Covid-19 vaccine injury payments will rise more than 80-fold to nearly $77 million by next July, according to budget documents released Tuesday.
This figure was quietly buried in Services Australia’s portfolio budget report in a table detailing the agency’s payments to third parties “on behalf of other entities”.
Services operated by Australia scheme for the Department of Health.
The table shows that in 2021-22, the Covid vaccine payment scheme paid out only $937,000, which would work for about 47 people if each received a maximum of $20,000.
But in 2022-23, that amount is estimated to rise to $76.9 million, which equates to 3,845 claims at the top rate.
A spokesperson for Services Australia was unable to provide any further details about the payments, such as the number or amount of claims.
The compensation scheme, currently due to end April 17, 2024, allows Australians to claim up to $20,000 in medical expenses, lost wages or other expenses if they experience an adverse reaction to the Covid vaccine.
But would-be applicants and lawyers have criticized it as overly complicated and hard to come by, as the medical professional must sign documentation linking the reaction to the vaccine, and only a small number of officially recognized side effects, such as myocarditis, are covered. .
Figures released earlier this month showed that of the 2,987 people who applied for compensation, only 59 were granted, with experts describing the payout rate as “absolutely sorry”.
“With all the hurdles you have to overcome, the paperwork you have to do, and the medical support you have to find with evidence, you would be like, ‘Is this really worth it? ” said the head of medical malpractice Shine Lawyers. Claire Ives.
“It’s probably a lot more hassle and stress for some than it’s good for the other end.”
According to the Therapeutic Goods Administration, there were 136,523 adverse event reports from more than 63.8 million doses of the Covid vaccine as of October 16, 2022, representing 0.2 percent.
The TGA identified 14 reports in which the cause of death was related to vaccination, out of 939 reports received and reviewed, including one related to myocarditis after Moderna.
“Vaccination against Covid-19 is the most effective way to reduce death and severe illness from the infection,” the TGA said in a statement.
“The protective benefits of vaccination far outweigh the potential risks.”
The October budget includes $2.6 billion to expand Australia’s Covid response.
“The funding will ensure continued supplies of personal protective equipment from the National Health Reserve, access to vaccines and antivirals for at-risk groups, and new items on the Medicare benefit list for testing for Covid-19 and other respiratory viruses,” the budget documents said.
“The National Cabinet also agreed to extend the National Covid-19 Response Partnership through December 31, 2022 to continue supporting state and territory-provided hospitals, testing, and other healthcare services to combat the pandemic.”
The $2.6 billion amount includes a $355.8 million package “to distribute and introduce Covid-19 vaccines in Australia.”
Of that amount, $314 million will go towards “distributing fourth doses of the vaccine to primary health care facilities, pharmacies, public hospitals, care facilities for the elderly and disabled, and First Nations communities.”
It also includes $41.8 million for “communication activities designed to stimulate dissemination with a special focus on people at risk of severe illness and those with limited access to mainstream media.”
“The government has also allocated $500 million in 2022-2023 to procure additional vaccines and treatments from the National Medical Reserve,” the budget says.
The Australian Government has provided damages to Covid vaccine suppliers for which the Commonwealth has entered into pre-purchase agreements, “covering certain liabilities that may arise from the use of the vaccines.”
“This includes the Oxford University vaccine sponsored by AstraZeneca, the Pfizer vaccine, the Moderna vaccine, and the Novavax vaccine,” it said.
Originally published as Covid Vaccine Injury Benefits Increased To $77 Million According To Budget