CANBERRA, ACT – The Albanese Government’s 2023-2024 budget once again demonstrates the lack of concern or support that the Australian Government has for voters who are continuing to suffer significant disabilities due to their Covid vaccinations.
This year’s budget was an opportunity for the Government to finally recognise and provide support for all vaccine-injured Australians by expanding the “COVID-19 vaccine claims scheme” and relaxing the criteria to encompass all injures being experienced due to the Covid vaccines (rather than an extremely narrow set of conditions approved by the TGA).
Instead, however, the Albanese Government has lowered the scheme’s funding to $28m, down from $77m in the previous budget, out of anticipation that it will be denying or delaying the majority of claims being made.
We note that of the more than 3,500 applicants to date, less than 150 have received payments, and over 1,000 have been rejected, and the majority are yet to receive a determination. Furthermore, the true number of impacted Australians is far greater than these 3,500 applications, as most of the injured are ineligible to even apply to the scheme due to the narrow eligibility criteria. Should a person with severe disability caused by the vaccines be denied compensation for the perverse administrative reason that they don’t have a medical diagnosis that appears on a list? These are Australians who took the vaccine as requested by their Government in order to protect vulnerable members of their community.
In light of the appalling indifference with which the Government views these Australians, is it any wonder that a class action has been launched against the Government and its senior officials?
If the Government is interested in ensuring public confidence in the national vaccination program, then the very first thing it must do is demonstrate that those who have been negatively impacted by the Covid vaccines are very well looked after.
COVERSE stands ready to work with any and all in Government (as well as the opposition and cross-bench) to educate them on the needs and expectations of the vaccine-injured community.