Wed, 09/09/2020 | News

Why Australia needs a vaccine injury compensation scheme

Vaccines are safe but very rarely can cause serious adverse events. A person receiving a vaccine does so not only for their own benefit but also for the benefit of the community. A vaccine injury compensation scheme (VICS) compensates individuals who have a vaccine injury following administration of properly manufactured vaccines. 

In an article published in the Australian Journal of General Practice, authors from the University of Sydney and NCIRS strongly advocate for Australia to introduce a VICS. Australia, in stark contrast to 25 other countries including the USA, the UK and New Zealand, does not have a no-fault VICS. Australia’s National Disability Insurance Scheme also does not compensate individuals for temporary vaccine-related injuries.

The upcoming COVID-19 vaccines make the introduction of a VICS even more important, particularly if we are going to encourage healthy young adults, who will derive the least individual benefit, to be vaccinated. 

“A no-fault injury compensation scheme for all vaccines is long overdue in Australia, and if we want to encourage target groups to receive COVID-19 vaccine so the wider community can benefit, we should have a VICS,” said Associate Professor Nick Wood, who is a co-author of the article. “Having a VICS will be like having an insurance policy, and it will increase confidence in our otherwise world-leading immunisation program,” he added.

Read the full article here