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42 U.S. Code § 247d–6e - Covered countermeasure process

(a) Establishment of Fund

Upon the issuance by the Secretary of a declaration under section 247d–6d(b) of this title, there is hereby established in the Treasury an emergency fund designated as the “Covered Countermeasure Process Fund” for purposes of providing timely, uniform, and adequate compensation to eligible individuals for covered injuries directly caused by the administration or use of a covered countermeasure pursuant to such declaration, which Fund shall consist of such amounts designated as emergency appropriations under section 402 of H. Con. Res. 95 of the 109th Congress, this emergency designation shall remain in effect through October 1, 2006.

(b) Payment of compensation
(1) In general

If the Secretary issues a declaration under 247d–6d(b) of this title, the Secretary shall, after amounts have by law been provided for the Fund under subsection (a), provide compensation to an eligible individual for a covered injury directly caused by the administration or use of a covered countermeasure pursuant to such declaration.

(2) Elements of compensation

The compensation that shall be provided pursuant to paragraph (1) shall have the same elements, and be in the same amount, as is prescribed by sections 239c, 239d, and 239e of this title in the case of certain individuals injured as a result of administration of certain countermeasures against smallpox, except that section 239e(a)(2)(B) of this title shall not apply.

(3) Rule of construction

Neither reasonable and necessary medical benefits nor lifetime total benefits for lost employment income due to permanent and total disability shall be limited by section 239e of this title.

(4) Determination of eligibility and compensation

Except as provided in this section, the procedures for determining, and for reviewing a determination of, whether an individual is an eligible individual, whether such individual has sustained a covered injury, whether compensation may be available under this section, and the amount of such compensation shall be those stated in section 239a of this title (other than in subsection (d)(2) of such section), in regulations issued pursuant to that section, and in such additional or alternate regulations as the Secretary may promulgate for purposes of this section. In making determinations under this section, other than those described in paragraph (5)(A) as to the direct causation of a covered injury, the Secretary may only make such determination based on compelling, reliable, valid, medical and scientific evidence.

(5) Covered countermeasure injury table
(A) In general

The Secretary shall by regulation establish a table identifying covered injuries that shall be presumed to be directly caused by the administration or use of a covered countermeasure and the time period in which the first symptom or manifestation of onset of each such adverse effect must manifest in order for such presumption to apply. The Secretary may only identify such covered injuries, for purpose of inclusion on the table, where the Secretary determines, based on compelling, reliable, valid, medical and scientific evidence that administration or use of the covered countermeasure directly caused such covered injury.

(B) Amendments

The provisions of section 239b of this title (other than a provision of subsection (a)(2) of such section that relates to accidental vaccinia inoculation) shall apply to the table established under this section.

(C) Judicial review

No court of the United States, or of any State, shall have subject matter jurisdiction to review, whether by mandamus or otherwise, any action by the Secretary under this paragraph.

(6) Meanings of termsIn applying sections 239a, 239b, 239c, 239d, and 239e of this title for purposes of this section—
the terms “vaccine” and “smallpox vaccine” shall be deemed to mean a covered countermeasure;
the terms “smallpox vaccine injury table” and “table established under section 239b of this title” shall be deemed to refer to the table established under paragraph (4); and
other terms used in those sections shall have the meanings given to such terms by this section.
(c) Voluntary program

The Secretary shall ensure that a State, local, or Department of Health and Human Services plan to administer or use a covered countermeasure is consistent with any declaration under 247d–6d of this title and any applicable guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and that potential participants are educated with respect to contraindications, the voluntary nature of the program, and the availability of potential benefits and compensation under this part.

(d) Exhaustion; exclusivity; election
(1) Exhaustion

Subject to paragraph (5), a covered individual may not bring a civil action under section 247d–6d(d) of this title against a covered person (as such term is defined in section 247d–6d(i)(2) of this title) unless such individual has exhausted such remedies as are available under subsection (a), except that if amounts have not by law been provided for the Fund under subsection (a), or if the Secretary fails to make a final determination on a request for benefits or compensation filed in accordance with the requirements of this section within 240 days after such request was filed, the individual may seek any remedy that may be available under section 247d–6d(d) of this title.

(2) Tolling of statute of limitations

The time limit for filing a civil action under section 247d–6d(d) of this title for an injury or death shall be tolled during the pendency of a claim for compensation under subsection (a).

(3) Rule of construction

This section shall not be construed as superseding or otherwise affecting the application of a requirement, under chapter 171 of title 28, to exhaust administrative remedies.

(4) Exclusivity

The remedy provided by subsection (a) shall be exclusive of any other civil action or proceeding for any claim or suit this section encompasses, except for a proceeding under section 247d–6d of this title.

(5) Election

If under subsection (a) the Secretary determines that a covered individual qualifies for compensation, the individual has an election to accept the compensation or to bring an action under section 247d–6d(d) of this title. If such individual elects to accept the compensation, the individual may not bring such an action.

(e) DefinitionsFor purposes of this section, the following terms shall have the following meanings:
(1) Covered countermeasure

The term “covered countermeasure” has the meaning given such term in section 247d–6d of this title.

(2) Covered individualThe term “covered individual”, with respect to administration or use of a covered countermeasure pursuant to a declaration, means an individual—
who is in a population specified in such declaration, and with respect to whom the administration or use of the covered countermeasure satisfies the other specifications of such declaration; or
who uses the covered countermeasure, or to whom the covered countermeasure is administered, in a good faith belief that the individual is in the category described by subparagraph (A).
(3) Covered injury

The term “covered injury” means serious physical injury or death.

(4) Declaration
(5) Eligible individual

The term “eligible individual” means an individual who is determined, in accordance with subsection (b), to be a covered individual who sustains a covered injury.

(July 1, 1944, ch. 373, title III, § 319F–4, as added Pub. L. 109–148, div. C, § 3, Dec. 30, 2005, 119 Stat. 2829.)
Editorial Notes
References in Text

H. Con. Res. 95 of the 109th Congress, referred to in subsec. (a), is H. Con. Res. 95, Apr. 28, 2005, 119 Stat. 3633, which is not classified to the Code.