Over 2,600 apply to Australia's COVID vaccine injury compensation scheme
New data from a Freedom of Information request show that 2,622 have lodged claims in Australia's compensation scheme for harm due to the COVID vaccine. That's 1 in 7,700 vaccine recipients.
I took the COVID vaccine. The best information I had suggested that the harms were small and the social and mobility costs high. But I didn’t allow my sons to have it.
My family have since all had COVID at least once. We’ve all had many worse respiratory infections.
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As a policy matter, compulsory vaccination never made sense. At best a recommendation for the eldery might have been reasonable, while acknowledging the limited trial evidence of the overall health benefit-cost ratio.
The unfavourable side effect profile is pretty clear now. So much so that many countries are banning the vaccine in children, such as Denmark.
Due to this known health risk, in December 2021 Australia introduced a compensation scheme for those who suffered adverse reactions to the COVID vaccine.
I recently made a Freedom of Information (FOI) request to actually interrogate the program.
Below is the data that has been released
2,622 total claims in eight months since December 2021
29 of those claims have been approved for payment
139 claims have been denied
The amounts paid are not being released, citing s47F(1) of the Freedom of Information Act1
A screenshot of the documentation supplied is below.
There are 20 million people aged 16 and above with at least one COVID vaccine dose in Australia. So 0.013% have lodged a claim or about 1 in 7,700 vaccine recipients. An extraordinarily high number for any mass vaccination program.
The eligibility requirements for the compensation scheme are described here and are summarised below.
To be eligible you need to have met all of the following. You must have:
received a Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) approved COVID-19 vaccine
met the definition of harm, like one of the clinical conditions listed in the policy
been admitted to hospital as an inpatient because of the harm you suffered or seek a waiver
losses or expenses of $1,000 or more, excluding pain and suffering, due to the COVID-19 vaccination.
Given this quite strict requirement to be eligible for the scheme, what can we learn from this information about compensation application numbers?
Probably not a lot.
But remember. A year ago if we had 200 to 400 people testing positive for COVID we would have panicked and had media headlines for days, even if their case was extremely mild, as most were and are.
But 200 to 400 a month seeking damages from needing hospitalisation due to the COVID vaccine suggests that our cost-benefit perspective was very poorly calibrated for a long time, causing many avoidable harms that still persist.
We will not know for a long time yet how much the compensation scheme undercounts the true health risks of the vaccines. I would suggest quite a lot. But one day perhaps we will know better.
In future posts I will look more at abnormal death rates, low fertility rates, economic instability, and other current and ongoing issues that directly stem from the panicked policy reactions of the COVID era.
The relevant section:
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 1982 - SECT 47F
Public interest conditional exemptions--personal privacy General rule
(1) A document is conditionally exempt if its disclosure under this Act would involve the unreasonable disclosure of personal information about any person (including a deceased person).