There are currently three COVID-19 vaccines in use in Australia – Vaxzevria (AstraZeneca), Comirnaty (Pfizer), and Spikevax (Moderna). Like all medicines, vaccines can have side effects (also known as adverse events).
The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) closely monitors adverse events for suspected side effects.
The Australian Government is developing a claims scheme for people who suffer a moderate to significant impact following an adverse reaction to a TGA-approved COVID-19 vaccine. As of yet, however, the Government has not finalized this scheme. At this stage, potential claimants can only register their intention to claim.
What Is the No-Fault COVID-19 Vaccine Indemnity Scheme?
The scheme aims to provide a straightforward application process for people who have been either injured and/or adversely affected by an approved COVID-19 vaccine without the need to engage a lawyer for the purposes of legal proceedings.
The scheme is aimed to cover the cost of injuries evaluated at $5,000.00 and above that have occurred due to the administration of a TGA-approved COVID-19 vaccine or due to an adverse reaction and/or event that is considered to be caused by a COVID-19 vaccine.
At this time, there appears to be no clear definition surrounding what injuries specifically qualify as being above the $5,000.00 threshold.
Do You Qualify for Compensation?
The injury or adverse event must be a recognized side effect of one of the TGA-approved COVID-19 vaccines. These include thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS) associated with the AstraZeneca vaccine and myocarditis and pericarditis associated with the Pfizer vaccine.
Claimants who are seeking to make a claim for between $5,000.00 and $20,000.00 need to have been hospitalised for at least one night and will need to nominate that they are seeking less than $20,000.00.
The potential claimant will need to provide applicable evidence of:
- The nature of the injury and medical documentation of its likely relationship to a COVID-19 vaccination
- Hospitalisation due to a vaccine-related injury
- Medical bills and /or costs
- Lost wages and/or income from employment
It is crucial to prepare and organize the evidence indicating your adverse reaction to a COVID-19 vaccine in advance. Make sure you have copies of all of your relevant documents, including your vaccine certificate, evidence of hospitalisation, medical bills, and lost income receipts or payslips ready to be submitted upon request.
The evidence required for claims of $20,000.00 and over are still being developed by the Government and are to be advised of in the future.
What to Do Next
If you believe that you have been moderately to significantly impacted by adverse side effects of a TGA-approved COVID-19 vaccine and may want to make a claim under the proposed scheme, you should notify the Government by registering your interest in making a claim online.
The link above provides access to an online form which requires a claimant to fill in their contact details including:
- Your given name
- Your family name
- Your email address
- Your phone number
You will then be asked to make an acknowledgement that the Department of Health can use the personal information specified above to contact you about the COVID-19 Vaccine Claims Scheme.
Once you are registered, you will be contacted by an employee of the Department of Health who will instruct you when and how you can submit a claim online (once the application process is open).
As previously outlined above, you will need to ensure that you meet the relevant criteria and that you have evidence to support your claim.
Registering your interest or intention to claim in the scheme does not mean that a claim will be subsequently approved once it is submitted.
How Henry Carus + Associates Can Help
The lawyers at Henry Carus + Associates have unparalleled experience navigating the complexities of government and insurance schemes. We are proud to advise those who have suffered adverse events after receiving approved TGA-approved vaccines for COVID-19.
Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation. Our team will review your case and advise you how to register your interest in filing a claim.