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COVID vaccine indemnity threshold reduced


Anastasia Tsirtsakis


24/11/2021 3:11:52 PM

The change will enable more people to access compensation for vaccine injury, according to the Federal Health Minister.

COVID vaccination side effect form.
By expanding access to the indemnity scheme, the Government hopes Australians will have more confidence in the vaccine rollout.

Australians who suffer a vaccine injury as a result of COVID-19 vaccination will now be able to claim compensation for any associated costs incurred, starting from $1000.
 
Under the no-fault COVID-19 Vaccine Claims Scheme, announced in August, anyone who experiences a rare, but serious, side effect after receiving a Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) approved COVID-19 vaccine through a Commonwealth Government approved program can claim up to $20,000 in compensation.
 
Previously, however, a claim could only be made if the costs of injuries exceeded $5000.
 
Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt, who announced the reduced threshold on Wednesday, said the amendment will let more people access compensation to cover their costs.
 
‘The COVID-19 Vaccine Claims Scheme is designed to ensure that people who have suffered a recognised adverse event as a direct result of a COVID vaccine have rapid access to compensation,’ he said in a statement.

‘Reducing the threshold for access to the scheme from $5000 to $1000 will ensure more people can claim for eligible costs, including lost earnings and care costs.’
 
It was reported last week that more than 10,000 Australians have already registered their interest to make a claim under the no-fault indemnity scheme since registrations opened on the Department of Health’s website on 6 September.
 
According to the TGA’s latest safety report, the regulator had received 80,919 adverse event reports from more than 37.7 million doses administered up to 14 November. That is a reporting rate of 2.1 per 1000 doses.
 
Just over 40,000 adverse event reports have been made for AstraZeneca, 38,405 for Pfizer and 1394 for Moderna.
 
The majority of adverse reactions being reported to the TGA are mild in nature and include injection-site reactions (such as a sore arm) and more general symptoms, like headache, nausea and fever.
 
The scheme is administered by Services Australia.
 
To be eligible, the claim must be related to a COVID-19 vaccine that is approved by the TGA – AstraZeneca, Pfizer or Moderna – and was administered under a Commonwealth Government program, with costs incurred exceeding $1000.
 
As part of the claim, the applicant must be able to provide applicable evidence of:

  • the nature of the injury and medical documentation of its likely relationship to a COVID-19 vaccination
  • medical costs
  • lost wages.
Prior to the reduced threshold, to be eligible, claimants also needed to show proof that they have been hospitalised for at least one night due to a vaccine-related injury. However, it has yet to be confirmed whether that remains the case under the amended scheme.
 
Minister Hunt said the Government had been considering the policy change for a number of weeks, and that he hopes it will provide Australians who are yet to decide to get vaccinated ‘greater levels of comfort’ to do so.
 
‘Most importantly, this provides additional support and confidence for Australians as part of the vaccine rollout,’ he said.
 
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adverse events AstraZeneca COVID-19 indemnity insurance Moderna Pfizer vaccine rollout


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