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What are the new COVID vaccine indemnity and injury compensation schemes?

Recently, the Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt announced the establishment of the Federal Government’s COVID-19 Vaccine Claims Scheme. The scheme aims to provide further assurance and confidence to patients and health professionals in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, and will be backdated to the start of the national vaccine rollout (22 February 2021). According to the media release from the Health Minister, in the event someone suffers a significant adverse reaction, causing injury and economic loss because of vaccination, the Scheme will help guide potential claimants through a no fault claims process scheme.

How might such an indemnity scheme work, and what would the scheme mean for health practitioners and COVID-19 vaccine recipients?

Adjunct Professer Bill Madden and Associate Professor Tina Cockburn from QUT’s Australian Centre for Health Law Research examine the COVID-19 Vaccine Claims Scheme in an article published in Australian Doctor. The article (How will compo for vax reactions actually work?) is available online. In an earlier article published in The Conversation they also discussed a vaccination indemnity scheme for doctors, and argued for the establishment of a no fault vaccination compensation scheme for patients, which is now accepted. The article (What’s the new COVID vaccine indemnity scheme? Two legal experts explain) is also available online.

About Bill Madden

Adjunct Professor Bill MaddenBill is an Adjunct Professor of the Australian Centre for Health Law Research and is also an Adjunct Fellow at the School of Law and at the School of Medicine, Western Sydney University.

Bill is also a lawyer in private practice.

About Tina Cockburn

Tina Cockburn is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Law, Co-Director of the Australian Centre for Health Law Research, and co-program leader of the Planning for Healthy Ageing Research Group. Tina is also a sessional member of the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) and a member of the Queensland Law Society Health and Disability Law Committee.

You can learn more about Tina and her research and publications in her staff profile.

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