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Thousands apply for government scheme to compensate COVID-19 vaccine reactions


Ten thousand Australians so far have registered their interest in a federal government compensation scheme for adverse reactions to a COVID-19 vaccination.

Eligible patients can apply for $5000 to $20,000 to cover medical expenses and loss of income as a result of being hospitalised by a vaccine.

A dose of a Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.
Out of 37 million COVID-19 vaccine doses delivered in Australia, 0.21 per cent will trigger an adverse reaction. (AP)

Clare Eves, a medical compensation expert from Shine Lawyers says claims would be limited to moderate to severe reactions.

“With most vaccines you’ll end up having a bit of discomfort or feeling generally unwell,” Ms Eves said.

“But what the scheme is really limited to is those people who have had a significant outcome where it’s really impacted on your ability to do things day to day, you’ve taken some time off and it’s been serious enough that you have been hospitalised.”

Out of almost 37 million vaccine doses across Australia, 0.21 per cent have reported adverse side effects, and according to infectious diseases expert Dr Paul Griffin, an even smaller fraction are severe.

Eligible patients can apply for $5000 to $20,000.
Eligible patients can apply for $5000 to $20,000. (9News)

“We do see a lot of mild reactions, but they’re mild and short lived,” Dr Griffin said.

“The serious ones occur at a very infrequent rate.”

Macquarie Fields resident Harold Molle is one of those, developing a blood clot in his leg three days after his second dose of Astra Zeneca.

After being admitted to hospital, Mr Molle’s leg needed to be amputated.

“It was excruciating pain,” he said.

“It’s going to cost me now, I’ve got to get an artificial leg and a wheel chair.”

Harold Molle developed a blood clot in his leg three days after his second dose of Astra Zeneca. It had to be amputated.
Harold Molle developed a blood clot in his leg three days after his second dose of Astra Zeneca. It had to be amputated. (9News)

To be able to claim, a patient needs to have spent at least one night in hospital and be able to show medical evidence of the injury and its link to a COVID-19 vaccine. Claimants also need to show medical expenses and proof of lost income.

Expressions of interest are currently open through the Australian Department of Health website.

Despite the life changing injury, Mr Molle doesn’t harbor any hard feelings towards the vaccine.

“The vaccine worked because it saved me in hospital because I caught COVID there, and if I didn’t have the vaccine they said I would have most probably got real sick.”



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