Compensating vaccination injuries in Australia: the COVID-19 Vaccine Claim Scheme

Tina Cockburn1, Bill Madden1

1Australian Centre for Health Law Research, Faculty of Business and Law, Queensland University of Technology.

On 2 July 2021 the Minister for Health and Ageing, The Hon Greg Hunt MP, announced that the Federal Government would establish a bespoke COVID-19 Vaccine Claim Scheme to provide further assurance and confidence to patients and health professionals in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout. Minister Hunt said:

“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. Proven claims will be able to receive appropriate compensation without the need of formal court processes. Potential claimants accessing the scheme will still have the option of pursuing action through a court judgement if that is their preference.”

Details of the COVID-19 Vaccine Claim Scheme will be finalised in consultation with peak bodies, indemnity insurers, patient groups and States and Territories.

There is a strong ethical case for compensating people who experience vaccine related injury given that they are essentially experiencing harm partly for the benefit of others. It is also generally accepted that enabling access to a no-fault compensation scheme for COVID-19 vaccine related injury can contribute to building and maintaining public vaccine acceptance.

This presentation will consider the key components of the Scheme and evaluate the extent to which the interests of injured patients and health professionals are promoted.


Bio to come.

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