NASPA and APhA Support Rescission of HRSA Final Rule Removing Federal Liability Protections for Vaccination Shoulder Injuries and Syncope

In joint comments, APhA and NASPA expressed strong support for the Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) proposal to rescind a final rule that could lead to lawsuits against pharmacists and other immunizers. The final rule removed immunizers’ federal liability protection for shoulder injury related to vaccine administration (SIRVA) and vasovagal syncope. The liability protection is provided under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP).

VICP allows patients to receive compensation for identified vaccine injuries and precludes state lawsuits against their immunizers, including pharmacists. The final rule removed those protections for SIRVA and syncope, meaning patients suffering those injuries could sue their immunizers.

The APhA and NASPA comments warned the final rule would inhibit vaccine R&D and discourage health care providers, including pharmacists, from administering vaccines. The removal of VICP protections could also jeopardize public willingness to get vaccinated, the comments said.