How to Get Compensated for Covid Vaccine Injury

Photo: Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance
Photo: Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance

Any individual in an AMC-eligible country who suffers from a serious adverse event following vaccination with a COVAX-supplied vaccine can file a claim via the Program’s web portal.

As there are reports of infection, side effects, and deaths after Covid-19 vaccination, a global program aims to compensate the vaccine victims. The COVAX No-Fault Compensation Program promises to provide fair, no-fault, lump sum compensation to any individual in the 92 lower-income economies covered by the COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC) who suffers a serious adverse event from any vaccine procured or distributed through the COVAX Facility. 

To meet the challenge of ensuring Covid-19 vaccines reach the most vulnerable in every country, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), Gavi and WHO have set up COVAX (COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access).

The Compensation Program is designed to be fast, robust and transparent, making it easier for any individual affected to get fair compensation without having to go through a lengthy and expensive legal process. This compensation will initially be funded by COVAX via donor contributions on the basis of a US$ 0.10 levy per dose for 2 dose vaccines and US$0.20 per dose for single dose vaccines, delivered by the mechanism. The Program is complemented with an insurance layer, providing insurance coverage for compensation payments.

HOW IT WORKS

Any individual in an AMC-eligible country who suffers from a serious adverse event following vaccination with a COVAX-supplied vaccine can file a claim via the Program’s web portal. Managed and administered by an independent claims administrator, ESIS, Inc., the process is designed to be as easy as possible for applicants. Regional assistance is being offered, as well as email and telephone helplines.

Once a claim is filed, it is assessed by an independent review panel of nurses and an appeals panel of nurses and physicians, appointed by ESIS. The administrator also has investigators to collect information related to claims locally. These panels are in turn guided by a scientific advisory committee of independent public health experts, who regularly review the evolving scientific literature on Covid-19 vaccine safety.

Unlike claims made through the court system, the size of the lump sum compensation is not dependent on the strength of the applicant’s legal team. Instead the level of compensation is based on a specific formula designed to be fair and transparent, reflecting the cost of living in the country. The formula is as follows:

GDP per capita of the AMC-eligible economy in which the claimant resides x 12 x a harm factor ranging from 1.5 to 0.1 dependent on the nature of the injury and level of impairment, as evaluated based upon the most recently published edition of the American Medical Association’s (AMA) Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment.

The harm factor is based on the level of impairment suffered by the individual. Impairment percentages or ratings contained in the AMA’s Guides have been developed by medical specialists and are consensus-derived estimates that reflect the severity of the medical condition and the degree to which the impairment decreases an individual’s ability to perform common activities of daily living.

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Rakesh Raman