Retired physician Danice Hertz spoke on behalf of herself and a group of 160 others to The Defender about the severity of their reactions to the Pfizer vaccine and the trouble they are having being acknowledged by United States health agencies.
The story: After experiencing symptoms of a neurological disorder following her first dose of the Pfizer vaccine, Hertz attempted to contact Pfizer and numerous U.S. health agencies to ensure that cases like hers are reported to the medical community, so that patients with adverse reactions can obtain the health care they need.
However, she says everyone she reached out to failed to properly educate the medical community, and she and many others continue to suffer from inadequate health care.
After experiencing the adverse symptoms, Hertz set up a Facebook group, and though she says she blocks people that are simply anti-vaccine, the group of people claiming genuine adverse reactions to the vaccine is up to 160.
Hertz’ comments: In the interview, Hertz explained how she fell ill following her first dose of the Pfizer vaccine.
“I waited the 15 minutes you’re required to wait after you get it, and I went to the car and my face started burning,” Hertz stated. “I drove home five minutes away, and by the time I walked through the door, I told my husband to call the paramedics.”
Hertz said she experienced a range of neurological symptoms, including tremors, weakness, headaches, imbalance, and burning and prickling sensations across her body.
“My entire face felt like it was burning — like acid had been poured on my face,” she detailed. “I had sensations throughout my body like it was vibrating. I felt like I had a tight band around my chest, chest pain and shortness of breath, and I went to bed for seven days.”
After reaching out to several health agencies, Hertz related that they were dismissive of claims of adverse reactions made by her and others.
“The NIH is aware of what is happening but publicly has been dismissive of vaccine adverse reactions,” Hertz said. “They knew about these adverse reactions before the vaccines were released from the clinical trials.”
Worth noting: While such reactions to COVID-19 vaccinations are rare, people such as Hertz and vaccine law expert Katharine Van Tassel believe the government at least owes it to them to be taken care of in such instances.
“[I]f you’re going to take one for the team, the team has to have your back,” said Van Tassal.
While Congress established the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program 35 years ago to take care of individuals with vaccine-related illnesses, the program does not extend to COVID-19.
The Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program, a smaller federal program that handles illnesses related to vaccines administered during a public health crisis, does cover illnesses related to COVID-19, but critics say the burden of proof to receive compensation for medical bills is murky and difficult to meet.
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