The scheme will provide Australians with quick access to compensation for COVID-19 claims related to the administration of a Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) approved COVID-19 vaccine delivered through a Commonwealth government-approved program.
Minister for Health and Aged Care Greg Hunt said the COVID-19 Vaccine Claims Scheme offers protection to Australians receiving a TGA-approved COVID-19 vaccine, irrespective of where that vaccination occurs.
“Side effects, or adverse events, from COVID-19 vaccinations can occur, but most are mild and last no longer than a couple of days. Serious and life-threatening side effects are very rare, but it is important that we provide a safety net to support those affected,” Minister Hunt said.
“It also ensures that health professionals administering vaccines will be able to continue with their crucial role in the vaccine rollout with assurance that the claims scheme will offer them protection.”
The scheme will be administered by Services Australia and will provide Australians with a single front door to a simple and quick administrative process for compensation. The TGA will provide guidance on recognised adverse reactions as part of their established surveillance program.
From 6 September, Australians who suffer injury and loss of income due to their COVID-19 vaccine will be able to register their intent to claim from the COVID-19 vaccine claims scheme webpage.
The scheme will cover the costs of injuries above $5,000 due to a proven adverse reaction to a COVID-19 vaccination. Claims will be assessed by independent experts, and compensation paid based on the recommendations.
The cost of compensation payments under this scheme will be fully funded by the Commonwealth and is designed to help the small number of people who unfortunately experience a moderate to significant adverse reaction to a COVID-19 vaccine.
The COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout Scheme will be backdated to February 2021 and provide Australians with an alternative, administrative option to seek compensation, rather than a complex and costly court process.
Australians who receive a COVID-19 vaccination and have an adverse event are encouraged to report it to their doctor, who can provide the information to the TGA to ensure such events are included in its reporting.