When there is a vaccine there will be adverse reactions and it was this issue that former magistrate David Heilpern addressed in The Echo in January 2021 when he raised the importance of a ‘compensation scheme in Australia for adverse reactions to vaccinations.
‘There are 25 countries that have such schemes – mostly government funded with clawback from the pharmaceutical industry,’ he wrote.
‘None are perfect, but the key feature is that they do not require an applicant to prove fault or negligence by the manufacturer or the medical system – they just need to show that it is “more likely than not” that the injury or illness was caused by the vaccine.’
Finally, the call has been heard with The Guardian reporting on Tuesday (29 June) that ‘the National Immunisation Conference held by the Public Health Association of Australia, chief medical officer Prof Paul Kelly confirmed the introduction of a no-fault vaccine injury compensation scheme that would cover patients with a vaccine injury.
‘The health minister Greg Hunt also gave some details of the scheme in his press conference earlier, saying more details would be released in coming days.
‘A no-fault vaccine injury compensation scheme compensates individuals who have a vaccine injury following the correct administration of a registered vaccine. It is considered a vital component of a strong immunisation program by public health experts.’
Australia catches up
Mr Heilpern told The Echo that ‘This is a great advance after months of procrastination by the Commonwealth.It would appear we are going to finally catch up with the United Kingdom, the EU, Canada, the USA and New Zealand.’
‘Rather than having divisive debates over “safe” and “dangerous” we can actually have rational decisions about compensating those who have suffered as a result of adverse reactions,.’
‘I have had my first AstraZeneca, and every time I get a headache I think I must have a blood clot. Seriously though, if I fell ill with this adverse reaction I would like to think I would be properly looked after. It’s one thing “taking one for the team”, it’s quite another being left to suffer alone uncompensated. We will need to watch the fine print, as always. Of course, it is all down to the national reach of The Echo – we change things,’ he said.