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For the last several years now, vaccines have been available for protecting against COVID-19 and all of its variants. The vaccines have been effective in lessening some of the more severe reactions to COVID. For most people, the side effects include a few days of feeling under the weather, or just a sore arm. For others, it changes your life.

If you find yourself in a situation where your doctor says, "Yes, this new condition is probably from the vaccine, now let's see how we can treat it..." you might find yourself faced with medical bills that your medical insurance won't cover. The burden is now not only on your health but your bank account.

David Bowman,Public Affairs Specialist of theOffice of CommunicationsHealth Resources and Services Administration explained that there is a "Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program (CICP)." This program was created so that in the unlikely event an individual experiences a serious injury from a covered countermeasure they can be considered for benefits. COVID-19 vaccinesarecovered countermeasures under the CICP. To find general information about the program be sure to look at the material located on the CICP website at:https://www.hrsa.gov/cicp.

For more information on the types of eligible requestors, click here:https://www.hrsa.gov/cicp/eligible-requesters.

Information on filing for benefits, including a summary of the CICP claims process and filing deadlines, is available on the CICP website here:https://www.hrsa.gov/cicp/filing-benefits.

Please note that the CICP is the payer of last resort. This means that it only covers expenses or provides benefits that other third-party payers, such as health insurance, the Department of Veterans Affairs, or Workers' Compensation programs, don't have an obligation to pay.

If you haveany severe side effects because of the vaccine,it is recommended to call your Primary Care Provider, or contact your Local Public Health department for assistance.

Possible Side Effects After Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine | CDC

If you need to reach the Benton County Public Health office call 319-472-6460.

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