical and financial benefits to those hurt by the smallpox vaccine administered through the HHS-approved smallpox emergency response plan.
The rule, which will be published in the Dec. 16 Federal Register and is effective immediately, describes eligibility criteria, the process for requesting benefits and receiving payments, and other procedures. To be eligible for benefits, those requesting compensation must meet the filing deadlines outlined in the interim final rule, some of which fall as early as Jan. 24, 2004.
A table published in the Federal Register Aug. 27 identifies the medical injuries and adverse effects presumed to have been caused by the vaccine or by contact with someone who had the vaccine. It also provides timetables in which the first symptom must appear in order to be considered caused by the smallpox vaccine. With sufficient evidence, those with medical injuries not included in the table may also be eligible for benefits.
For more information about filing a claim, click here.