No-Fault Compensation for COVID-19 Vaccine Injury
The World Health Organization (WHO) and Chubb Limited announced they signed an agreement to administer a no-fault compensation program for the 92 low- and middle-income countries and economies eligible for support via the Gavi COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC) of the COVAX Facility.
Signed on February 17, 2021, the WHO says this is the 'first and only vaccine injury compensation mechanism operating on an international scale.’
All COVID-19 vaccines procured or distributed through the COVAX Facility receive regulatory approval or an emergency use authorization to confirm their safety and efficacy.
But, as with all medicines, even vaccines that are approved for general use may, in rare cases, cause ‘serious’ adverse reactions.
The program will offer eligible individuals in AMC-eligible countries and economies a fast, fair, robust, and transparent process to receive compensation for rare but ‘serious’ adverse events associated with COVAX-distributed vaccines.
By providing a no-fault lump-sum compensation in full and final settlement of any claims until June 30, 2022, the COVAX program aims to significantly reduce the need for recourse to the law courts, a potentially lengthy and costly process.
“The unprecedented nature of the COVID-19 pandemic has been matched by the largest-ever rollout of new vaccines. This no-fault compensation mechanism helps to ensure that people in AMC-eligible countries and economies can benefit from the cutting-edge science that has delivered COVID-19 vaccines in record time,” said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, in a press statement.
“The WHO’s agreement with Chubb offers further protection and confidence in the life-saving power of vaccines.”
“The No-Fault Compensation fund is a massive boost for COVAX’s goal of equitable global access to vaccines: by providing a robust, transparent and independent mechanism to settle serious adverse events it helps those in countries who might have such effects, manufacturers to roll out vaccines to countries faster, and is a key benefit for lower-income governments,” added Dr. Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi.
The COVAX no-fault compensation program will become operational through its web portal by March 31, 2021. It will include resources such as the program’s protocol, Frequently Asked Questions, and information on how to apply.
The Gavi-administered COVAX Facility forms a crucial part of the COVAX pillar (COVAX) of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, a ground-breaking global collaboration to accelerate the development, production, and equitable access to COVID-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines. COVAX is co-led by Gavi, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), and WHO, working in partnership with developed and developing country vaccine manufacturers.
The World Health Organization was founded in 1948 to provide global leadership in public health within the United Nations system.
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