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Tipsheet

OSHA Instructs Federal Agencies Not to Record Adverse Reactions to COVID Vaccine

(AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration [OSHA], which falls under the jurisdiction of the Department of Labor [DOL], is instructing federal agencies not to record adverse reactions or side effects from the Wuhan coronavirus vaccine. Earlier this year, President Joe Biden mandated the shot for all federal workers and contractors. He did the same in September for private companies with more than 100 employees. 

"Are adverse reactions to the COVID-19 vaccine recordable on the OSHA record keeping log?" the frequently asked questions section for COVID-19 states on OSHA.gov. "DOL and OSHA, as well as other federal agencies, are working diligently to encourage COVID-19 vaccinations. OSHA does not wish to have any appearance of discouraging workers from receiving COVID-19 vaccination, and also does not wish to disincentivize employers' vaccination efforts. As a result, OSHA will not enforce 29 CFR 1904's recording requirements to require any employers to record worker side effects from COVID-19 vaccination at least through May 2022. We will reevaluate the agency’s position at that time to determine the best course of action moving forward."

According to the Centers for Disease Control, Wuhan coronavirus vaccines have a number of side effects, including heart inflammation in young people. 

“As we go into younger and younger age groups, they’re less and less at personal risk of severe Covid, and on the other hand, somewhat more at risk of this inflammatory heart condition with the mRNA vaccine,” Dr. Ofer Levy, who sits on the FDA vaccine approval board, told CNBC last week.

On October 1st, the Labor Department released an official bulletin warning about the potential for vaccine injuries and confirmed they are covered by workers' compensation. 

"The Federal Employees' Compensation Act (FECA) covers injuries that occur in the performance of duty. The FECA does not generally authorize provision of preventive measures such as vaccines and inoculations, and in general, preventive treatment is a responsibility of the employing agency under the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 7901. However, care can be authorized by OWCP for complications of preventive measures which are provided or sponsored by the agency, such as adverse reaction to prophylactic immunization," the bulletin states. "Further, deleterious effects of medical services furnished by the employing establishment are generally considered to fall within the performance of duty. These services include preventive programs relating to health." 

"However, this executive order now makes COVID-19 vaccination a requirement of most Federal employment. As such, employees impacted by this mandate who receive required COVID-19 vaccinations on or after the date of the executive order may be afforded coverage under the FECA for any adverse reactions to the vaccine itself, and for any injuries sustained while obtaining the vaccination," it continues. 

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