Advocacy Summary: APhA and NASPA Urge HRSA Not to Change the Vaccine Injury Table, Especially During the COVID-19 Pandemic

On January 12, 2021, in response to a proposed rule from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), APhA and the National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations (NASPA) submitted comments strongly opposing HRSA’s proposal to remove shoulder injury related to vaccine administration (SIRVA) and vasovagal syncope (fainting) from the Vaccine Injury Table.  

We noted that HRSA’s abrupt about-face in policy is not supported by the science. Furthermore, the proposal would discourage COVID-19 and other vaccine R&D, monitoring and reporting of vaccine adverse events, and the willingness of pharmacists and other health care providers to administer vaccines without National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) liability protections.

Pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and student pharmacists are important members of the immunization neighborhood who play a critical role in the nationwide COVID-19 vaccination effort. 

“During a pandemic is especially not the right time to make changes to the Vaccine Injury Table, when we are working as a nation to optimize the development, manufacturing, monitoring, and administration of vital vaccines,” jointly wrote Ilisa BG Bernstein, PharmD, JD, FAPhA, APhA senior vice president of pharmacy practice and government affairs, and Rebecca Snead, RPh, CAE, FAPhA, NASPA executive vice president and CEO.