Federal Vaccine Program Hasn't Helped Those Whose Lives Were Altered by Covid Shot

6 min read
fairly difficult
People experiencing adverse reactions from the COVID-19 vaccine are falling through the cracks of programs meant to help those who suffer side effects from vaccination.
Angela Marie Wulbrecht, pictured with daughter Gabriella, suffered a severe reaction after her covid vaccination that has left her unable to work. She hopes the federal government will create a compensation program that pays for damages, medical bills and lost wages to people who can demonstrate they suffered a rare serious covid vaccine injury. (Vera Frances Photography)

Federal Vaccine Program Hasn't Helped Those Whose Lives Were Altered by Covid Shot

Angela Marie Wulbrecht jumped at the first chance to get a COVID-19 vaccine, driving three hours from her Santa Rosa, California, home to a mass-vaccination site on Jan. 19. Twelve minutes after her Moderna shot, she stumbled into the paramedic tent with soaring blood pressure and a racing heartbeat. And so began a calvary of severe fatigue, brain fog, imbalance and other symptoms that are still with her eight months later.

Wulbrecht, 46, had been a nurse for 23 years before the shot. She was healthy, ate a vegan diet, and was an accomplished salsa dancer. Since January she's had to leave her job and missed out on many activities with her husband and 12-year-old daughter, Gabriella. She has spent about $35,000 on out-of-pocket medical bills, despite having insurance.

"I wanted to get vaccinated as soon as I could to help fight the pandemic," said Wulbrecht, who still supports the vaccination campaign. Her husband got his shots despite her reaction, and Gabriella was scheduled to get her first dose Wednesday. "But it would help those who are hesitant if they took care of those of us who got injured."

The options are slim for people who suffer rare life-altering injuries after a COVID shot—a problem whose significance has grown as states and the federal government increasingly ponder vaccination mandates.

A federal program compensates people experiencing vaccine injuries, but not injuries from COVID vaccines—not yet, anyway.

Such injuries are rare, but "if you're going to take one for the team, the team has to…
Arthur Allen
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