HHS Walks Back Rules Removing SIRVA, Syncope from Vaccine Injury Table


Health and Human Services (HHS) says it will no longer move forward with removing SIRVA and syncope, or fainting, from the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program.  This is a complete turnaround from the previous administration’s plans to enact this change on February 22nd. 

The rule to strip these claims from the program would have severely limited the number of people who could get compensation. More than half of all claims filed in the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program involve SIRVA or syncope. It also would have triggered increased lawsuits against doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and other providers who vaccinate the public; all at the worst possible time during a pandemic. 

HHS added SIRVA and syncope (fainting) to the VICP in 2017 after a years-long process that included public comment, multiple workgroups, and reviews of medical research. In comparison, the steps to remove SIRVA and fainting happened with unusual speed; proposed in mid-2020, put into effect just 1 day before a change in the government’s administration, and set to take effect on February 22, 2021. 

The Biden administration immediately took steps to freeze the changes to the Vaccine Injury Table and force a review of those new rules. 

The next step in rescinding the rule is to open up the decision for public comment before making it official. Read the official notice to be published in the Federal Register on March 17, 2021: National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program: Revisions to the Vaccine Injury Table. Notice of proposed withdrawal; request for comments

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