Protection for persons who administer vaccination in Australia
This scheme will protect vaccinators who administer jabs and when the recipient develops exceptionally rare but sometimes serious side effects of COVID-19 vaccines.
From September 6, Services Australia will take claims for the no-fault scheme. However, anyone with side effects from either the Pfizer or the AstraZeneca jabs since February are eligible to apply, providing a faster and cheaper alternative than going to court. Other vaccines expected to be used in Australia, such as Moderna and Novavax, will also be covered by the scheme.
The long-promised scheme would apply to those who got their jabs anywhere, including at work, giving confidence to employers eager to start voluntary workplace vaccination programmes, said federal health minister Greg Hunt.
The scheme would give employers more assurance when they consider making inoculations mandatory. Companies which have announced plans to make vaccination mandatory include food manufacturer SPC, Qantas and taxi company 13Cabs. Medically fit teachers and health workers in NSW are also required to get their compulsory jabs.
“Serious and life-threatening side effects are very rare, but it is important that we provide a safety net to support those affected,” said minister Hunt.
The scheme will only cover verified claims valued above A$5,000 (US$3,655) by a team of independent experts and will pay out compensation based on their recommendations.
The Insurance Council of Australia, the Australian Medical Association (AMA) and the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry have welcomed the scheme, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.