Services Australia is setting up a compensation scheme for people who have an adverse reaction or die as a result of a covid-19 vaccination.
The government says the scheme will provide a simple and streamlined process to compensate people who have had a moderate to severe reaction to a TGA-approved vaccine delivered via a Commonwealth-approved program, without the need for complex legal proceedings.
The scheme is also designed to give health professionals involved in administering vaccines confidence they won’t be sued.
Health minister Greg Hunt says the COVID-19 Vaccine Claims Scheme offers a safety net for the very small number of people who experience an adverse reaction to the vaccine.
“Side effects, or adverse events, from COVID-19 vaccinations can occur, but most are mild and last no longer than a couple of days,” he said.
“Serious and life-threatening side effects are very rare, but it is important that we provide a safety net to support those affected.
“It also ensures that health professionals administering vaccines will be able to continue with their crucial role in the vaccine roll out with assurance that the claims scheme will offer them protection.”
Recognised side effects
The compensation scheme will cover recognised side effects including thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndromes associated with the AstraZeneca vaccine, and myocarditis and pericarditis associated with Pfizer vaccine.
It will cover the cost of injuries over $5,000.
For claims between $5,000 and $20,000 people will have to prove they had to be hospitalised and show evidence of medical costs and lost wages.
Independent experts will assess the claims and make recommendations about compensation.
Evidence required for claims of $20,000 and above, including death, are sill being developed, the government says.
“Claims relating to a death will not require evidence of hospitalisation,” the government says on the claims scheme website.
The scheme opened for registrations of intent to claim on Monday.
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