ACC lists covid vaccine adverse reaction claims

The Accident Compensation Corporation has released details of covid vaccine injury claims lodged between 19 February 2021 and 7 August 2021.

Of the 201 Treatment Injury claims received by ACC up to 7 August 2021, 89 had been accepted, 65 had been declined and 47 were still pending a decision.

Primary Injury for Accepted Covid Vaccination Treatment Injuries Received by 7 August 2021

Primary InjuryNumber of Accepted Claims
Allergic Reaction39
Adverse Drug Reaction13
Anaphylactic Reaction12
Wound Infection5
Other Infections including Cellulitis5
Contusion4
Other Injuries11

In an email to a friend of The Buzz, the ACC says ‘other injuries’ includes injuries where fewer than four injuries were recorded in total, for example nerve damage and cardiac injuries.

It also says 54 of the 65 declined claims were declined because there was no physical injury. This included 13 claims for allergic reactions and seven claims for adverse drug reactions.  Seven claims for acute pain were also declined.

Notes on this data (from ACC)

  • The number of claims lodged with ACC cannot be taken as an accurate indication of injuries during treatment or the quality of care. This is because, among other reasons, not all treatment injuries are lodged with ACC.
  • We do not provide exact figures where there are fewer than four claims for a particular injury, time frame, or region etc. This is to avoid inadvertently identifying a client, and thereby breaching their privacy. In such instances we indicate the claim figure as <4.

Vaccination related claims

  • For this response, a combination of a structured data extraction (for specific treatment events) and a free text search was used.  Free text search methods are not reliable data extraction methods and can result in anomalies in the data.  In this case all vaccination treatment injury claims where the free text has indicated ‘covid’ and ‘vacc….’ have been manually reviewed and some false positive matches removed.  The previously reported 201 claims up to 7 August 2021 were selected this way.
  • At the time the 201 claims were first reported, not all the claims reported had been assessed for cover so the primary injury was not confirmed.  To provide better coverage, all 201 claims have been matched to the database as of 20 September 2021 and injuries that have been confirmed are included in the analysis below.

Notes on treatment injuries 

ACC has provided cover for treatment injuries since 1 July 2005.

A treatment injury is a personal injury caused as a result of seeking or receiving medical treatment from a registered health professional.  In order to fulfil the criteria for cover, the person must have suffered a personal injury and there must be a clear causal link between the treatment and the injury, and the injury must not be a necessary part or ordinary consequence of the treatment.

The ACC website contains further information on treatment injury https://www.acc.co.nz/for-providers/treatment-safety/ and a dedicated covid-19 page is here.

ACC also says: “Section 32(1)(ii) of the AC Act states that a treatment injury means a personal injury suffered by a person receiving treatment from, or at the direction of, one or more registered health professionals. 

“Specifically, in relation to the covid-19 vaccination, I refer to the Medicines Amendment Regulations 2021 (the Regulations), which came into force on 28 May 2021.

“The Regulations cover the authorisation of vaccinators for COVID-19. Section 44AB states: A person authorised as a covid-19 vaccinator must, at all times while performing the tasks authorised under these regulations, work under the clinical supervision and direction of a suitably qualified health practitioner.

“Given the above, ACC can consider vaccine-related treatment injury claims for cover in cases where the vaccine is administered by an authorised vaccinator at the direction of one or more registered health professionals.”

There are three core requirements which need to be met for a treatment injury claim to be accepted:

  • An injury has occurred that has resulted in physical harm or damage
  • The injury has been caused by treatment provided by a registered health professional
  • The injury is not a necessary part, or an ordinary consequence, of treatment.

“Where a treatment claim is accepted, ACC will pay or contribute to the cost of treatment, rehabilitation and compensation,” says ACC.