The Australian Government’s COVID-19 vaccine claims scheme is designed to provide security to those who are impacted by a serious reaction to their COVID-19 vaccinations, and encourage confidence in the vaccination program by demonstrating public support for those who are injured.
However, the scheme has come under increasing criticism for being overly complex and narrow in scope, effectively making it useless to the vast majority of vaccine-injured Australians, with fewer than 2% of submitted claims having been accepted.
This situation, however, is not unique to Australia, with similar issues plaguing schemes operating in Canada, the UK and the USA.
In an exposé of the situation in the USA, National Geographic explores regulatory, medical and ethical issues surrounding vaccine injury compensation, with similar issues being faced in other countries.
We note, however, that Thailand stands in contrast to many nations, having developed a COVID-19 vaccine compensation scheme that ensures lightweight application requirements, prompt payment, and broad inclusion of all injuries connected with the vaccines. By January 2022 they had already paid out over 10,000 claims.