Aussie government opens covid vax injury claim system

By Dana Daniel

Taxpayers in Australia are facing a hefty bill for rare but significant coronavirus vaccine injuries, with at least 10,000 people planning to claim under the federal government’s no-fault indemnity scheme.

Services Australia is building an online portal for uncapped claims above $5,000 from those who suffered injury and loss of income due to their COVID-19 vaccine, with compensation for medical costs and lost wages to be paid by the government.

Shine Lawyers head of medical negligence Clare Eves said the amount of the claims “could be really significant” for people who experienced rare but serious adverse vaccine reactions, such as stroke and inflammation of the heart.

“Adverse events, even though they happen to a tiny proportion of people, for the people it does impact it’s really quite devastating,” Ms Eves said.

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More than 10,000 people have registered their interest to make a claim since registration opened on the federal health department’s website in September, official data shows, meaning it would cost at least $50 million if each claim is approved.