As predicted Covid-19 vaccines become reality, Illinois employers should be aware of Section Sec. 2 (d) of the Occupational Disease Act dealing with compensability for injuries resulting from adverse reaction to inoculations. The Act provides in relevant part:
Any injury to or disease or death of an employee arising from the administration of a vaccine…as part of a voluntary inoculation program in connection with the person's employment or in connection with any governmental program or recommendation for the inoculation of workers in the employee's occupation, geographical area, or other category that includes the employee is deemed to arise out of and in the course of the employment for all purposes under this Act.This paragraph added by Public Act 93-829 is declarative of existing law and is not a new enactment.
Employers will want to provide for and encourage the health of their employees. In so doing they should be aware that injury caused by inoculation of workers in connection with any governmental recommendation may be held to be compensable under the Occupational Disease Act. Although the application of this Section of the Act is untested in the Covid-19 environment, employers should be aware of its potential impact.