As Australia aims to roll out a COVID-19 vaccine to everyone age eligible, it means that a number of individuals may experience a serious adverse event following immunisation (AEFI). Supporting these vaccinees is important and providing compensation to individuals who have experienced a vaccine injury is a strategy that has been used widely, for a long period of time, in countries such as the United States, UK and New Zealand to promote vaccine confidence and maintain vaccination rates. It is not a concept designed to suggest causation or fault, but a scheme to promote trust in vaccination programs as well as provide vaccine manufacturers with the reassurance to produce vaccines without fear of legal action.

An example of a serious AEFI requiring hospitalisation is thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS) following Vaxzevria (AstraZeneca), with the symptoms experienced resulting in a significant impact on a vaccine recipient.

The No Fault COVID-19 Indemnity Scheme is funded by the Commonwealth government and has been introduced to allow Australians who have been significantly impacted by an adverse event following a COVID-19 vaccine to apply for access to financial assistance. There is currently no compensation scheme within Australia for applications relating to non-COVID-19 vaccines.

What is involved?

The No Fault COVID-19 Indemnity Scheme will cover the cost of injuries $1,000 and above in situations where a serious adverse reaction has been caused by a COVID-19 vaccination.

Any vaccine encounter which has occurred since February 2021 is covered under this scheme. The vaccine does not need to have been administered within Australia.

Which vaccines are covered under this scheme?

All TGA approved COVID-19 vaccines are covered under this scheme. Comirnaty (Pfizer), Spikevax (Moderna) and Vaxzevria (AstraZeneca) are currently in use within Australia;. COVID-19 Vaccine Janssen is also approved by the TGA however is not in use in Australia.

How to make a claim

Affected individuals (or an individual acting on their behalf) can submit their interest in making a claim via Register your interest in the COVID-19 Vaccine Claims Scheme.

Each claim is assessed by independent experts for accuracy and legitimacy. Evidence required in a claim includes:

  • details of the injury (including any medical documentation relating to its likely relationship to a COVID-19 vaccination)
  • hospitalisation
  • medical costs
  • lost wages.

Resources

Authors: Rachael McGuire (MVEC Education Nurse Coordinator), Nigel Crawford (Director SAEFVIC, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute) and Francesca Machingaifa (MVEC Education Nurse Coordinator)

Reviewed by: Rachael McGuire (MVEC Education Nurse Coordinator)

Date: November 30, 2021

Materials in this section are updated as new information and vaccines become available. The Melbourne Vaccine Education Centre (MVEC) staff regularly reviews materials for accuracy.

You should not consider the information in this site to be specific, professional medical advice for your personal health or for your family’s personal health. For medical concerns, including decisions about vaccinations, medications and other treatments, you should always consult a healthcare professional.