By Tammy Hung
The Idaho state house passed a bill on Nov. 16 to compensate workers who fall ill from receiving the vaccine under employer-enforced mandates.
The bill stated that employees who experience vaccine-induced injuries or accidents should be compensated if receiving the COVID-19 vaccine as a “condition of hiring or continued employment.”
In the event where an employee suffers an “accident or injury” that “may be related” to the vaccine, provided that they received the vaccine under employer-enforced mandates, the bill will require employees to be compensated. The bill tips the scales in favor of employees in cases of vaccine-induced illnesses where employers may struggle to disprove that the illness is not the result of vaccinations.
House Bill 417 (pdf) passed the House on a 67–3 vote and will be sent to the Senate on Nov. 23.
Those in favor of the bill said that workers are getting sick post-vaccination and some are having issues receiving compensation.
“If the employer is telling you, you have to do this in order to work here, if they’re doing that, then, by golly, I think our system ought to provide a fair compensation method,” said Democrat state Rep. John Gannon.
The Idaho Freedom Foundation, an independent think-tank, has also said in its analysis of the bill that “any government, institution, or company that mandates vaccination or any other medical procedure should be directly and fully liable for any harm or injury caused by the mandated vaccine or medical procedure.”
The foundation also noted that the bill is “not the most equitable way to hold employers responsible” as “companies that do not mandate vaccines may be in the same rating category as those that do, and they may see their worker’s compensation premium costs increase as a result.”
As of Oct. 1 this year, 1,357 claims of alleged injuries or deaths from COVID-19 have been reported to the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), an agency under the Department of Health responsible for helping those with limited access to healthcare.
However, the HRSA has yet to compensate any individuals through its Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program (CICP) as of Oct. 1.
According to its website, three claims had been denied compensation as the “standard of proof for causation was not met and/or a covered injury was not sustained.”
One COVID-19 claim, however, has been approved for compensation and a review of eligible expenses is underway.
While the vaccine commonly results in tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, fever, and nausea; serious adverse effects may include anaphylaxis, thrombosis, the Guillain-Barré Syndrome, myocarditis, and pericarditis according to the CDC.
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